Web designers face a challenging world in today’s search engine result oriented market. Clients expect beautiful websites automatically placed at the top of search engine results. The brutal reality is that website building and SEO marketing are not one and the same.

This article explains the basics of both website building and SEO strategy in order to provide some clarity for those who are thinking of having a new website built or want to make their old site more visible. The difference is mainly one makes your business more credible, while the other makes it more visible.

It all starts with a responsive website design.

First and foremost it’s important to have a website built with a responsive design. The steps to building your site are determined largely by the designer and their established process; however, within those steps someone will determine where to place call to action buttons (CTA), how to organize and format your sections and headings, and what words to use within you pages. Initially a site is built so that it is user-oriented and your current or future customer can find what they need easily with as few clicks as possible.

Web designers are focused on the navigation, functionality and aesthetic aspects of a website with a target audience in mind. Their goal is to build a website that serves the purpose of the business or organization that they are building it for. It is not necessarily built with the idea that it needs to be on the top of searches, but rather so that it functions well for the viewer and benfits the business.

The goal of a website is to increase conversions and reduce bounce rates. 

What about SEO?

SEO takes this site that you’ve built and fixes inadequacies or adjusts it for better SEO results. There may be no outright issues, but you will likely make adjustments based on your SEO results and research. This all helps your website perform better. So first, you build the site and then you incorporate SEO. 

One of the biggest flaws in SEO is a short-sighted mindset. Most people don’t realize that a true SEO strategy spans years, not months. Your first year of results builds the base for the next 5 – 10 years. The value you gain from patience is nearly immeasurable; however, in this case you can measure it in the monetary capital you do not spend attempting to find a “quick-fix” to your search engine rankings.

The goal of SEO is to increase traffic to your website through higher search engine rankings. 

SEO Faux Pas

Purchasing Backlinks
Purchasing backlinks is a myth in SEO. In fact sometimes search engines, like Google, actually penalize you for taking short cuts like this.

Chasing Keywords
Publishing content is NOT based on adding value to your SEO strategy by using as many keywords as possible, it’s about adding value to your customers. They want to see content that is useful for them. You can use keywords in this process, but do not shape your content based on SEO results.

Too Many Domains
Buying domains can become costly, especially if the ones you’re looking for are extremely popular. Don’t waste money on so many domains to redirect to your site. Instead focus on truly optimizing your website.

The Simple SEO Cycle

1) Research keywords and topics. What’s trending this month? What will be trending next month? Where can you provide input?
2) Follow the 2-U rule: publish useful and unique content. Never publish something you think will be popular just because there are a hundred other articles on the same topic.
3) Acquire links organically. That is, put your content out there. Get others to post your content elsewhere. Comment on other content with links directed back at your own site.
4) Measure results with some kind of analytic tool, whether it’s Google Analytics or some other chosen method. If you hire a company to do this cycle for you, they should send you reports on a regular basis.
5) Adjust your methods based on your results, research and website traffic flow.

This cycle continues over a long period of time. It does not produce results instantly, but rather ensures you gain more from your investment.

In summary, it’s important to know the difference between building a website and incorporating SEO, because they are entirely different processes requiring a different budget and plan of action. Website building is a one-time investment. SEO is an ongoing process that develops results slowly over time.

For more information or questions about building your own visibility and credibility, contact us at M’agency.