You can't fix stupid!

I would never call anyone stupid, but I am absolutely frustrated with people’s blind trust and ignorance on marketing matters that can either positively or negatively affect the outcome of their bottom line.
 

I am also hesitant to call someone “ignorant”, so I only reserve that term for people who, despite having the resources provided right to them in simple understanding, choose to still be uninformed, unknowledgeable or unaware.

Example #1
A couple years ago we had a company come to us who wanted an up-to-date UI Design for their website. They said they had their own developer and wanted to use him for that, so we were contracted to do the design only. We told the client we would deliver the design in a layered PSD file (web developers and web designers know what this is).

The “web developer” did not have a clue as to what to do with a layered PSD file. He then slaughtered the beautiful design and did black hat SEO across their site. Additionally, he made content areas that were images, which cannot be read by the search engines (text within an image cannot be read). I tried educating this client on all these matters and so many more, but she chose to be unaware and unknowledgeable. Oh, how I wish I could put a link to this website for your viewing pleasure, but I signed a confidentiality agreement. And, even though I don’t think telling you this violates the confidentiality agreement, I want to error on the side of caution.

Example #2
CreativeXchange Marketing offers a “Basic SEO and Usability Audit”. It is packed with great information and education on how to improve the website. For only $255, the business owner can then take the audit and give it to their web developer to make changes.

Well, about a month ago, we did one for a local elderly services company. The marketing director took the audit and shared the results with her web person.  The web developer defended his opinion as to why he did everything he did, but here is the fatal flaw…He did not reference Google or other experts in his defense. He simply stated his opinion. Why he got so defensive, I don’t know. I suppose it is like being told your baby is ugly.

So, I got an email back from this company with all their web developer’s explanations and why they side with him.  As a marketing educator, I have to share my response to this company (taking out names to protect the defensive and unfortunately ignorant).

MY RESPONSE:

I appreciate your follow up and would like to respond to what your web developer has told you. First, I want to say that even though we have been doing this for many years and stay on top of the changes with search engines and their ever-changing and new algorithms, we are in no way an SEO Expert – that is why we consult with the SEO Experts when providing this information. We work with an award-winning and nationally known company in Denver. They are the experts and have great information on this subject matter, as that is all they do and they study it daily to keep on top of it.

I believe you are being misguided in some of the things your web developer is saying.

Here is why:

1.) Ask any SEO expert and they will agree the blog must be housed on the actual website to help with SEO of your actual website. Having keywords in a blog not housed on your actual website does nothing to help your website’s organic SEO.

2.) SEO copywriting should never be unappealing and obvious to the reader and it should be worked into the brand messaging. In fact, there is a Google Algorithm that checks for readability. So, a good SEO copywriter is needed to do this. Again, any SEO Expert will tell you content on the actual page is King. Using Meta Keywords does not help and can actually be harmful – See this post: www.seomoz.org/q/meta-keywords-should-we-use-them-or-not
So, your site uses meta-keywords stuffed in the back end that can be damaging. A Google algorithm called the Penguin checks for this.

3.) The current design is not at all good for usability. True, people read snippets, but in the case of this site, those snippets are all over the place and the eye just has a hard time focusing on any one area. If you do any research on web usability and what experts call UI Design, you will see the things wrong with the current website. Additionally, Google’s Panda Algorithm checks for usability across the entire website and this can negatively affect SEO. You can do your own online research on the Panda and Penguin Algorithms from Google. I know it is hard to hear that, but that is why we only do these audits when people ask us for honesty.

We do these audits to educate companies, not to get their business. I am sorry your developer has steered you against these things that are backed up by Google and SEO experts around the country. Many blogs from these experts can be found online if you Google search any of the terms I have mentioned in this email. Thus, it is not my opinion, but of those of experts I bring to our SEO audits.

I wish you all the best.
Thanks,
Beth

If your web designer/developer says they are an SEO expert, be very cautious.  These are just two examples of web developers who claim to do good web design, web developing and/or SEO. I would never claim to be an SEO expert even with all our company’s years of experience. And, in fact, I only know a couple of SEO companies in Denver that I would consider an expert. We would encourage business owners to take advantage of the education that is available to them.  If your company would like us to provide this SEO and web usability marketing education to your business, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

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