SEO (search engine optimisation) is integral to any website, but you’d be surprised by how many web designers do not know the first thing about SEO – and how it works to further a website and help it reach its desired audience. 
When you are shopping around for a web designer or developer, bear in mind that not everyone really understands the relevance of SEO – and how they can use it for your website. 
 
Here are 5 clues to help you determine whether your website designer understands SEO: 

1. They don’t know the proper codes to use for better SEO 

If you ask your potential web designer how you can best use search engines so they can easily access and index your website and they answer that they will make use of Flash or JavaScript, or worse, tell you that it doesn't matter what code they will be using, this is a definite warning sign. 
 
What you should know is that search engines are terrible at indexing things in Flash, and they cannot execute JavaScript.  
 
The correct CSS and HTML also matters when someone is creating major elements of your website design. 
 

2. They have the wrong recommendations for your home page content 

Your potential web designer or developer should also present you with the proper recommendations for your home page content. 
 
If you ask them what they would recommend for your home page content and they answer something about a splash page which will ask users whether they want the HTML or Flash version of the site or a splash page which shows a one-time introduction, this isn't a good sign.  
 
The same is true if they recommend a page without copy with large, high-definition product pictures which run on an embedded Flash player.  
 
Remember this: splash pages are a nightmare for SEO, especially when they present two versions of the same site.  
 
Additionally, search engines cannot download cookies, so the search engine will never be able to get past your splash pages or index your internal pages. 
 

3. They tell you that a bad URL doesn’t matter 

If you ask the web developer how your URL will look, and they say that it will depend on how your users arrive at your page and it doesn’t really matter in the end, look for another designer. 
 
If they answer that URLs are generated dynamically and search engines don’t consider them important, do yourself a favour and try to find another designer.  
 
Search engines will always prefer keyword-rich URLs, and the cleaner your URL, the better for search engines. 
 

4. They say that you can pay attention to SEO once the design process is done 

One of the foremost signs you are dealing with a designer who doesn’t know the first thing about SEO is if they tell you that you can focus your attention on SEO once the design process is done.  
 
The same is true if they say that SEO is an easy matter; alternatively, if they say SEO is too complicated and they can’t really explain to you how they do it, then this is also a bad sign.  
 
The point is that you have to consider SEO right from the beginning; if your site’s foundations are SEO-friendly, this will pay off later on.  
 
SEO isn’t easy, either, and it takes time and is constantly evolving, so whatever your web designer knew about SEO five years ago won’t really matter now. They need to be able to give you concrete answers about SEO; otherwise, it’s pointless. 
 

5. They say that they can guarantee your ranking 

At the end of the day, no search engine optimisation expert can truly say that they can 'guarantee' your ranking.  
 
If they present you with promises which seem too good to be true, then they probably are.  
 
You have to do your own research and find out how you can use SEO for your site, so you can weed out the competent web designers from the bad. 
 
Here at it'seeze Web Design Bristol, we aim to make sure your website serves all your long-term goals – this includes designing you an SEO-friendly website, completing the initial on-page optimisation, and providing ongoing support to help you get the most out of your website for as long as it's live. 
 
Why not get in touch with our friendly team today to find out more about the search engine optimised and affordable web design that we offer. 
 
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