SEO is so easy to research, with thousands of websites offering advice and tips, that finding information on search engine optimisation takes just a few minutes. Very quickly, anyone can learn some basic techniques on performing SEO on their own websites.
For this reason, most web developers and designers offer SEO as a service, usually charging a very small amount for their ‘skills’. In fact, you’ll often find that web designers advertise their web design services as being ‘SEO friendly’, with their websites being constructed with ‘SEO in mind’.
So why would you use an SEO company that charges you several thousand pounds per year, when your web developer can offer it for a one off fee of a few hundred pounds, or even for free?
The difference in the services lie with what they actually do, what they actually know, and what prior experience they have. Web developers are that, developers of websites. If you have a technical spec they’ll be able to meet it and develop a site to suit your requirements. Web designers are visual people. They’ll construct a website for you that looks good, fits your branding and is attractive to your customers. An SEO will get you results… pure and simple.
When your web designer offers their SEO services along with their website design, ask them what they’ll do for you, what exactly their ‘SEO’ entails. You’ll often find they’ll have little answer outside of the standard one of adding Meta tags to your website. They may, and we stress may, even know about making Title tags unique on all of the pages. The might even know about search engine friendly URLs, but that’s about where their expertise will end.
You’ll be placing the success of your website in the hands of someone who doesn’t perform SEO for a living. It’s not their job. They don’t live and breath SEO. They don’t know all of the intricacies of Google, the history of its updates, how to solve an SEO problem, how to analyse a competitor’s SEO and what phrases like ‘universal search’ and ‘semantic search’ actually mean.
Will they monitor your rankings constantly, being proactive on your website to any drop for your keywords? Will they issue you with reports? Will they know about some basic, and some not so basic SEO mistakes that could get your website banned from Google?
You might find a design agency that has a professional, in-house SEO department, or one that partners with an SEO agency. If that’s the case, your site would be safe in their hands.
In short, use the right professional for the right task. Web designers design, web developers develop and SEOs SEO.