As web design and development professionals, it is our job to educate clients about everything website-related, especially in an industry where changes are inevitable. New websites are being launched all the time, technologies shift and change, marketing techniques evolve, and it’s our responsibility to provide the most relevant and accurate up to date information.
In this post, we’re going to highlight some claims and/or statements in our industry, and answer each one with as much accuracy and constructive feedback as necessary.
1. WordPress is the best website platform for SEO
True and false. True in the sense, that 90% of all new websites that go live, they are built using WordPress.
WordPress is the most widely used website development framework, and because of this, they offer the most integrations with other softwares, fairly ease of use for the novice user, and most importantly for SEO, they provide us web developers and marketers actual access to the page code.
The false part of this statement, is that there are other comparable frameworks such as Joomla or Drupal that can provide the same, but from an “all around” perspective, WordPress gives everyone the best of all worlds.
Website builders that aren’t good for SEO include: Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and other similar platforms that purposely lock down the backend code. These builders aren’t built for heavy-duty marketing, but instead for the novice wanting to put their website together for the first time. These frameworks are perfect for the individual who has no need to market their website, and instead just needs an online business card/brochure to represent his/her brand.
2. My brand new website will be seen in Google results as soon as it goes live.
False. New websites take a long time, sometime months to show on Google search results.
This all depends on how quickly Google indexes your website, as well as how crowded your industry is for keyword searches. For example, if you’re the only business in your space, chances are your website will show up quicker towards page 1, opposed to a really competitive industry with lots of competition online.
On average, once you set a website live and submit a site map, it will take Google a few days to a few weeks to do its initial indexing, and then you can expect a month or so of patiently waiting before your website sees its first ranking position.
3. The majority of users are seeing your website on a mobile device first
True. The large majority of users will find your website on mobile devices, smartphones, etc.
In 2021, the latest numbers put the average users around 70%, so this is why it’s crucial that your website should be mobile-optimized for the best experience possible.
A few mobile-optimization tips include:
Optimize load speed to 1-2 seconds on mobile – People have a very small attention span and most likely won’t be willing to wait more than a few seconds for a website to load. Therefore, be sure you’ve taken all steps to ensure your website is lightning-fast.
Call to actions up high and present – The first frame of your website on mobile should include your most important call to actions. Clickable phone number, contact us button, etc. These should be the first thing people see.
Hide unimportant elements – Lots of times, the desktop website experience is more intuitive, so we recommend simplifying the mobile experience by decreasing certain unneeded elements, images, etc. This will also help decrease load speed.
4. Building a website on my own will save me lots of money
True and False. Building a website on your own will save money, but at what cost?
What we mean, is that most who attempt to build their own website will throw the towel due to frustration, plus once the website goes live, they often find that their site has a hard time pulling up on searches.
Like the old saying goes for every industry, “that’s why I pay a professional to do it.” You wouldn’t attempt to pull your own tooth and trust a dentist, the same applies to getting the most out of your website by hiring a professional who will not only ensure it looks professional, but will actually be built for marketing. We’ve had so many clients over the years hire us after getting stuck in the middle of building their own website and realizing it takes so much time and effort to get it right. So for the amount of time you’d have to invest to learn the ins and outs of effective web design, most find that they’d actually be losing money trying to attempt the build themselves. Although there is an investment cost to hire a professional, it more than justifies the time that you’re not burning through doing it on your own.
5. Choosing a domain name with keywords is crucial for good SEO
False. Although it is a proven technique to choose a domain name that has your specific keywords in them (for example, www.boisewebdesign.com), it’s not crucial.
It will however give you an advantage out of the gate with ranking higher for that term, but you can 100% pull of similar results with a different domain name when the proper SEO has been put in place. We’ve helped rank clients high on Google with domains that do and don’t include those high-ticketed keywords in the name.
6. People don’t like to read a lot on websites anymore
True and False. Website visitors use websites for many different reasons. Depending on what the website is and does, this dictates how much a user actually reads.
For example, compare wikipedia.com opens in a new window to ESPN.com opens in a new window. Both have very high viewership and each have their own ways of keeping users on the site. ESPN is very much video-driven with sports highlights, live coverage, etc. Wikipedia is almost all text, so people go there expecting to do lots of reading to find what they’re looking for.
When it comes to small business websites, we agree that the more content the better, BUT, because we know that most people don’t like to spend a ton of time reading, it’s our job to advocate for websites that are not overloaded with content on first glance, I.E. the home page for example. Not just for SEO, but usability, providing users the ability to dig deeper and read more about your business is still recommended, but just don’t place a ton of that content on the home page, but instead provide easy, meaningful ways to direct your users towards that content instead.