When you build your first website, there is a misconception that your web developer also has all the skills required to also take care of the SEO. While this is sometimes the case, in most instances, a web developer and a SEO specialist often have conflicting priorities.

While your web developer may focus on the aesthetic value and functionality of the site, an SEO expert will be focusing on rankings, the usability of the website and the journeys of your customers.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential to any marketing strategy and the most effective way to get noticed by potential customers, making it an essential part of your online success.

SEO has an ever-changing landscape. Back in the day, SEO was as simple as throwing a few keywords on your website and your ranking success was high. While many of these fundamental techniques are still very important, many of them are now outdated and should never be used or you risk being penalized by Google.

Choosing a web developer that has a firm understanding of the fundamentals of SEO can be beneficial in the long term. If not, you should consider hiring an SEO Expert to set you on the right path.

With so many options around, how sure are you that you’re working with the right web development firm or SEO specilaist? Be on the lookout for these five warning signs!

  1. Your developer isn’t optimising meta tags

Meta tags aren’t featured content on your website and are not directly visible to visitors. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not important. Meta tags are lines of code that help search engines understand the content and relevancy of a webpage.

Visible on the SERPs, meta tags are also the most effective way to attract your customers to your site, amongst the other competitors in the search results. If this is being automated and not much thought has been put into your marketing messages, you are missing out on prime exposure.

Meta tags are one of the most essential parts of a web page. Optimising them will not only help a page rank organically but will make you stand out from the other businesses in the SERPs.

For example, the meta tag for this blog could be: <meta name= “description” content= “SEO is both for marketers and web developers”/>.

If a developer says that they will install a plugin that will do all the work, essentially, they are saying that they will leave it up to Google to decide what to display. You need much more control over your message.

  1. They don’t care about responsive website design

Responsive web design helps increase visibility on search engines, especially on mobile search and can result to more website visitors.

In 2015, Google released an algorithm that forever changed the way searching worked. Searching from a mobile device will no longer show websites in the results that aren’t mobile-optimised.

Today, almost 70% of all searches on the Internet are made through mobile devices. So, if your website isn’t optimised for this, it’s unlikely that your website will appear on the search results.

Not only will a good developer make sure your website fits on a mobile, they will ensure that the overall experience is great! This means incorporating easy click to call options, organised navigation, reasonable-sized fonts and reasonable page length.

  1. Site speed doesn’t matter to them

It doesn’t take long before a visitor gets bored of your website’s loading time and clicks the back button. On average, it only takes 7 seconds before a visitor abandons a website. If your website loads in under 5 seconds, then you’re already one step ahead of your competitors.

A website that loads fast contributes to good user experience (UX) and greatly reduces bounce rates. Google tracks your bounce rates and if they are too high, can affect your rankings.

Faster loading sites leads to higher rankings, improved user experience, better conversion rates and lower bounce rates.  If you’re looking to drastically improve site speed, jump on board with Google AMP for the instant load technology.

  1. They’re not using proper heading tag structure

As the name implies, these tags are used to identify the headings and subheadings in your content. The hierarchy goes from H1 to H6, with H1 being the most important.

These tags help catch your website visitors’ attention. But most importantly, they contribute to your rankings by helping search engines easily read and understand your well-organised content.

If each page has more than one H1 heading, this is just lazy coding practice. If you remove all the styles from the website, your document should make sense and flow though the right hierarchy. If headings are just being used for menus or other HTML elements, it’s not great for SEO.

  1. They’re duplicating content 

Duplicating content is an extremely unethical practice. The duplication of content is such a serious issue, that Google will make sure that your site is heavily penalised.

There are a couple of ways that someone can duplicate content. The first method is by creating a heap of pages and copy and pasting the content, making very few edits. Another method is having two similar sites with the same content. The last one, which might be the most dangerous for your business, is copy and pasting from a competitor.

If you copy and paste from other websites, search engines will have a hard time choosing your content over the multiple versions available online.

If you’ve run into any of these issues with your web developer or your SEO specialist, it might be time for you to find someone else to work on your SEO.

After all, Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. To learn more about Google’s mission, visit https://about.google/.

As a business owner, you need to take a holistic approach to your website, and you will be rewarded for it if you do. Any developer or SEO specialist who says otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about.

If you’re looking for someone to help you get on top of your SEO game, talk to FX Web Studio. We know the information that Google’s searching for, and we’ve used this knowledge to offer high quality SEO and web development services to a number of businesses throughout Sydney! If you’re looking to see how high-quality SEO can greatly improve your business’ online presence, give us a call today on 1300 090 401.

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