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Episode 86: Should My Website Designer Know SEO?

Spencer Powell | Apr 28, 2020 9:16:34 AM | SEO, Builder Funnel Radio

In this episode, Spencer answers a listener's question: "Should my website designer know SEO?" In short, they should know at least enough to set your website up for success.

Spencer also discusses common shady practices of many SEO companies and gives a few tips on how you can ensure this isn't happening on your company's website.

Learn all about it here on Builder Funnel Radio.



  • :39 Episode overview
  • 2:44 Send us your questions to radio@builderfunnel.com
  • 3:36 Should my website designer know SEO?
  • 7:58 Common issues in the SEO world
  • 10:46 Why content should be part of an SEO strategy
  • 13:13 Optimizing existing content
  • 14:36 Ask your SEO company some hard questions
  • 19:46 Focus on what Google cares about
  • 23:13 Questions to ask your SEO company
  • 25:02 Spencer's takeaways


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Questions to Ask Your SEO Company

  • What activities are you doing on a monthly basis to improve my SEO?
  • Can you show me a report of my Google Analytics Organic traffic trends?
  • Are you creating content on a regular basis?  If so, where can I find that?
  • What steps do you take to fully optimize a page?

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Full Episode Transcription

Note: this podcast was transcribed automatically and may contain minor grammatical errors and missed words.

Spencer 0:08
Welcome to Builder Funnel Radio here you'll learn about how to grow your home building remodeling or contracting business. If you're not growing, you're moving backwards. So we want you to always be in growth mode. This podcast has really turned into a movement and community of people who want to grow personally and professionally. Here we bring you some of the best marketing sales and business minds in the industry that you can elevate your business. Alright, let's dive into the show. Hey, guys, welcome back to builder funnel radio. This is Episode 86 on the growth series, and today we're doing a little bit of q&a. We're gonna dive into that soon. I have a question from a listener all about SEO and I go on a little bit of a rant, because I get fired up about this topic. So sit back and relax. This is episode 86 of the groceries here on builder funnel radio. Hey guys, before we get into today's episode, I wanted to talk to you about Bill book who in addition to sponsoring this episode, they've developed a program to help all of you during this extremely difficult time if you don't know what they do, they offer a tool that funnels all the conversations and decisions that occur between you your team and your client before during and after projects into one place and made it dead simple to use. They've taken something that is chaotic for most of you like staying on top of all the messages you're getting over texts, phone calls, job site conversations, you name it, and brought it into one channel that simple for anyone on your team to use. Look, I don't need to tell you guys this but good clear communication with your clients and team is more critical now than it has ever been. Bill book knows how important this is for you as well, but also knows the strain this crisis is having on your business. So they're offering their software to you for free. Yes, you heard that correctly to help you get through this unprecedented time build book has put together a program to provide you with some free resources, including their software. It's an amazing opportunity that I strongly encourage you to take advantage of. So hit pause right now and text bill book 233777. That's one word build book, they'll immediately send you a link that brings you directly to the page to sign up. There are no strings attached. It's just their way of doing what they can to support your business. So go ahead and hit pause and text build book, one word 233777 to get your free account. All right, let's dive into today's show.

Hey guys, welcome back to another edition of the growth series here on Builder Funnel Radio. This is Episode 86 And today, we are going to dive into some q&a. I got an email from cat the other day asking a question about SEO So I'm gonna read that off here in a minute, and we'll dive into it. But if you have questions that you want to get answered, I've been really enjoying doing the q&a format. I like addressing some of these specific digital marketing questions. So go ahead and send your emails into radio at builder funnel.com. And put question in all caps in the subject line. And we'll keep pulling those out from you guys and pulling them into the podcasts probably every few weeks or so. So feel free to send your questions to radio at builder funnels calm. But let's dive into today's question. Again, this was from cat and she said, Hey, I have a question for you that I'm hoping you can help us out with we're looking at getting our website redesigned. And we were put in touch with a local website designer who designs your sites off of Squarespace templates. She doesn't however, do SEO. So my question is should our web designer Ideally also do SEO. I'm just worried that she will build a website for us. That's really beautiful. But then when we hire an SEO person, their job potentially might be longer or more difficult, because they weren't involved from the beginning. Is this even something that we should be worried about? Essentially, I don't want to spend a lot of money getting website built to then have an SEO guy come in and have to charge us extra money, because he has to redo a bunch of stuff. So I love this question. There's actually several questions in there. But thanks Kat for sending that in. And let's kind of start at the top with this one, you have a couple of things going on. You have the design component, which is the look and the feel, and how the user is going to navigate through the website and basically their experience on the website. And then you have part of the performance of it. So SEO is a part of the performance. We also talk about lead conversion and lead capture as well. Part of performance and driving traffic. But in this instance, we're talking about both the design, but also how the back end is built and set up. And so the first question was, does my web designer need to be able to do SEO or know about SEO? And the answer really is, they should know at least enough to be able to set the back end of the website up so that SEO can be easily implemented. So a few kind of technical things that come into play is you should have the ability to change your page titles on every single page, you should be able to edit your URL structure, you should be able to add meta descriptions. And then obviously, you've got content on the page, you should be able to optimize your images for size, you should be able to rename those files and so they don't have to be super advanced when it comes to SEO, but they should at least know enough to be able to allow you or Somebody else to edit those things. And so typically if you're building on a Squarespace or WordPress or Wix or Weebly, I know Wix Weebly and Squarespace have some limitations. Squarespace, I think is one of the better platforms that does allow you to edit some some things in terms of SEO, WordPress, definitely with a plugin like Yoast. And so the quick answer is they should know at least a little bit so that you're set up for success. And so again, you want to be able to adjust your sitemap and your page structure. You want to be able to resize images and you want to be able to add content. That's the big part of it. Some other components that your web designer will probably be impacting from an SEO standpoint are are they designing it from? Is it mobile optimized basically, is it responsive design, so it should be optimized for mobile that isn't SEO factor. We're also looking at PageSpeed. So if they're going to load it up with a ton of huge images, that is something you want to be aware of, and be cautious of, because that can really bog down the speed of the site, which is an SEO factor. So not that you can't use a bunch of beautiful high res images, but they need to be sized appropriately before being uploaded to the site, and try to compress those files as much as possible. And then the other component is make sure you have an SSL, a lot of that is becoming the norm today. But I still see a lot of sites out there that don't have an SSL, which is that secure, green lock that you see a lot of times when you go to Amazon or e commerce sites, but Google really likes to see that on every site today. And they're D prioritizing sites that do not have that installed. So you you do need to be aware of those things. As you're working with a web designer, you want to make sure you're gonna have the ability to do that. But then this really training additions into what I think the larger question here is, which is, you know, hey, I was I'm working with this web designer, and then I'm going to go out and hire an SEO guy. And so most people that end up hiring an SEO guy, I talked to lots and lots of builders, lots and lots of remodelers. And I'll say, Hey, are you doing any Seo? Have you heard of SEO before? And many of them say yes. And they say they're working with somebody, and they've been working with them for six months or two years, whatever the timeframe is, and I asked them how much they're spending. And it's typically anywhere from $200 a month to $500 a month and they're doing their SEO and I say, Okay, awesome. What are they doing for you? And I haven't actually gotten an answer yet. The most detailed answer I've gotten is, well, they're changing up some keywords or they send me some reports. I go Okay, so Report isn't actually doing anything for you. It's reporting on it. And then if they're changing up keywords that is a red flag for me, why are they changing up keywords? And so let's dig into this a little bit because this is a huge, huge issue I have with the SEO world, there's a ton of companies out there that I kind of equate to the construction space version is a check in a truck, right? There's a lot of guys that are out there. They're not doing quality work. They're kind of taken advantage of homeowners that don't know the lingo. They don't know the industry. And the same thing happens in the SEO world where you have a lot of these companies that reach out, they point out a couple of things on your site, that could be improved. They get you in the door, you know, with either a pretty low rate, or because they pointed out a couple of things that kind of scare you that make you think, Oh, I'm not going to be ranking on Google or these things can You're really hurting me, and then boom, now they're in. And then they typically will maybe do something early on, and then it just kind of coast, they don't do anything. And they just keep charging a monthly fee. And they may send you a report with some keywords. And that's why the fee is so low. And so I really want to spread the word, I guess, on the fact that this is happening. Most of those companies are not actually doing anything positive for you. And so what I want to do is use the rest of our time here today, to kind of talk through some things that you can look for, and some questions that you can ask if you are working with one of these companies. And so let's kind of start you know, at the beginning, in order to do SEO, a huge part of implementing that today is creating content or having content to optimize. So oftentimes, I'll ask, Well, what are they doing for SEO? And the answer is actually Don't know. And then I said, well, are they creating new content to optimize? So I don't think so. And then we look at just the core pages that exists on the site. And the page titles are generic. They're not optimized for a local keyword. And it doesn't actually look like anything has happened. So it is possible that they're doing what we call off page SEO, where they're working on getting you some backlinks. And there's some kind of blackhat ways to do that, which are more unethical or a little bit shady and frowned upon by Google. And then there's some more whitehat ways to go about that. But if they're not really working on off page SEO, then we should be able to see what they're doing on your website, in terms of what we call on page SEO. So that's things like creating a new page on your website. It could be a service page, or creating a new blog post on your blog. And then they're going to actually optimize that page or that blog. For a specific keyword for a specific phrase or topic where you're saying, Hey, I'm creating this content, because I'm trying to rank and get found in Google. So an example of that would be, you know, Denver kitchen design trends, you know, maybe that's a phrase or a topic you want to rank for. So maybe you're gonna go out and create an article, and it's called, you know, 10, Denver kitchen design trends to look for in 2020. That might be a post that you write, then you create some really great content. And then you start sharing that content, promoting that content and trying to get that content to move up in the search engines. So if you don't have content, then it's really tough to rank for a topic or a keyword, because there's nothing there for Google to look at and put into their index and allow you to actually move up in the rankings. So I'm always a little bit suspect, when content creation isn't a part of an SEO strategy. Again, it isn't The only way there are some other things they could be working on. But that is typically at least a cautionary flag to say, Hey, what are you doing if you're not creating new content and optimizing that content, they could be optimizing existing content. So let's talk about that. Let's say you have a homepage, you have some service pages, you have an about page. Those are all pages that could be targeting a keyword, a topic, a phrase. And so those pages, they should be making changes to the page title, possibly the URL, depending on you know, the equity that's built up in that page. They can be changing the actual content on that page, the imagery on that page, and the meta description on that page. And so again, if you look at some of your pages, and they're not really making those adjustments or making any changes, then again, that's another kind of cautionary flag that goes up in my mind. Is that okay? They're not adding new content. They're not Optimizing existing content, something is up here, or you should at least dig a little bit deeper. So some questions you can ask are, Hey, I know you're doing some SEO for me, what are you doing? Like, which pages are you working on this month? And so then at least they'll need to answer, hey, we're working on this page in this page, they might tell you a service page and the about page or your home page. And then if they give you some pages, then the next question would be, okay, great. What are the changes that you're making to those pages this month, and then see what that response is? I'd also like to do an experiment with you guys. I know. There's a lot of you listening. And so I was just thinking as I was talking about this, I love if you're paying an SEO company, you know, a few hundred dollars a month. I would love for you to ask that question, say, hey, what pages or what activities are you doing this month for my SEO and then when they give you those pages, just go ahead and say, Okay, great, what are the changes you're making? If any of you do this and you kind of start asking these questions, forward me those threads and we can do some real time analysis. I'm happy to give you some feedback and say, Hey, ask them this follow up question or this follow up question, we can kind of see what's going on and dig in here a little bit to make sure you guys are getting the service that you deserve. And again, just for those emails to radio at builder funnel calm, go ahead and put all caps SEO or all caps question in the subject line and that'll I'll be able to flag that down pretty easily.

I'm gonna give you a little actually a big piece of insight that most construction companies don't even realize nearly all of the problems you encounter in your projects in business have one thing in common communication or lack thereof. Think about the last time a project went sideways, I'm guessing if you try Sit back to its source. That's something to do with a miss or miscommunication. In fact, 72% of client unhappiness is directly attributed to for communication during rush. Needless to say, Good communication needs to be a priority. And that's especially true with everything that's happening around us today. Bill book has created a simple solution that makes communicating with your clients and team incredibly easy. So nothing slips through the cracks. And as a reminder, they've also made it 100% free for you to use during this uncertain climate we're currently in. So hit pause right now and text build book one word 233777. And they'll send you a link to sign up. All right, let's get back to the show.

Again, in thinking about SEO, there should be a content creation component to it. That's not 100% foolproof, but that is a good sign. If people are actually creating content. If they're not, they should be at least working Get on existing content and existing pages. And if they're not doing that, then I'm really worried because that kind of leaves us with off page activity. And sometimes the way these companies get their backlinks, they're getting them from low quality sites, kind of spammy sites. And those backlinks can actually hurt you more than help you, as Google likes to see that you're getting links from authoritative websites. So strong websites, reputable websites, and they look at some more technical details like domain authority that we won't get into for the purposes of this podcast, but I wanted to give you guys some actionable questions and things to look for when you are working with an SEO company. And so if you're thinking about hiring an SEO company, I would drill in and just ask them more about their strategy, just say, Hey, what's your typical process for helping somebody improve their SEO or improve their ranking? Again, feel free when you're asking these questions for me the responses and I can give you feedback on it. I think it's pretty fascinating because a lot of the SEO industry, their goal is to make it sound like it's this black magic Voodoo kind of stuff. And the honest answer is that nobody knows everything that Google is looking for. We know a good chunk, because they tell us some things. They don't tell us a lot of things. And then there are a number of people that are really, really deeply entrenched in the SEO world that do tests and they try things and they experiment and they share those experiments and their findings. And so the rest of us that aren't doing those experiments, we can read those and look at what they're doing and apply some best practices. So here a builder funnel, we do kind of a combination. We follow it all the really, really expert SEO people are doing in terms of their tests and their experiments. We look at what Google straight up tells us. Those are no No brainers. And then we're also seeing what's working for us and our clients across the board as well. And that's how you can start to make pretty good decisions, educated decisions around SEO, but nobody has all the answers. And so it's always a little bit suspect to me if somebody isn't willing to at least share their process, or their approach and how they go about it, even if it's not perfect, or they don't know anything, because none of us do. We don't have all the answers. And Google has made it that way. So if somebody ever tells you that they have the magic answer, that's a red flag for me, because literally nobody does. All we can do is follow Google's guidelines and best practices. And then we can follow something else, which is, if we think about what Google cares about, then we can always know that we're at least going to be on the general right path. And something they always care about is how do we how did they get there? searchers to the best information the fastest. That's really all they want to do. Because if they don't deliver the best information and really, really fast there, people are going to go use Bing or Yahoo or something else. And so that's really their differentiator is when you type something into Google, you get an answer you like, or you get information that you wanted to find or that you were looking for, or that helps you. So if we keep that in mind, we go, okay, we need to have the best the most relevant information. And we need to be able to have a fast loading website, so Google can deliver it really quickly. So if we follow those guidelines, the little details are going to change. And Google will update us on a few things. And we can run tests and experiments. But on the whole, that means we should be creating really, really good content that's helpful to your prospects, and the page should load fast. So that's where things like mobile desktop images, you know, and having just a very clean, fast loading website that a user can navigate very easily and get to the information they want. That's what's going to make the difference. So if you're always kind of keeping that as your Northstar, and then you try different tactics and strategies, kind of under that umbrella, you're going to be heading in the right direction. If you ever try to do things that kind of go against the grain, or are a little bit sketchy or seem like you're trying to game the system a little bit, you're usually at risk that you might get dinged with a penalty, you might get knocked down a little bit, sometimes temporarily, sometimes for a long time. And I've seen that happen to some sites. And that can be really detrimental because a lot of our business today comes from the web. And more and more of it will continue to come from the web, and Google searches as we move through time and more, more people. Just comfortable operating that way, even for really large purchases over a million dollar Custom Homes, multi hundred thousand dollar remodels. You know, we're seeing it all across the country, tons of that type of work is coming in just straight through Google, because people trust Google, and they trust that Google is going to deliver, you know, a good end result. And so, at the end of the day, write really good content, make your website an amazing resource for your prospects. So that as they're researching, as they're typing in questions to Google, they're looking for information. They find that information on your website, it helps them they stay on the website longer. Again, that's something that can impact your SEO in a positive way. So even having things like video, longer pages full of really helpful content, maybe you have a page that's like 2000 words long and it details your process. Well, if somebody visits that page, and they're reading and reading and reading, Google seeing Wow, somebody is really getting a lot value out of this page, this page must be important. And so again, it all goes back to that Northstar of how do you deliver really good information to your prospects and really, really fast. So, again, if you're working with an SEO company, drill into them with some questions, and I'll put some of these questions in the shownotes, too. So if you want to just copy and paste, you're welcome to do that. And then go ahead and forward me any responses or chains of emails if you're going back and forth with a company, and let's dig in and make sure you're getting the most value. Obviously, this is a part of what we do here at builder funnel. But this isn't a sales pitch. You don't have to work with us on your SEO. I'm not

saying that. You should. I just want you to be prepared so that you can hire a company that's a good fit for you. You want to reach out to us and you want to have a conversation. We're happy to have it. But I want to make sure you're not getting scammed you're not getting taken advantage of again, I always think about that. analogy between kind of the check in the truck. And this kind of like blackhat SEO that we see it's just super prevalent in the industry. So I hope this was a helpful episode. I hope it gave you some questions, some things to look out for if you're working with a company or you're thinking about hiring a company. So again, send any threads to radio at builder funnel comm send any of your questions to radio, a builder funnel calm, and we'll keep the conversation moving on this thread and I'll probably pop up and do a podcast on this topic periodically as I get more information, and then chime in on the show notes, leave some comments, ask some questions there. chime in on social media. We'd love to hear from you guys. And yeah, I hope this was a helpful episode. Again, just digging into that that SEO angle, which I know can be somewhat frustrating at times, but hopefully this adds a little bit of clarity for you. And thanks again and we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio. Hey guys, thanks again for tuning in to builder funnel radio. Again, this episode was all about SEO, I get fired up about this because I think there's a lot of people getting taken advantage of. And so I just want to pull out a couple of those takeaways amidst the rant and other things we talked about. So, first one is if you're working with a company, go ahead and ask them some follow up questions, ask them what they're working on this month. Ask them what they did last month. And then as they respond to them with a follow up question. Oh, you worked on those two pages. Great. What changes did you make? Oh, you're mixing up some keywords. Okay, what did you mix up? or What did you change up? Typically, we don't like to change up keywords for a page. Once we've set that we kind of want to build on that because once you change your page, title, your URL for a page, you're kind of resetting your SEO for that page. So if they're changing stuff up all the time, big red flag and so on. That is a big takeaway for me is just auditing a current company. And then another one is if you're thinking about hiring a new company, whether you're working with somebody right now or not dig in and just ask them what their process is ask them how they start, what do they do ongoing? And then what kind of reporting and updates that they give you in terms of progress made? You know, it's great to get those keyword reports that you get sent every month. But if you don't know what you're actually doing, sometimes I think you're just getting sent reports and nothing is going on. So ask them questions, ask what they do, there should be an SEO plan. Again, I think there should be a content component to that, whether that's revising content on your site or creating new content. So ask them questions around that as well. And if they are doing any off page, SEO things, ask about how they go about their link building because you don't want to pick up a bunch of shady backlinks. We just had that happen with a company that just signed on to work with us. They have Like something like 10,000 really sketchy backlinks and that is going to take a long time to clean up. So anyway, you don't want to get into that situation. And then final takeaway, send more SEO questions to radio at builder funnel calm and please send me your threads if you have some back and forth exchanges with your current SEO company be happy to give you feedback, no charge we'll just reply via email to as many of them as we can get to. So those are my takeaways for you guys today. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you next time on builder funnel radio.

Thanks again for listening everybody. And as a quick reminder, text Radio 233777 for some free goodies as a thank you for listening to the show. And if you got some value from today's episode, I just ask that you leave us a quick review on iTunes. It really helps Spread the word and grow this awesome community of people who are working to improve their lives and their thanks again and we'll see you next time on builder funnel radio.

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