Would you let an Estate Agent SEO your website?

Would you let an Estate Agent SEO your website?

Getting a new website built is much the same as having a new home built. Both go through a similar design stage; they need to be planned out, constructed and decorated so that they look pleasing to the eye, yet stable enough to last you a lifetime (in theory at least).

However, when many people have a new website built they don’t seem to understand the different roles that web industry specialists play in the process, and often go to one person or company for everything. This results in a website that is wholly inadequate for the intended purpose, and hence it fails to deliver.

Let me now explain the difference between a web designer, a web developer and an SEO, and how you need all three to construct the perfect website, rather than a jack of all trades to botch something together.

Web Developer

A web developer is the technical person who will plan your website out from the beginning. He will design the database structure and make sure that your website is durable enough to withstand a barrage of visitors all at the same time. Much like the builder, the web developer needs to be experienced at building websites which receive a lot of traffic, lest your website will fall over at the first sign of high traffic levels. It’s no good having your house collapse during your house warming.

Your web developer will also need to build your website securely so that no one can break in and steal your valuables, such as data and passwords. You wouldn’t ask a decorator to build your house and then expect it withstand adverse weather conditions would you?

Web Designer

The web designer is your bells and whistles person. He will make sure that your website looks nice and is pleasing to the eye. He will design a theme and carry it through your website, ensuring that your brand is upheld and that visitors to your home know that you have good taste. Did I say home? Yes I did, and that’s just what a designer will do, as will a decorator. They’re visual people, they’ll make your site look nice and flow well, but they won’t be able to build it for you from scratch if you expect your website to survive under the pressure of high traffic levels.

Most web designers don’t know about database configuration, which server to use, website architecture, optimising SQL etc, the same as most decorators wouldn’t know how to lay a foundation or draw up a blueprint.

If you have a web designer build your website you can’t expect it to survive the bad weather.


The SEO is the person who will make sure that your website works; that it can be found and power is getting to every page. He will channel the power from your homepage, through your website and ensure that your pages are all indexed by the search engines and appearing in the rankings. Without power getting to your website, how can you expect to make any sales or conversions?

The SEO is the electrician. Like an electrician, if you want your website to work at its best he should be involved at the start, when the builder is doing his work, otherwise parts of the website will be unearthed to run the cables through.

You could of course ask your decorator or your builder to wire up your home for electric, but unless they’re qualified to do so it would be illegal and highly dangerous for you and your home. Sadly there are no such legalities governing who can practice SEO, whether they have any knowledge of it or not. This means that your web developer or your designer can offer to SEO your website, but would you let a decorator wire your house?

A badly wired up house could lead to serious injury, or your house going up in flames. A badly SEO’d website could lead to your rankings going up in flames, and like dealing with electricity, it’s so easy to make a costly mistake.

The final piece in the puzzle is the print designer. They know what a website is and have probably used them before. They’ve heard of builders, but don’t know any personally. As for electricians; they can do a quick Google search and find out what they need to know from that. Print designers are the estate agents of the web industry. Just because they’re technically in the same industry, doesn’t mean you should let them anywhere near your house, whether that’s to build it, decorate it or wire it up for electric.

Yet so many people let estate agents build, design and SEO their websites?

  • Over simplifying is also not the right way to go about it, There are web designers who are actually print designers and don’t have a clue. There are developers who don’t see the bigger picture and then there are those that think specialisation is key.

    I am a jack of all trades, been doing this for years and have learned many of the skills. I don’t do pretty as well as those arty farty types. I don’t see the world in terms of code alone, but damned if I disagree with you because I use a combo of skills to create workable, well planned, result bearing web sites.

    I know that SEO can be broken down into the bullshit and the real stuff. If you want the real stuff find an old timer that can trace his heritage back to the days of 14.4k modems, then you have an expert all rounder, but if he came out of college two weeks ago he does need to specialise, like maybe in registering domains.

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