I'm a web designer. I build websites on WordPress for small and startup companies. I take care of everything; graphics, content, hosting and domains. That's what I do. I know enough SEO to make the website visible to search engines and I use plugins to help, but I am NOT an SEO specialist. I never said I was one.

Me on the internet

Nonetheless, there are times that people think I'm some kind of magician where SEO is concerned, even though I've made it clear I only do the basics.
It's particularly annoying when I'm applying for a job where I think they want someone to manage their website by adding extra content or something, but...

Mr. Know it all
"I want you to float me to the top of the Google search results."
I'm a web designer, not an SEO specialist. I know a few I can refer you to but any agreement you make is with them, not me. I know enough to make you visible but not to float you to the top when you're up against other websites with the same kind of content.

Confronted with stupidity
"I've read stuff on the internet about SEO, which makes me an expert. All you have to do is put keywords in, then I'll be right at the top."

Mr. Orly
Me going huh?

That's not how SEO works. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, can be gamed by repeated keyword use but Google will penalise it when they catch you at it. The idea is, they want to make you provide good content for people to read.

Think about it; your favourite websites are the ones that provide the items you are most interested in. You don't visit them for the number of keywords they're using, do you?

Design around the content to present it to its best advantage and make sure the most important information is easy to find.
If people like what they see, they'll share the link and that will make it popular.

Me, serious
"Content? You'll be asking me to engage with people on the social media, next! I haven't got time for that. All I want is for someone to do a search on "Man Stuff" and find my website straight away, regardless of what's actually on it."

Mr. Know it all insists
Those are called "link farms" and they're unpopular for a reason: there's only links to other stuff there so you go there, get really disappointed that you didn't find what you were looking for, and click off. Then Google penalises them because they don't have good content on.
Confronted with stupidity

"That is how search engines work. By links. Isn't that one of those things you're supposed to know, as a web designer?"

Mr. Orly
me, shocked
"Designer," not "SEO-gician." Different job, different thing. I will only promise what I can deliver and I can't deliver that.
The internet requires links, in and out, on your site, for it to show up in the search engine. Search terms need to be in the content, particularly in the headings. The content needs to provide relevant information so that when a person goes there, they've found what they're looking for.

Nobody goes looking for a link farm or keywords. They want to be informed, entertained, or provided with the means to get what they want.
If you want a website that does well in the search engines, take my advice: build for your target audience. Provide an easy-to-use, attractive website with items on it that people are interested in. Engage with people on the social media and link your posts there. Update regularly.
Me, smiling
"What else do I have to do?"

Mr. Know it all

"I presume I have to update at least once a week. That means keeping a blog, right? What if I haven't got time to write blog posts? Is it true that you can make money from your website?

How do I do that, if I want to? What else can I do with a website?"

Anything you like, including selling, starting a discussion group, running a directory or a job board... the applications available on WordPress are endless. You can make money from advertising but you need to build an audience to get enough clicks to make it bring in a good income.
Pretty website