I am a Guernsey web designer, not a brilliant one by any means, but I design websites to a fashion. My websites are functional. I know that I could create an all singing and dancing design but there is no need right now for my purposes.
I used to design my own basic static websites using Adobe Dreamweaver CS3. With this software, I would start off with a blank page, or use a simple template, and use HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) code and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to build and design my website.
I used to really enjoy creating websites out of nothing. It’s quite a thrill watching it all come together. However, I am an internet marketer, and by designing my own websites from scratch, no matter how much I enjoyed it, I wasn’t using my limited time cost-effectively.
My purpose is to sell items on websites, not design them.
After a while, I started to use WordPress. This is free, open source software that anyone can use to build and design websites. THIS website is on WordPress. It is a complete content management system (CMS). This means that you can download it onto your hosting and domain and change all aspects of your website to how you want it to look and feel.
There are hundreds of “themes” or designs, to choose from. You simply choose a new theme and activate it and within seconds, you have a different website. The content remains the same but the look and feel has changed.
There is other CMS software, such as Joomla and Drupal, but I use WordPress all of the time now as it is so quick and simple to use. There are thousands of “plugins” to use. A plugin is a software component that adds functionality to your website.
There are many aspects to website design and I guess I still design websites now, well, certain elements of them. I change how I want them to look and I add all the content myself. The basic technical, back-end mechanics of the website is still the same, but I change the front-end, that bit that website visitors can see and interact with.
What I have found is that many Guernsey web designers know how to do the technical aspects of design brilliantly. They are really clever; their websites look and feel amazing, but they don’t understand fully how Google works.
A client could spend thousands of pounds on a website which looks fantastic but it will not rank in the search engines, Google basically.
Here are a couple of examples.
I was looking at websites for Guernsey accountants and I came across one website that was on page 2 of Google. I immediately noticed an area that could be improved, the “title”, which was showing only the name of the company.
If it was changed so that the words “Guernsey Accountants” was included in the title, it would absolutely move this website up the Google rankings, probably onto page 1.
The “title” MUST include the keywords that you want to rank for as it is one of the biggest Google ranking factors. So simple yet such a glaring oversight, it is probably costing this company many thousands of pounds a year.
It would only take a minute to rectify too. I emailed the company twice but they ignored my suggestion.
I can’t recall which website it was, I think it was for a plumber or electrician. It was on about page 5 of Google. I clicked on the link to visit the site and I waited… and waited…. and waited…
After about 10 seconds, the website appeared.
My computer is pretty quick so I wanted to find out why it took so long to load. I noticed that there was a huge image. I checked out the image properties and I found that the image was over 5,000 kB or 5,000,000 bytes, an absolutely massive file. Plus there was another image of over 700 kb, and there were others also.
Page loading speed is another ranking factor. For a website to take at least 10 seconds to load means that the website will have absolutely ZERO chance of getting to page 1 of Google.
This is why when a Guernsey web design company creates a website for someone, they should team up with an SEO expert so that the website has a far greater chance of ranking in the search engines.
Ok, their technical ability is not in any doubt, and the technical on-page aspects of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) ranking factors will be first class. However, they should also understand that there are other on-page ranking factors.
Let me explain.
There are two categories of ranking factors in SEO, on-page and off-page.
On-page factors are things that are website related. For example, site architecture (structure), responsive design, aesthetics, keyword density, internal linking and anchor text, length and quality of content, bounce rate, dwell time, multimedia (images, video, audio and animation), title, meta description and headings.
Off-page factors are things that are not website related. For example, inbound links (number, quality, velocity, anchor text) and social media and where other website traffic comes from.
A web designer, unless they team up with an SEO expert, or understand SEO themselves, will do all of the technical elements of on-page SEO perfectly; things such as user interface, site structure, navigation, layout, colours, fonts, aesthetics and overall imagery.
The other on-page SEO elements such as the content basically, such as, keyword density, images, internal linking and anchor text, length and quality of content, bounce rate, dwell time, multimedia (images, video, audio and animation, title, meta description and headings, is down to the knowledge of the SEO expert.
The truth of the matter is that a website that has been designed by someone such as “yours truly” for example, has just as good a chance of ranking as well as a professionally designed website and costs a fraction of the price.
The thing that makes a website rank high in the search engines is great content, and NOT the cost of a website or how technically well it has been put together.
A good Guernsey SEO expert can take an average website and crush the competition.