Although search engine optimization is not an exact science, it doesn’t change the fact that it provides better chances for your website to get ranked. And ranking means traffic. But what if your web designer appears to have no idea about SEO?
While most web designers nowadays incorporate best SEO practices on the websites they helped create, there are still those who have zero knowledge in optimization. Some may even have heard about it but don’t see how they can benefit from it, so they decide to just shrug it off and simply do what they do.
To help you discern whether your web designer is either of the two, we have listed down signs you should look out for, so you could save yourself from the trouble of dealing with them.
- Use of Flash
Finding out if your web designer has an inkling as to what an SEO-friendly website is will depend on his answer to the question: “What kind of code will you use to render the major design elements of the website?”
If his answer is Flash, you might want to reconsider. This is because Flash videos have long been considered as a big no-no in the search engine optimization industry for several reasons.
First, search engine spiders that crawl the worldwide web to index websites cannot figure out rich media content aren’t in text format. Second, “Flash only” websites don’t provide unique URLs for different pages on your website which is a significant factor in ranking. Third, Flash websites tend to load a lot slower since the browser must load the flash player first.
- Recommending Splash Pages as Website’s Home Page Content
Another major hint that your web designer has no idea about SEO is his suggestion of using splash pages as the website’s homepage content. While it is a good way to tease comic book readers, it is far from pleasing in the eyes of website users. And a non-user-friendly website means a lower rank in SEO.
There is also a good chance that your website won’t get crawled when you use splash pages. Some splash pages can be overridden by returning users through cookies. However, you must remember that search engines don’t download cookies, and, thus, won’t be able to reach the actual content of your website, failing to index.
- The SEO Catch: 301 Redirect vs. 302 Redirect
Web designers ignorant of best SEO practices may also say that there is no significant difference between the 301 and 302 redirects when moving a web page to an entirely new location. While it is true that both appear the same on the users’ end, only the 301 redirect is actually good for SEO. This is because using 302 redirect means you are only temporarily transferring the web page to another location. The 301, on the other hand, is permanent and will be able to transfer the benefits of inbound links from the previous location which is good for traffic and ranking.
- URL Appearance Don’t Matter
URL appearance does matter. Don’t let that ignorant web developer tell you otherwise. Back in the day, URLs look like a mumbo-jumbo of alphanumeric combinations that are generated per session. However, the advancement of technology gave birth to Internet cookies that handle the session IDs. Users can— and should— be able to access a single website multiple times without the need for messed up URLs.
Also, SEO-friendly URLs have keywords in them that allow for better ranking in the SERPs. This means that search engines will care if the URL of your website about dog food contains combinations of numbers that don’t make any sense.