The simple answer is: it depends. Not every web designer is also well-versed in SEO, which is what helps your website show up in search engines.
Generally, web designers are distinctly different than SEO professionals. But if you want your web design firm to also handle your SEO, do some homework to find one who does both. (They do exist!).
How can you tell if a web designer knows about SEO? Here's three options:
- You could ask, but that doesn't give you the most definitive answer. That's because a web designer might think they know about SEO, when in fact, they might only know 10% of what's needed. They just don't know what they don't know. And if you don't know what questions to ask, they might sound believable enough to trust. That'd be a potentially expensive mistake.
- You could read their blogs or service(s) pages about SEO. As long as they provide serious advice and share what they've done for other clients, that would give you better insight into their abilities. For example, we have this video we produced for just one phase of SEO, which is on-page optimization. There's other considerations for good SEO, which are outlined below, and
- You could Google the obvious keywords web design firms want to be found for, such as "web design company in Columbus" (or whatever city you're in) and see how well they show up.
Top level keyword phrases are difficult to rank well for.
The fact is, top level keywords, such as "web design companies in Atlanta," are difficult to rank for. So are top level keywords in any industry, such as "home builders in Dallas" or "plastic surgeons in Denver." Because those overarching keywords are so competitive, it's critical your web designer knows how to search for keyword options, including long tail keywords.
For example, instead of "Columbus web design company," here are several other keyword options that could be easier to rank for. The numbers in the second column are the number of monthly searches for each keyword. The far right column tells you how competitive each of those keyword are.
Then there's voice search to consider.
With voice search people tend to ask questions more than search for 3-4 keyword phrases (shown above). The list below is an example of those questions.
- "What are the best web design companies in Columbus?"
- "How much does it cost to hire a web designer in Columbus?"
- "Can you recommend a local web designer for a small business in Columbus?"
- "How do I choose a web designer in Columbus that fits my needs?"
- "What services do Columbus web designers offer?"
- "What is the average turnaround time for a web design project in Columbus?"
- "Do Columbus web designers specialize in a particular type of website (e.g. e-commerce, portfolio, etc.)?"
- "How do I know if a Columbus web designer is experienced and qualified?"
- "Can a Columbus web designer help with search engine optimization (SEO)?"
- "What is the process of working with a web designer in Columbus like?"
When you write a blog with the exact headline that people search for, the chances of that blog showing up well in a search goes way up. That's why, this blog's title is "Can a Columbus web designer help with search engine optimization (SEO)?" one of the questions people ask in a voice search.
Lots of pieces and parts make up good SEO.
There are lots of elements that make up good SEO, too many to address in this blog, but a few of the important ones are:
- Blogging: the more you blog (using the right keywords) the more often search engines re-index your website which keeps it relevant in the eyes of Google. Blogging is all about sharing your knowledge with your audience.
- Getting backlinks to your website. Read about getting backlinks here. Google has always given weight to websites that have backlinks from other credible sites.
- On page optimization (which we mentioned at the top of the blog). It's making each page of your website play well with Google's algorithms. You can watch this video about on-page optimization.
- Optimizing the design so it loads quickly. Page load speed has always been a ranking factor with Google. And with everyone being members of The Short Attention Span Society, it does affect whether someone will wait for your website to load.
- Read about other elements that determine how successful your SEO efforts will be here.
SEO is too important to trust to a web design company that doesn't know what they're doing. Like anything that's new to you, be sure to do your homework before you commit so you pick the right web designers who can also do SEO.