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.
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..."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.
"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."
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
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.
"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
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
"That is how search engines work. By links. Isn't that one of those things you're supposed to know, as a web designer?"
"Designer," not "SEO-gician." Different job, different thing. I will only promise what I can deliver and I can't deliver that.
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.
goes looking for a link farm or keywords. They want to be informed,
entertained, or provided with the means to get what they want.
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.
"What else do I have to do?"
"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
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.