David Alpern has a black belt in digital advertising. This might sound intimidating, but he uses his forces for good, not evil, with InternetOMG.com. He has led digital campaigns at both entrepreneurial and big brands like Mazda, Skechers, Fox, Experian, and more. Oh, and he has an MBA from USC Marshall School of Business, but he's not snobby. He lives in Long Beach, CA with his lovely wife and 3 cute kids; and also lived in Israel. Contact: David [at] InternetOMG.com
Friday, July 26, 2019
The Challenge of Working With Overseas Developers
Recently some content changes were needed on a client's website. So after crafting the new section, I sent the content to the overseas developers with instructions for where the content could appear on the page.
Here is the page after they performed their tasks and pushed the page live:
At first glance it looks good; but when zooming in, notice what they actually inserted on the page itself!
One of the known difficulties of working with overseas devs is the language barrier. Here that manifested in an almost laughable scenario. Fortunately, these instruction comments they copied and pasted onto the page were innocuous, but consider if overseas devs placed sensitive notes on a page, of the type never intended to be displayed for the world to see.
The lesson reaffirmed here is that while the cost advantages of working with overseas devs is tantalizing, included in that cost savings is the need for you to be extra attentive and to expect to deal with unanticipated surprises.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of helping a website be found. Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, famously was told in the movie Field of Dreams, "if you build it, they will come". However, in SEO if you build it you must then cultivate inbound pathways to attract the desired search traffic.
From a web design perspective, onsite structural work will help gradually improve the ranking signals Google and other search engines use to determine how to rank a site for relevant searches. Internet OMG preaches relentless improvement; this is certainly a fundamental truth with SEO as a site never truly achieves SEO nirvana. Rather it needs to relentlessly workshop, modify, and fortify to demonstrate to the search engines' algorithms that it is alive and kicking.
As such, here are 5 important web design concepts necessary for giving a website a fighting chance in SEO:
1. Site Fundamentals
There are several core elements that set the stage for a well-optimized website design. This includes having a domain that makes sense and relates to what you do, good site speed, text-based content (not images, flash, or video), internal link structure that the search engine can crawl including XML sitemaps, proper use of heading tags (H1, H2), and a sensible URL naming structure for internal pages.
2. Focused Content
Content quality is more effective than quantity. A well written and structured page is more effective at optimizing toward a targeted keyword phrase than an onslaught of articles. Having said that, it is useful to craft some articles and have each contain an internal link back to the primary page that is the focus page for the targeted keyword phrase. Include links on blog posts to a feature page on the site related to that post, thus creating a network of internal links on the site to boost that feature page’s authority.
3. Transition from Rules Based Content
Web designers harness template rules to automatically assemble meta title and description tags for all pages. As such, inevitably some pages will have duplicate page titles. It is good practice for a business owner to take their new site and concoct unique metadata to replace the original placeholder information. Every page should have its own set of meta content tags to help search engines get a better individualized grasp of each page.
4. Commitment to Change
SEO is a long-term strategy. Sometimes a client will ask their web developer to be sure to have their site “SEO’d” during its design and development. They presume it will come out of the gate SEO-ready, whereas in actuality a new website will not immediately witness quick placement in search simply due to proper structure. It will be many months before a noticeable rise in search rankings happens because it takes time to foster the authority and relevance necessary to compete in search results. During that time a website owner/admin needs to learn and refine the site in conjunction with signals obtained from the search engines’ algorithms early placements.
Competitors are active in enhancing their tactics too. Some of them will be making hefty investments for intelligently optimized content and formulating placements on authoritative publishers. An investment in well-written content and custom design elements can help create a more competitive site. Furthermore, one of the SEO signals is overall site traffic and on-site visit durations. SEO has a symbiotic relationship with other digital marketing strategies including social media marketing that recruits repeat visitors. This traffic can produce more backlinks and some of them will generate subsequent repeat visits as direct (type-in) visits.