Why a Web Designer Should Attend an SEO Workshop

Written by Nick Stamoulis

SEO and web design and web development are all tied together however each of these specialties seems to operate in separate silos. Typically, SEOs aren’t web developers and web developers aren’t SEOs. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s something to be said for having one specialty and doing that one specialty really well, instead of spreading yourself too thin and doing a bunch of things only OK. Web designers don’t need to become SEOs or marketers, but having knowledge about SEO and how the web development process can impact it is beneficial and is an additional way to sell web design/development services to potential clients. Having this additional knowledge set can separate a web designer from competitors since SEO is extremely important for any website to succeed online today.

An SEO workshop can help a web designer better understand the following aspects of SEO that most directly apply to what they do:

Technical
The search engine spiders crawl a website and look at much more than what words are on the page in order to determine rank. The search engines consider things like page load time, bounce rate, and usability when ranking a site. At times, in order to create something that’s cool or visually appealing, web designers don’t consider what kind of chaos this can create on the back end of the site that affects SEO. For example, the way that a site is coded may result in content being duplicated unnecessarily. While website visitors may never notice this, the search engine spiders are seeing it and think that it’s being done to manipulate search efforts and can penalize a site for it.

Link Analysis and Linking Structure

The search engines want to rank websites that offer a good user experience. Both internal links and outbound links on a site are crawled by the search engine spiders. Internal linking is important as it directs visitors to other pages of the site so that they can easily find what they are looking for. However, they consider the number of links on a page. If there are too many links, it’s considered to be a spammy approach. As the search engines crawl links they also take into consideration the quality of the link. If the link is broken, it’s obviously useless to a visitor. If the site has too many broken links it can impact its ranking.

Anchor Text
It was once acceptable practice, even recommended practice, to use keyword anchor text links throughout a site. Too much of this is now considered to be “over optimization”. It’s OK to use anchor text linking to an extent, but it’s necessary to vary the text that is being used and link to some generic phrases like “click here” as well.

The goal of web designers and developers that attend an SEO training workshop isn’t to become SEO experts. The goal should be to learn SEO enough so that it can be applied to clients’ websites and applied to each unique situation that arises.

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