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  • Writer's pictureElton Cilliers

The problem with web designers

The problem with web designers. The Online Presence Guy. Web design. SEO Consultant. Website designer. Web designer. Social media marketing. Digital marketing. Business mentor. United Kingdom.

What don't I like about web designers?

  1. They don't have the clients best interest at heart

  2. They don't have an in-depth knowledge of SEO

  3. They don't have an in-depth knowledge of sales and/or marketing

  4. They don't keep up with trends

  5. They mislead others with outdated 'facts'

  6. They don't understand the required structure for a website and/or pages

  7. Make statements or promises they simply cannot deliver or inevitably need to charge extra for

These are obviously broad statements which I'll explore in more detail below and obviously is not true of EVERY web designer out there.

1. They don't have the clients best interest at heart

One of my pet peeves of the industry I've chosen to work in is when it's clear that a web designer does not have the best interest of their clients at heart.

I see this almost on a daily basis in various social media communities. Where I see web designers imposing their preference onto their clients.

An example, a non-technical person asks about which website host is best. Without fail, many people will comment on these sorts of posts insisting that platform X is the best and no other platforms should be considered.

This advice clearly isn't accurate and not based on the client's needs whatsoever, but rather on the web designers preference and what they are familiar and comfortable with using to build websites.

Much of this advice will come without even understanding what the potential clients business plans are.

I will NEVER suggest a website host until I have a good understanding of what my potential clients business is and their plans for growth etc. Based on this information, I will then recommend the best website host based on their requirements and future growth plans.

2. They don't have an in-depth knowledge of SEO

Many people can design a website these days using website builders such as Wix, Squarespace and WordPress. These editors make it possible for literally anyone with a bit of tech experience to design their own webpage.

However, you don't know what you don't know.

Designing a website or page is pretty straightforward, however, if you do not understand how Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) works and what search engines use to rank/score your website, then you are simply creating a nice looking website that serves no real purpose for you unless you are specifically giving the link to people.

The purpose of having a website is to be found by people using a search engine to search for products or services that you sell and to have your website presented to them in those search results so that they can potentially become a client.

Many web designers I have encountered in my time in the industry, whilst being able to build good looking websites, often lack the knowledge of SEO to make the website do what it needs to do, ie, be found by search engines and people needing your services or products.

If you are thinking of engaging with a website designer, be sure to check out this blog post where I provide some hints and tips on checking that they not only know how to design a website but also have a good handle on SEO!

If your website isn't optimised for SEO during the build phase, any savings you make by choosing the wrong web designer will soon be lost when you have to engage with an SEO consultant.

When you engage with me on any of my website packages, you're not only working with a natural creative with over 20 years of website design experience but also with an in-depth knowledge of SEO.

Don't believe me? Take a look at the results I've achieved for my recent client website builds.

3. They don't have an in-depth knowledge of sales and/or marketing

There is far more to creating a great website than simply the design element.

Your website is essentially your online storefront window. It has to capture the attention of your visitors and convert them into clients, or what is the point in having the website?

Many website designers I've encountered have no experience in sales or marketing and therefore are unable to advise or create copy (text) that is going to capture your visitor's attention and get them to buy your products or services!

Understanding the sales process and creating a structure on your website that reflects this understanding this process is crucial in the success of your website as a lead generator.

Having a great looking website, that isn't optimised for sales and marketing will simply not bring you the results you desire.

For some 20 years of my IT career, I was a technical pre-sales consultant. Meaning that I was responsible for selling web-based solutions to clients. This included responding to RFI's/RFP's, performing demonstrations of the solutions to the clients ensuring that they understand the value of the service/product and how it relieves a pain point in their business.

I bring this sales and marketing experience and understanding to the table when we work together, ensuring that not only do you have a great looking and performing website, but also one that will generate the sales you require.

4. They don't keep up with trends

Website trends. The problem with website designers. Website design. Web design. Web designer. Social media manager. Digital marketing. SEO consultant. United Kingdom

Website trends, along with SEO is constantly changing. For example, Google make literally 1000s of changes to search and their algorithm EACH year! Most of these updates have an impact of search results and your websites SEO score.

As a dedicated Internet geek, I ensure that I fully understand each and every one of these 1000s of updates each year to ensure that the sites I'm building will provide my clients with the best chance of success!

In addition to search and SEO updates and changes, there are also user/end-user trends.

For example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fact that more people were spending long periods of time looking at their screens, white background websites are no longer in trend. The reason? It's a logical one. White backgrounds put extra strain on the eyes!

By ensuring I keep up with the latest trends means that I can build websites that are not going to put visitors off immediately after landing on your website! It also means I do not put unnecessary 'fluff' on your website which serves no purpose to your visitor and their buying decision process.

5. They mislead others with outdated 'facts'

This one really gets my back up!

As mentioned before, when someone asks the questions, "Which website host is best for my business?" there will undoubtedly be several website designers who will comment along the lines of: "Steer clear of Wix because they are not great for SEO"

"You can't input custom code on Wix"


Unfortunately, to be frank, these statements are lies. There simply is no way for me to put it politely.

Both of my own websites are built and hosted on Wix and perform incredibly well. A few of the client's websites I've launched recently are also based on Wix or Squarespace and again perform really well as scored by Google themselves.

You can see the results of these websites in my portfolio here

I don't limit myself to using one website builder and host. I build websites in Wix, Squarespace and WordPress. It just happens that the clients I've worked with recently want to take full ownership of their websites after launch but don't have a lot of technical experience. Therefore Wix and Squarespace are best suited to them without compromising the effectiveness of their websites with regards to SEO.

6. They don't understand the required structure for a website and/or pages

Good website design is more than choosing the right images, it's about understanding how search engines like Google index a website and individual pages.

There are certain elements within each page that tell a search engine exactly what that page is about. This information is used when someone performs a search on Google/Bing etc. Get these elements wrong on your website, and you simply won't show up in results!

And what is the point in having a website that doesn't show up when people are looking for your exact products or services?

Common mistakes I see website designers make when designing websites are what I would consider being 'rookie mistakes'. For example, using more than one H1 heading on a page. That's a big no-no btw.

7. Make statements or promises they simply cannot deliver or inevitably need to charge extra for

Web design fake news. Web designer. Website design. Website designer. SEO consultant. Social media management. Digital marketing. United Kingdom

You may have received emails or messages on social media along the lines of: "We will get your website ranking 1st on Google for £200!"

"We will double your online sales through your website!"

"Increase your website traffic website by 500% for just £100!"

Never has the cliche of "If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't" truer than in these statements.

It is simply IMPOSSIBLE for any website designer or SEO consultant to make a statement that they can have you ranking 1st on Google for any business! And certainly not for under £5000-£10,000!

These tactics are essentially to get you hooked into their services where you will then quickly find that you're being sent invoices or quotes for work that you were not prepared for. These will soon run into £1000s!

With my Shebang Guarantee and package, I provide a guarantee that I know 100% I can deliver for my clients. A guarantee that means I continue to work with you after we launch your website until it ranks on Page 1 of Google for your local area.

What you learn through this process of getting your website to page 1 for your area will give you the knowledge and tools needed to then continue improving your SEO yourself so that you start ranking highly for areas outside of your immediate area.

For more information on my Shebang guarantee, check out this blog post.

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