Often, these two roles are performed by the same highly skilled professional - like here at Mity Digital.
However, an important aspect of the role of your website developer is their understanding of basic SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, and their ability to work this knowledge into the building of your site.
A site that is developed with a poor understanding of SEO may struggle to rank well in search engines such as Google. This will significantly reduce the number of visitors you receive and directly affect your business.
Sometimes a web developer may know quite a lot about SEO, sometimes very little, but there are some SEO basics that every web developer or designer should know.
What is SEO Optimised Website Design?
Here are some of the SEO optimisation basics your web developer should know:
1. Website Download Speed
One of the most important SEO factors for your web developer to be aware of, is the time it takes for the pages on your site to load. Site speed is important because Google itself has stated that speed is a ranking factor in its algorithm. Which makes sense, because Google is looking to provide its users with sites that they will want to visit - a positive user experience.
A good user experience is important, and sites that are slow to load frustrate people and are difficult to use. If your site speed is slow you can expect to be placed lower in the rankings. People are also more likely to leave your website before seeing what you have to offer.
2. A Correctly Optimised Site Map
It is important for your website developer to create a correct and complete site map, with no missing pages. It should be correctly placed in the root directory of the website, and should only have between 100-150 links. Site maps that have been rushed may have too many links, and if it has more than this number it should be split into additional site maps. Your developer should also be keeping the site map updated regularly. Site maps are important to help search engines crawl and index your site.
3. The Correct Way to use Redirects for SEO
Web developers need to be aware of the proper way to use each different type of "redirect" - a way of URL redirection, also called URL forwarding, is a technique for making a web page available under more than one URL address.
With all the changes that take place to websites over time, it is very important to have the right redirects in place. Understanding how to correctly use 301 redirects (permanent) and 302 redirects (temporary) can be useful in helping your SEO efforts.
For example, using a temporary redirect rather than a permanent one could result in a loss of passed authority, and a reduction in ranking: if this error takes place on a large number of pages then it could become much more difficult to improve your search engine rankings.
4. Internal Linking Techniques
Lack of thought put into your website's information architecture or bad design can lead to poor internal linking. Having good website navigation can help search engines like Google to crawl and index your content as well as spread "link juice" from page to page in your site, helping them to rank as high as possible.
You should also expect that your web developer sets up a Google Analytics and Google Webmaster account as a matter of course. These two free services will help you to track the ways in which users are finding and using your site, as well as information about your site's overall performance.
When looking to hire a website designer who can develop a website for you, it is important to make sure that they have a sound understanding of SEO basics. This will help you to have the best chance of ranking in the search engines and getting visitors who will turn into customers.