SEO-Friendly Web Design & Development
Baltimore, Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia
If you’re looking for SEO-friendly web design & development in Baltimore, Maryland, DC, or Northern Virginia—you may not want to go w/ a traditional web design firm. Why? Because website designers always SAY they know SEO (and a lot of them are actually very good), but when it comes down to it, a lot of them have no idea what they’re talking about.
This page describes some major considerations to make (both for SEO and usability) when designing a new website, and how to evaluate and choose amongst the myriad of web development companies in MD/DC/VA.
If you’re in the mood to talk with somebody about your specific situation, you can save yourself some time by getting in touch with us. We’ll walk you through your options and come up with a plan that fits your budget and timelines…but also ensures that you smash your goals regarding lead generation and SEO.
Top Considerations For Designing A New Website
We’re all about keeping stuff simple. We could go on for miles about all the SEO and usability considerations involved with the actual design, and then discuss choosing a firm for another mile. But we know you’re busy, so we’re boiling it down to JUST the stuff you need.
Get a trustworthy advisor
Unless you’re very well-versed with this stuff…meaning that you’ve played an active role is several web design, development, and optimization projects in your day…you should get some advice and guidance from an objective third-party. An advisor is somebody that is a stone-cold expert and has no reason to BS you. The reason this is important is because unfortunately, the web design and development space is filled with some not-so-savory characters. We routinely hear sob-stories about companies that have been gypped, lied to, and generally treated unfairly.
A good advisor will cost a little bit of money, but they’ll easily pay for themselves. Put your advisor directly in touch with whoever is designing your website, so that the designer KNOWS you’ve got an expert on your team. This way, if they were thinking about trying to pull the wool over your eyes, they’ll probably think again.
Clarify the deliverables
One of the most common problems we see is that clients aren’t quite sure what all is included in their design project. You have a proposal and a statement of work, but a lot of times there are little things which aren’t specified and stay a bit ambiguous. SEO is notorious for being one of these gray areas. Your advisor should be able to help you come up with questions based on your specific situation. Here’s a good start:
- Is SEO included? What exactly will you be doing for it and how much are you charging for it?
- Will the site be on a content management system? Which one and why?
- Will you be installing any analytics tracking? Which one and why? Will you configure my analytics to track goals?
- Is any ongoing maintenance included?
These questions generally apply to most design projects. But again, get your advisor to look through the proposal before you sign it, make sure to clarify the answers to these questions, and then have the design firm revise the proposal to include those items.
Grill your design agency on SEO
Let’s face it: Your new website design is only as valuable as 1) the amount of relevant keyword traffic it pulls, and 2) the number of leads it generates. It’s important that your design firm knows SEO. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen design companies that “know SEO” or design firms that build “SEO-friendly” sites—completely screw up a client’s site in terms of SEO.
Now that you know what’s included specifically, you need to verify their SEO prowess. The best way to do this is by looking at sites that they’ve done in the past, and having your developer and/or your advisor analyze their SEO implementation. There are all types of things to look at—from content architecture, code cleanliness and crawlability…to keyword usage, rankings on specific keywords, and changes in traffic generation. A good advisor can help with this.
Develop a compelling offer
This is another thing that should be a no-brainer. But the number of times it goes overlooked in web design projects is absolutely flabbergasting. It’s as simple as answering two questions:
What do we want people to do once they arrive?
How can we make it more likely that they’ll do it?
A lot of times, even when these questions are considered, the answers do not consist of anything compelling…anything that would really make a user want to part ways with their precious, personal information.
For instance, some may answer those questions like this:
We want people to contact us
We’ll put a contact us form on every page
“Is that good?”, they’ll ask.
“No, no, no, no…”, I’ll say. “Where’s the hook? Where’s the value? How can we really make these people want to give you their name and number?”
Get creative with this. The more value you can deliver to users on your website—whether it’s with premium content, quizzes, interactive widgets, live chat, video, whatever—the higher your conversion rate will be.
Work With The Elite Baltimore Design & Development Firm
I hope this page clarified some things for you. I hope that you found it helpful. If you liked it, you’ll most definitely enjoy working with us.
When you work with WebMechanix, you get top-notch design & development, but you also get an advisor—all in one fell swoop. We are fiercely ethical and transparent as a matter of priority. We’re also very serious about ROI…it’s actually our #1 core value. If you’re not making money, we’re not happy. Beyond ROI though, our team really cares about clients, and we do anything within our power to make their project a success. We take the time to get to know you, to understand you, and we speak in plain, clear English the whole time.
Give us a try.