When web development leaves you searching for answers
Search is the big issue for websites and web developers these days. A website without a search strategy is a website that is in serious trouble. As the internet grows exponentially, search rankings play a pivotal role in the building of brand awareness for a website.
Working as a web developer and web designer in London, I’ve worked on projects after another web developer and had to pick up the pieces of their work. I’ve seen some projects with incorrect or bad SEO and meta-data; and I’ve seen websites built without any SEO or meta-data whatsoever. The blame lies on both sides; the web developer should have factored it in and the person paying for the service should have the work checked over. Or at the very least, they should be asking for a report on what the developer has done to optimise the search engine data and meta-data.
Failing to factor these elements in when developing a website can leave your website crippled from the start.
Coming up on the first page ranking for Google can have enormous benefits for a business. It immediately opens you up to a huge audience of people, depending on your search term, and coming first means that they are more likely to click through to your website as they browse for the information they are looking for. Good SEO data is data in the site, copy or otherwise, that has been seeded with keywords or phrases relevant to your business. Without relevant keywords peppered through the web copy, your site will struggle to appear in the first 10 pages of search results. URLs should also be web-friendly, structured and descriptive to help search engine pick up more information to rank your page.
When a web developer designs a website, freelance or otherwise, they should look to add in unique meta-descriptions relevant to the site content. They should do that for every page without fail. Unique meta-descriptions are essentially extra bits of content that can guide people to clicking through from the search engine. They appear underneath the link to website and describe that particular page, so it’s important that they are unique and descriptive to encourage clicks. Most web developers and websites fall down at that hurdle because they don’t know enough about it.
It’s quite common for web developers to just use generic website information for the meta-description, if anything at all. They tend to find some blanket description of the site, brand or person and seed it into the meta-descriptions all through the site. On every page. That presents a problem when you want to be found as a priority result on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc., because people won’t click through from search if they can’t read an accurate or succinct description of why that result is relevant in their search.
Take my site for example:
<meta name=”description” content=”I can create websites, email newsletters, advert, brochures, flyers and more.” />
This is how I appear in Google search. For someone looking for a web designer in London, this gives a short description of the service that I offer and tells them that I might be what they are looking for. Meta-descriptions don’t count towards ranking, but they do count towards getting people to click through. If it doesn’t accurately describe a URL’s content, you will get very few visitors.
Using good meta-data in conjunction with a structured SEO strategy will improve the number of the visitors to your website very quickly and it will certainly improve the quality of those visitors, too.