3 Steps for Vetting Website Developers

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My passion has always been to help small business owners.  That has been my goal since I started back in 1993… when there were only 130 websites online.

The challenge for small business owners is nobody helps you understand what you NEED to know when it comes to website development and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)… and because of this, you don’t know whether or not you’re actually talking to a knowledgeable website developer and SEO expert.

Everyone wants to see their business on page 1 of Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.  With over 275,000 websites going online every single day, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it’s become.  However, it’s not impossible… and it starts IMMEDIATELY as your website is being developed… NOT after!

So… how do you know if that “web guy” or “web gal” you’re talking to really know his/her stuff?  I’m going to show you how… and all it takes is 3 clicks of your mouse and approximately 30 seconds of your time.  (Well, four clicks… but one of those clicks is part of the first step.)  I’ve included screenshots to help clarify.

First thing you’ll want to do is visit one of the websites they’ve developed… and follow these 3 simple steps:  (I’m using one of my clients, White Bear Glass, as as example.)

  1. CLICK #1: Right click over the background color of the website and select “View Source”.  For Mac users, hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and press your primary mouse or trackpad button.  This will open a window with a bunch of text that you don’t even need to try to understand.  Use the “Find” feature in this window and type in “wp” without the quotes.
    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    Right Click and View Source

    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    Find “wp”

    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    “Find” feature in your browser

    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    Find “analytics”

    If you DON’T see “wp” anywhere in the text, then you can STOP right there and move on to the next website developer.  This person is not keeping up with the times and can do nothing for you.  If you DO see references to “wp” in the text, this means the website has been built using the industry standard “WordPress” platform.  So far… so good.

    Next, using the same “Find” feature, type in “analytics” without the quotes.  If you DON’T see “google analytics” anywhere in the text, then you can STOP right there and move on to the next website developer.  This person clearly doesn’t understand the significance of this tool as it pertains to SEO and building a relationship with Google.  Google Analytics is FREE, takes ten minutes or less to set up and install, and is an invaluable tool after 6 to 8 months.

  2. CLICK #2: Click on a link… any link on the website.   Look at the URL that appears in the address bar.  A search engine optimized URL will include search key words and key phrases which include service type and geographical area to help get page one rankings in the search engines.  In my example, you’ll see the page has been named “residential-custom-shower-door-glass-installation-twin-cities-mn”… rather than just “shower-doors”.
    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    Click on any link

    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    Look at URL in address bar

    If the URL is not optimized, you can STOP right there and move on to the next website developer.  This person doesn’t understand search engines and basic SEO.

  3. CLICK #3: Finally, right click over an image somewhere on the page and select “Open image in new tab”.  For Mac users, hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and press your primary mouse or trackpad button.  Look at the URL that appears in the address bar.  A search engine optimized image will include search key words and key phrases which include service type and geographical area to help the page it’s attached to get page one rankings in the search engines.  In my example, you’ll see the image has been named “residential-custom-shower-door-glass-installation-twin-cities-mn-07″… rather than just “shower”.  The number has been added simply because I’ve named 6 other images identically for slideshows, etc… elsewhere on the website.

    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    Right click on an image

    Wordpress Website Development SEO Expert Twin Cities MN

    Look at image name in address bar

Next time you look at a website developer’s “Portfolio”, use the steps outlined above to see whether or not they know what they’re doing.  If ANY of the steps above aren’t exactly as I outlined, you can STOP and move on to the next website developer… because it’s clear that they know nothing about one of the most important aspects of website design today… SEO.

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