When selecting a web design firm, there are a lot of considerations. Experience, portfolio, price and positive reviews are some. Design and technology chops are others. But one fundamental consideration that often gets overlooked is making sure the web design firm you choose also understands marketing and search engine optimization.
Read three common mistakes we see all the time and then follow our tips for choosing a Victoria web design company that understands SEO and will set your business up for success – rather than frustration.
Got 301 Redirects?
Make sure the web design firm you choose includes a plan to add 301 redirects from existing pages to new pages.
We see it all the time. As an example, a web development firm creates a beautiful site for a Nanaimo law firm, trains their client on how to manage it then hands the keys over. After the initial excitement and fanfare over having a beautiful new website subsides, the client checks Google Analytics and is befuddled why their site’s traffic and search rankings have fallen off a cliff. In a fit of panic they call us up to help them out.
We get it – a new website often requires reorganizing content. Blogs, products and other key pages move around, pages are re-named, that’s all normal. However, when that happens, it’s absolutely critical to make sure redirects have been put in place for each page. This is 10x more important for pages that rank like your about, contact or main service or product pages. Otherwise, visitors are sent to a dead end and leave your site frustrated. When enough people leave after one click, it increases the bounce rate, telling Google that page has a poor user experience. Google then drops the page in its rankings and fewer customers visit. Needless to say, a bad experience for everyone!
Avoid Being Image-heavy and Search-light
Choose a Victoria web development company with an intrinsic understanding of SEO to make sure they don’t miss any opportunities to rank.
For example, a Campbell River painter may want to emphasize images on their site to show off their work but fail to add content that describes the project. While the pages may look aesthetically pleasing, when it comes to ranking that page, it’s much tougher to be indexed by Google, Bing and other major search engines when they don’t have content to help them understand what the page is about. We recommend avoiding image-heavy pages when well-written and search-optimized content could be added instead. A web development company that understands SEO will anticipate this and make the recommendation during the web design process.
Avoid Subdomains for Blogs and Other Pages with Backlinks
Don’t create additional work – leverage brand equity earned from backlinks. Another scenario: a well established Victoria credit union with a well-regarded financial tips blog moves their blog to a subdomain, making it blog.examplewebsite.com rather than examplewebsite.com/blog. Their blogs then drop in the search rankings and they are left wondering why.
We recommend keeping the blog under the same roof as the rest of your website because Google treats subdomains as a completely new website. If your site’s been around awhile you’ll forfeit any backlinks and link equity you’ve earned and will have to re-earn it all over again. An experienced web design firm with digital marketing chops will advise you to keep everything under one roof and explain why.
Next Steps – When Choosing a Web Design Firm Think Marketing and SEO
We hope these tips for choosing a top web development company are helpful and will save you time, money and frustration. Whoever you choose, make sure the company makes design, technology and marketing sing in harmony.