7 Things to Look For When Choosing a Web Designer to Promote SEO

By: Josh Goodman

When it comes to designing a clean and professional website, it is wise to hire a professional to take on the job. If high search engine rankings are your priority, you will want to hire a web design company who sees SEO as their priority within the framework of designing your website. Web design firm ATAK Interactive, Inc., which specializes in web development and SEO, shares some of its observations that clients should look out for when choosing a web design agency.

1. Their own site rankings. Check out the rankings of some common keywords to see where their site ranks. If it doesn’t appear within the first 3-4 pages, the web designer is likely not very concerned with the SEO of their own page. Take this as a caution; if they don’t know enough about designing their own site for SEO, will they take it into account when they’re building yours?

2. HTML vs. Flash or Javascript. Both Flash and Javascript are not as Google friendly as simple html. Oftentimes, the crawler is not able to identify word usage when it is part of these applications so it will simply go over it. Take note of the use of these applications within the framework of past design work. A higher percentage of HTML will result in better rankings.

3. Overuse of keywords. Another thing to check past websites for is good keyword usage. Take note of keywords being used over and over again or in awkward ways where they are being put in as fillers and the sentences don’t necessarily make sense. Search engines have become fairly intelligent and can pick up on overfilling of keywords and can hurt you instead of helping.

4. Integration of social media. An important question to ask a potential website designer is how they incorporate social media in the site. Although it sounds like social media may not be an issue for the designer to solve, it actually is an important step. The designer must build the plug-ins that will allow for fast and easy sharing among social media networks, as well as placing the plug-ins in a manner where they are easily seen but not overbearing.

5. Splash pages. One of the top indicators of poor SEO skills is the addition of a splash page. The splash page is the first page that a visitor sees when arriving at a website, and then must click “Enter” to proceed to the home page. Search engine crawlers will often stop at the splash page and never crawl the rest of the site, making it almost impossible for a good ranking.

6. Anchor text. Another red flag is anchor text that reads “click here”. Having descriptive anchor text is one of the most powerful pieces of the webpage, and certain keywords need to be placed here to make a difference.

7. Image tags. When a designer does not add tags that describe the image on the website, it takes away another chance for the web crawler to pick up on a keyword. Make sure your web designer is aware and willing to add appropriate keywords within all of your image tags.

Remember that your web design company is working for you to make your presence on the web as great as possible, so they should have SEO incorporated design at the forefront of the framework. Past work and portfolios are a great indicator of their mindset, and ATAK Interactive’s SEO-friendly web design is evident in its experience. Ensure your web design agency has SEO as a priority to get a competitive edge while saving time and money so it doesn’t have to be done again after the fact.

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The author of the article, Josh Goodman, a Los Angeles Web Designer presents his views on the importance of having an Ecommerce Web designer, who possess fundamental knowledge and skills for SEO and writes about ways to determine SEO skills of a Web designer.

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