Web designers are pivotal people when it comes to the creation of websites. However, with their importance comes the difficulty with dealing with them, especially in matters regarding SEO websites.
There are a lot of web designers out there who are SEO savvy, although the number of Web designers who are more concerned with how a website looks still outnumbers them significantly. For many Web designers, SEO and other technicalities that a website has are none of their business. They do not care about the rankings of a website, and they believe that they are only there to help make your website look better. If you hire this kind of web designer, do not expect your website to perform well in search engines.
We would assume here that you already know basic SEO things, since you would not be concerned with finding an SEO proficient web designer so much if you were not aware of it in the first place.
The best test you can do to see if a web designer is good or not is to check out some of his previous works, and see if the websites he has worked with have experienced SEO related improvements. Ask the designer if he was responsible for the optimization of the website, since there are website owners who take care of that instead.
To further help you determine whether the web designer that you hired to take care of your SEO website is good or not, here are some red flags which will definitely tell you that it is time for you to look for a different designer.
- Images are used for anchors instead of text. Regarding SEO, anchor texts should be present in your website since search engines cannot read images. Although images are easier to use and look better than just plain texts, for the sake of functionality, it would be much better if your designer will stick to using texts to ensure that your website will be readable to search engine bots.
- Messy codes. Code cleanliness is vital to SEO success. You would not be able to judge whether your website’s code is screwed or not if you do not have the slightest idea about HTML. If the coding of your website is messy, search engines would not be able to index your website. This means that search engines will literally ignore your website because they cannot understand its coding.
- There are only a few if not no links at all. Links are important SEO tools. Backlinks and internal links help provide more exposure to your SEO website which therefore help them gain more traffic. If your web developer does not use links when creating website content, he might not be the best one for the job. The designer is not supposed to make every single word a hyperlink, but one or two hyperlinks for every two paragraphs is enough to make sure that it will positively affect SEO.
- Your designer fills your website with Flash. There are still a lot of web designers who believe that Flash animations are awesome and deserve a spot in all websites. Although Flash can make your website look better, they do make loading take forever to finish. Websites that are full of Flash content typically do not do well in search rankings.
- Your web designer over optimizes your website. Over optimizing a website is not better than under optimization. It could in fact be worse since over optimizing means using illegal methods to improve website rankings, such as keyword stuffing. In the worst case scenario, your website can be banned from search engines for using illegal SEO techniques.