The Answers You Should Be Receiving
When interviewing webmasters, don’t let price be your deciding factor. Among webmasters there is a split between those who are skilled in the fine art of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and those who are not. To obtain high rankings for your site on the major search engines, multiple SEO Marketing tactics must be included within the design of your website. As an online business owner you should be concerned with the depth of SEO Marketing knowledge possessed by the person you hire to design and build your website. Do you know the right questions to ask a potential webmaster to ensure that you are doing business with the right person?
The process of hiring a webmaster may appear to be as simple as contacting a few designers and getting price quotations for their services. In the end, you select the lowest bidder and move towards getting your new website built. Do not confuse price with function. Typically, a very low price indicates a finished product that will not be capable of competing for business online. Additionally, there are some designers who can accommodate you not only with design services, but with hosting services as well. They will charge a very small fee for the design services, which looks great on paper, only to hit you hard with a high monthly fee for your hosting. In the end you pay far more and your website is still not ready to compete on the search engines for any volume of business.
How important is SEO Marketing to the design and development of your new website? Remember, if your site cannot be found in the first three pages on the major search engines, it won’t matter what you spent or how lovely your website is; no one will ever see it, and therefore, no one will be able to do business with you. SEO Marketing should be at the core of your entire web design process.
The Obvious Questions:
May I view your portfolio?
A webmaster should be ready and willing to show off their past projects to you. If they have nothing to show you … run.
Do you have a list of references?
A qualified designer should not only be proud of their work, but so should their clients. Contact a few of their clients to verify their overall satisfaction with the design and the process involved. Keep in mind, good designs cost money and also take time.
What software do you use to design?
To the untrained eye this question may seem ridiculous. The truth be told, there are vast differences between webmasters and their skills. As it stands there are a small handful of great design programs which would qualify your potential designer as possessing the experience required to get the job done. However, there is one design program that will immediately disqualify your designer as someone who knows what they are doing; Microsoft’s FrontPage®. If they say, “FrontPage®”, say something polite as you hang up the phone.
The Not So Obvious Questions
Do you have any SEO experience?
While some designers cannot even spell SEO, others will readily admit to their lack of expertise in such matters. Obviously you are seeking out a designer who claims to be well versed in the practices of SEO Marketing. How can you tell the difference? Ask them to show you some of their top ranking sites on Google, Yahoo, MSN or other major engines. The search phrases they use to find their client’s websites should be commonly worded phrases that people would actually think to type on the engines, and not some cryptic, uncommon mixed-up set of words which many so-called SEO Marketers use to justify their poor work. Remember, we can all rank high by typing in our company name, it’s the sites that rank high when you type in the nature of their product or service that makes for good SEO.
Do you incorporate SEO into your designs?
Many designers will offer SEO services to you ‘after’ your site has been completed. For some, they must outsource these services as they are not qualified to perform SEO page optimizations during the design phase. A good SEO job requires that the majority of the text on a website be completely rewritten. So if you’re not including this with the design, you’ll be paying a whole lot more for it down the road as the SEO Marketer must take your nicely written content, tear much of it apart and rewrite it so as to appeal to the engines for higher rankings.
How much text will you include on my web pages?
While this question will obviously have a different answer for each page of your site, a smart SEO Marketer knows that a minimum of 300 to 400+ words per page will assist your site in obtaining and more importantly keeping higher rankings over longer periods of time. To the search engines text content is king. Text is “essentially” the single largest factor in helping a search engine determine your position in the rankings.