Website design is a means of pleasure and profit for Web professionals. They enjoy transforming client’s ideas into attractive, functional, user friendly websites. These websites reinforce brand identity for businesses, in so much that they are often referred to as “a web presence”. Web professionals invest countless hours on their designs. Some are extremely careful about coding, ensuring that it meets W3C standards and yet renders beautifully in the major browsers.

A professional who devotes a substantial amount time and energy into his or her craft will, more than likely, take issue with those who seem to undermine their efforts. In the eyes of many Web professionals, this is what search engine optimizers (SEOs) have done. Below are some specific reasons why Web professionals dislike SEOs.

SEOs Think Search Engine Optimization is the Prime Objective

SEOs tend to think search engine optimization is the prime objective of every web design project. This is not necessarily the case. Nonetheless, because this is their mindset, they place the designer’s objectives secondary to theirs. This is a cause of conflict between the SEO and the designer. Website rankings are important. However, they are not more important than incorporating brand identity and ensuring a quality user experience. SEOs must begin to understand the big picture and find a way to work with the designer to accomplish these goals and implement SEO, as well.

SEOs Do Not Understand the Gravity of their Recommendations

When making recommendations, it is important to understand what is entailed in implementing them. Most SEOs have minimal experience in coding and programming. Therefore, they do not understand how much work is required to implement their SEO strategies. Sometimes, these recommendations are made after a website has been built. In such cases, it is not uncommon for SEO recommendations to require a complete overhaul of an existing website. These suggestions will not be welcomed by most Web designers.

SEO’s Have No Real Justification for their Recommendations

This is probably one of the most prevalent reasons for Web professionals’ dislike of SEOs. SEOs tend to make recommendations without legitimate justification. This would not be a problem if their suggestions required a minimal amount of work. Oftentimes, however, as stated above, incorporating SEO strategies can require anywhere from several hours of work to a complete website rebuild.

SEOs typically use Google as justification for their suggestions. As we all know, most business owners want their websites to have top ranking with Google, which is still the undisputed champion of search engines. Consequently, some SEOs claim that their suggestions are driven by the goal of obtaining top Google rankings, based on Google’s changing algorithm. There’s just one problem with this theory. If the algorithm is changing, the massive website modifications being suggested may be in vain. Furthermore, if the algorithm “is changing,” neither SEOs nor web designers know definitively what the change is. Modifying websites to satisfy objectives based on the mysterious “Google algorithm” can be an unending cycle with little or no tangible benefit being realized.

If SEOs would be candid, the mistrust and dislike Web professionals have for them would decrease. SEOs perform important and necessary jobs, such as:

  • giving content ideas
  • fixing canonical URL issues
  • setting up local business listings
  • defining website traffic goals
  • installing analytics
  • identifying traffic opportunities
  • correcting technical issues

Web designers perform important and necessary jobs, also, such as:

  • developing the layout and overall look of a website
  • creating graphic and media essentials
  • incorporating appropriate color and typography in the design
  • promoting a company’s business, branding, and logo
  • implementingthe design via coding (HTML/XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, etc.)
  • ensuring a quality user experience (user friendliness, interactivity)

If SEOs were more respectful of the Web professionals’ objectives (objectives requested of them by their clients), they could work together to meet the goals of both the designer and the SEO, rather than working in what seems to be a competitive mode.

SEO Advice is Invalid

As with any profession, the SEO field contains people who do not keep abreast of changes in the industry. These people bring much more harm than good to the field of SEO. They continue to suggest outdated tactics, such as keyword stuffing, footer links, keyword heavy meta tags, and comment spamming. If a Web professional builds a website around poor SEO strategies, he or she may cause a negative impact on their client’s search engine rankings, conversions, and ultimately, profit potential.

The Solution

The solution is this: Web designers and SEOs should conduct themselves in a manner that displays undeniable professionalism and trustworthiness. As workers in a technological field, they must:

  • Stay abreast of the constantly emerging changes in the industry.
  • Weigh the advantages of implementing SEO and design strategies.
  • Consider the design and SEO needs of the client at all times.
  • Work together to realize client objectives.
  • Communicate openly, honestly, promptly, and consistently.
  • Respect one another and the client.

Written by Margaret Olsen. She is an employee in a startup company that offers different SEO services. She often spends time at the office, learning new materials and trends about SEO.

Why Do Web Professionals Dislike SEOs?