As the internet has become increasingly sophisticated, the various professional fields in the internet marketplace have become more and more specialized. In each area there have been massive leaps in complexity, usability, design and technology.
Even just a few years back, there were relatively few separate specialties for people who work within the arena of the internet. These days there is a vast multitude of ways in which people can specialize online. These professionals include:
Web designers, information architects, Google Adwords campaign managers, various types of program and software developers and last but not least, search engine optimization.
In my experience, most web designers these days don't even know how to include search engine optimization in the sites that they design and build. There is ample proof of this; it is visible easily every day by just taking a look at what is out there. Websites that have either no or empty Meta tags no headline tags and in some cases no title tags! What is frustrating about this is that all of these are extremely easy to include.
So where does that leave the buyer? It leaves them with a website that will no doubt look fantastic; however the chances are that few will ever see it. Let alone become customers of whatever service or product the site is offering. This seems to be particularly true in the case of websites that contain a lot of flash, it looks great, but it is heavy in the browser and as it is purely images, the search engines cannot read it, even if there are words as the words themselves are rendered as images not text.
Therefore, when shopping for a website designer, be aware that though most will have the words ‘SEO' or ‘Search Engine Optimization' somewhere within their marketing or sales material. Take the precaution of checking that they actually know what that means, many don't. The way to check it out is to look at sites they have already completed – particularly their own. Check to see if it has Meta tags such as the keyword and description meta tag, check to see if their title tags actually have something useful in them not just ‘welcome to company XYZ website'.
These things are very easy to check. The title tag is easily visible to you as you open the site in your browser, you will see it on the very top of your screen. To check the other parts you will need to look at the source code, you can do this in Firefox by clicking on ‘View' then on ‘Page Source'. This will show you all the code of the site, the meta tags should be near the top just after the the title tags.
Lastly, check to see if the site has headline tags. Between them should be the main title of the page, including the keywords that you want people to find your site with.
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