Why Not Every Web Designer Is a Search Engine Optimisation Expert, and How It Hurts Your Online Presence

Written by Laura Farkas

Updated May 26, 2022

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There are so many freelancers and agencies claiming that they have a search engine optimisation expert status, but it is rarely true. In fact, until you have done hundreds of projects, followed Google’s recommendations for years, and practised what you preach, you will not see great results.  

As an example, I have worked for two of the largest SEO companies in the UK and US as a freelancer for five years before I was confident that I could deliver the best results and a great return on investment for my future clients. Today, LMNts Marketing improves the rankings of their clients’ websites month by month, and without getting them banned from search engines. This would not be possible without the right mix of design, user experience optimisation, SEO, and great content.  

Here’s a quick overview of the boxes you need to tick to rank high in search engines for high search volume buyer keywords.

Web Design Doesn’t Sell: Search Engine Optimisation Does…

Nobody can deny that web design doesn’t have a role in the digital marketing world. It is a great thing to have, and without it you would not be able to present your brand in the best light possible. However, there’s no point having an “all singing all dancing” website if nobody visits it. Search engine optimisation is crucial if you want to be found.  

You might be fine if you just want a portfolio page, but if you would like to get clients and orders, you need to focus on loads of things, such as:

  • Navigation
  • Ease of use
  • Keyword optimisation
  • Citations
  • Quality content 
  • Shareability
  • Other user experience (UX) aspects
  • Technical SEO

I know this is quite a lot to learn, and most web designers are too busy to take time off and enrol in an SEO course. Our employees don’t only have a basic understanding of search engine optimisation, but they are also actively participating in the Google Digital Garage programme to stay up to date with the current recommendations. While this doesn’t make everyone within LMNts Marketing a search engine optimisation expert, they all know what they need to do to support the rankings of the site.  

Content Is King, but Engagement is Queen!

And then there are the content writers who will complete your product pages, sales pages, and other writing projects. They will be great at grammar (most of the time) and amazing with words, but not all of them grasp the concept of writing for the target market with search engine optimisation in mind. 

The general rule is that you should be writing for your audience (humans) first, then for search engine robots. However, formatting is a different story. You might want to ensure that your copy is easy to read and is simple to consume. Many copywriters can match the language of your ideal customer, but they will not format the content according to how people read.  

In fact, people tend not to read these days. They are more likely to skim the page and see if it is easy to navigate and if it contains the information they are looking for. If they don’t get a confirmation in the first few seconds,  they will leave and click on the next link.

You Will Not Sell without Having a Search Engine Optimisation Expert by Your Side

Even if you are good at writing, you might have difficulties getting the message across to the customer. This applies to complicated businesses; if you are selling consumer goods, your job is easier. However, if you happen to be a business coach marketeer in your business, you need to focus on your USP and your superpower. A copywriter might get the message across, but will you get sales? 

If you get the message right, you just have to reach your target audience. The easiest (and long term cheapest) way of doing that is by hiring a search engine optimisation expert. We often simply take the amazing content from the existing website and revamp it to attract search engine spiders (and customers) better. We don’t claim to know your industry and your ideal client better than you do; we just happen to know how to get your content noticed and optimise it for conversions. 

At the same time, if you haven’t formatted the content right, you will not be able to get people to read it. A good copywriter will know how long a  paragraph should be not to scare the reader, and how to create engaging headlines. And then you have to pay attention to the image/text ratio, the right call-to-actions, and the rest. So it’s not straightforward by any means.

The Magic Triangle: Content, Design, and SEO

If you would like your website to attract visitors, turn them into buyers, and build your reputation, you will need the magic triangle of great content,  design, and SEO. 

At LMNts Marketing, we never build a site without SEO and great content. Why? Because our greatest asset is our reputation and we would never give our name to a site that is not sound. 

We spell check everything that leaves the office and make sure that the content is valuable for the audience as well as attractive for the search engines. User experience is also extremely important; if your visitors cannot find what they are looking for in a few clicks, they will leave. Your bounce rate (percentage of people leaving in a few seconds) will go up, and your rankings will follow. 

Who Can Do Web Design?

Almost anyone can design a website. There are templates and drag-and-drop website builders. Squarespace and Wix have dominated the DIY web design industry for a number of years now. However, is it worth it? If you want the quality of the website to match the high quality of your brand, chances are that you need custom design with your branding. Plus, the SEO functionalities of the above sites are very limited, so your search engine optimisation results will be limited, too. 

Most web designers, however, don’t really care about the functionality of the site or the SEO settings. If you deal with an agency, however, they might charge you extra for setting it up. For us, it’s standard not to build a site with SEO included. It is like building an award winning sandcastle in the middle of the desert where nobody will see it and the sandstorms will blow it over in a few days. 

Who Can Do Content?

There are plenty of talented content writers out there. I used to be one of them. I used to produce thousands of words of high or low quality content, depending on what the client wanted. However, I always followed the SEO guidelines set by the company. SEO content writers are rare, and some of them lack the language skills or industry knowledge. I would say that over 50 percent of the internet is produced by content mills, despite Google’s increased focus on quality. It’s sad to say that some agencies also outsource their content to third party groups of writers.  

So content is one thing, but SEO content that sells is a totally different story. You need the marketing, writing, and technical skills to produce it. 

Who Can Do SEO?

There are loads of SEO experts who know coding, the ins and outs or algorithms, and can do the work fast. They can optimise the page speed, reduce loading time, and build links. However,  – as with everything digital marketing – you need to focus on the quality instead of the quantity. Having a directory link from a site that has tens of thousands of links going out might not be worth much, but a relevant link from a related site with the right keywords in a blog post will do magic. 

White Hat SEO Works Long Term

Let me just clarify something; white hat SEO takes time and is hard work. However, it reduces your chances of getting banned from search engines. Here is a great overview of the difference between white hat and black hat SEO: 

Here are a few examples of past and current black hat SEO methods some search engine optimisation experts use:

  • Article spinning
  • Automated submission
  • Bot commenting
  • Paid link insertion
  • Duplicate content 
  • Keyword stuffing 
  • Inserting invisible text into the website. 

A word of warning: using even only one of the above methods will result in lower rankings and potentially getting banned from major search engines, such as Google and Bing. That’s why you have to choose your SEO agency carefully. 

A Search Engine Optimisation Expert with Great Writing and Design Skills Is One in a Million

It is very rare that you find a freelancer who is equally skilled at technical SEO, copywriting, and web design. That’s why many companies choose to work with an agency that has the specialist talent in house. They train their staff to be able to follow the rules and collaborate on projects, to make sure that the client gets the best results possible. 

There will be good writers, good SEO people, and good designers. If they collaborate, they can do magic. 

The Marketing Mix of the Digital World Explained

The marketing mix of the 21st Century looks different from what it used to be back in the ‘00’s when most digital marketing agency owners graduated. Here’s a low-down on what you need to get noticed, make a sale, and build a stellar reputation online at the same time:

  • Consistent brand image and voice
  • Knowledge of your competition and ideal client 
  • Fresh and valuable content 
  • A social media strategy
  • Marketing automation to scale your operations
  • User interaction
  • User generated content (reviews)
  • Search engine optimisation (or a lot of money to spend on paid traffic)
  • User experience optimisation of your website
  • Authority posts and publications (press releases)
  • Votes from high authority websites (backlinks)
  • A well planned out customer journey
  • A strong unique selling proposition
  • A sales system

I know, it is a lot and you might think that it would be easier to invest in Bitcoin, right? Well, after the recent fall, you might think it is time to buy, but no! If you are building a real business, you have to create strong foundations. Marketing is still a business activity that gets you the highest return on investment. So get all the boxes ticked and it will be an easy sail after. (Also more predictable than the price of crypto.)

Get Found, Get Popular, Get Selling… Step-by-step Guide

Now you know that you need a copywriter, a search engine optimisation expert, and a web designer on board if you want to have any chance of making it online. Once you have them working for you (as freelancers or through an agency), you just have to close the sale. And this is where many business owners fall short. They don’t have a sales automation system that follows up and closes the deal for them. Here’s a quick overview of how your marketing funnels should work 24/7 in your business. 

  1. Getting noticed by your potential customers
  2. Building engagement
  3. Creating a personal brand relationship with your market
  4. Educating your audience
  5. Making them an offer they can’t refuse
  6. Following up asking for reviews and recommendations
  7. Continuing to please them every time

If you follow this structure, you are not only going to be able to reach the most motivated buyers in your market, but also turn them into raving fans who market you for free. 

Having your SEO sorted is the essential first step to accomplish this.

Source(s): 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/25/skim-reading-new-normal-maryanne-wolf

https://www.websiteplanet.com/blog/best-drag-drop-website-builders-no-coding-required/

https://www.seobility.net/en/blog/wix-seo/

https://oursocialtimes.com/62-of-companies-now-outsource-their-content-marketing/

https://bookboon.com/cs/how-to-make-your-content-marketing-work-ebook

https://unamo.com/blog/seo/8-risky-black-hat-seo-techniques-used-today

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