Graphic design and web design are now essential services for any small to medium and large business. Online presence is not a choice now, but it is mandatory for even the companies that are fully managed offline. Having a website is not enough, but it should be visible to the prospective target users too to ensure success. The small businesses have a severe disadvantage while seeking a reliable graphic and web design service provider.

A small business that is looking forward to making a website may find it difficult to get a clear focus on SEO along with graphic and web design. Most small businesses have to work with a limited budget, and they often cannot spare much money to building a website or hiring experienced marketers. That is when things get a bit complicated because the foundation of SEO lies in the basic structure and design of a website.

As a small business owner, if you are planning to build your site, you should get to know a few essential things to make the right selection.

Why pay so much?

Few examples of the most common complaints that local businesses have about web design and SEO service providers are given below.

  • They are charging too much money.
  • I do not know what I am paying for.
  • I need to pay XXX, but not getting any results as such.

Most of the time, small businesses are coerced into paying a huge sum for the services they are unable to understand. On the other hand, they are also not informed about the risks of certain SEO practices that may lead to penalties. You are paying too much for SEO if the service providers are not experienced enough or are using outdated methods that derive no visible result.

You may be paying for the analytics and collection of data which you can otherwise get on your own for free. Ultimately, you are not getting results as there is no proper planning. Irrelevant service providers may not have asked for your KPI (Key Performance Indicators), your goals, competitors, and other business requirements to devise a strategy.

When your website does not function as well as you thought it would

As per the experts, another big mistake most SMBs make is spending more and more on new strategies to improve ranking, reduce bounce rate and increase conversion. They hardly ever try to find the cause of the poor performance of their site. Usually, small businesses tend to accept whatever skimpy web design they get, and the monthly budget of a small business may be more tied to marketing than design maintenance and content update.

There are many graphic and web designing aspects that you must focus on to make your website acceptable to search engines as well as the users. Small businesses are not properly guided through these site development requirements as the non-professional companies they choose do not have a clear idea of how to perform the most necessary usability tests and audits.

Even the design firms which are stronger on their design skills and technical know-how are weaker in the SEO knowledge and do not know how to create compelling websites. They do not have the skills to meet the actual accessibility standards, which is a specialized skill and also extremely valuable.  It is not much easier to build a WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla site with a responsive design and call it a day.

Some primary aspect to check

So, how to identify the best practices in modern SEO while choosing a web design firm? Some tips are:

  • Image SEO

One of the primary steps toward search engine optimization is to optimize your web page images for the latest search algorithms. Experts do this through appropriate alt-tagging and providing perfect descriptions to each picture. Another thing to note is that it will take more time for your page to load if the images are too large.

  • Avoiding content blocks

You may have good intentions with it, but the hindrance you put in to prevent access to your content may be adversely affecting your rankings. It also includes the sections you offer to privileged members. So, ensure that the majority of the section is open to the public.

You must also regularly update the web pages. Optimizing all the URLs, maintaining site responsiveness, optimizing page load speed are crucial to search engine ranking.

The layout and design of your website can surely make a huge difference in the SEO performance of your site. So, it is essential to take your time and put the effort to do a thorough research to identify the real capabilities of the service providers before choosing one.