Left Brain / Right Brain

A blog about business, design, technology and culture.

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SEO in Plain Language: When I hire a company to build my website, will they optimize our website for search engines?

Not always. There are two reasons why a web designer or a web design agency would not optimize your website for search engines:

  1. They don’t know how to do it. SEO is not complicated, but you must be thorough and smart.  And it takes time!
  2. You don’t see the value in SEO, so you don’t pay for it.  So you have to ask for SEO and be willing to pay for it. If you “beat up” a web design agency and try to get the service fee down to a lower price, know that SEO work will be the first thing that gets scrapped.  

Also, it's possible that you will pay for SEO work and it never gets done. The problem is that most SEO work is done “under the hood” of the website and cannot be admired as quickly as cool graphics.  

There was a time where SEO seemed like some sort of digital voodoo…it was like magic and could not be easily explained.  This era is over and now SEO is more honest and comprehensive. (We'll talk about massive linking schemes in Part VII.) 

Do not accept digital voodoo. You should see what you paid for today so that you can move up in the search engine results tomorrow:  

  1. Stand in front of a white board with your SEO specialists and give them a marker. Ask them to list what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and a timeline of what results you can expect to see because of what they did.
  2. Sit next to them while they click through the websites that they’ve built for other clients. Ask them to show you the "On-Page SEO" work that they’ve done.
  3. Ask them to show you their SEO successes. Ask them to show you their SEO failures. Ask them how they pivoted in new directions because their strategy wasn't working. How did they regroup and come up with a new plan? 

Remember, expect plain language! Don't nod your head and act like you know what they are talking about because you don't want to look stupid.  Remember this: 

"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction."  -Albert Einstein

Next in the blog:  "How long does it take to see evidence that your SEO is actually working?"

Free eBook: 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid When Relaunching Your Website

About the Author: Matt S. Smith, MBA

Matt Smith is the president and founder of smithHOUSE, a creative/digital agency based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Smith has a BS in Industrial Design from Georgia Tech and and an MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He is married and has four daughters.About Matt S. Smith, MBA

seo-in-plain-language-02b.jpg

SEO in Plain Language: When I hire a company to build my website, will they optimize our website for search engines?

Not always. There are two reasons why a web designer or a web design agency would not optimize your website for search engines:

  1. They don’t know how to do it. SEO is not complicated, but you must be thorough and smart.  And it takes time!
  2. You don’t see the value in SEO, so you don’t pay for it.  So you have to ask for SEO and be willing to pay for it. If you “beat up” a web design agency and try to get the service fee down to a lower price, know that SEO work will be the first thing that gets scrapped.  

Also, it's possible that you will pay for SEO work and it never gets done. The problem is that most SEO work is done “under the hood” of the website and cannot be admired as quickly as cool graphics.  

There was a time where SEO seemed like some sort of digital voodoo…it was like magic and could not be easily explained.  This era is over and now SEO is more honest and comprehensive. (We'll talk about massive linking schemes in Part VII.) 

Do not accept digital voodoo. You should see what you paid for today so that you can move up in the search engine results tomorrow:  

  1. Stand in front of a white board with your SEO specialists and give them a marker. Ask them to list what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and a timeline of what results you can expect to see because of what they did.
  2. Sit next to them while they click through the websites that they’ve built for other clients. Ask them to show you the "On-Page SEO" work that they’ve done.
  3. Ask them to show you their SEO successes. Ask them to show you their SEO failures. Ask them how they pivoted in new directions because their strategy wasn't working. How did they regroup and come up with a new plan? 

Remember, expect plain language! Don't nod your head and act like you know what they are talking about because you don't want to look stupid.  Remember this: 

"Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction."  -Albert Einstein

Next in the blog:  "How long does it take to see evidence that your SEO is actually working?"

Free eBook: 10 SEO Mistakes to Avoid When Relaunching Your Website

About the Author: Matt S. Smith, MBA

Matt Smith is the president and founder of smithHOUSE, a creative/digital agency based out of Phoenix, Arizona. Smith has a BS in Industrial Design from Georgia Tech and and an MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He is married and has four daughters.About Matt S. Smith, MBA