Have you ever spoken to someone involved with the creation of websites who has adamantly told you that search engine optimization (SEO) is dead? The person who told you this is most likely basing their assumption on the fact that Google constantly makes changes to their algorithm, but this hasn’t changed the importance or validity of SEO in the slightest.
Like the belief that content should be placed higher up the page in order to rank well, the old “SEO is dead” myth is one of the oldest ones in the book and is frequently thrown out there whenever drastic changes are made in the way that Google indexes website content. This doesn’t mean that SEO is dead, it simply means that the way we optimise content needs to change and that new techniques replace old, outdated ones.
Still not convinced? Then, perhaps you or the company you have employed to undertake your SEO strategy are using some of the black hat techniques that Google regularly changes its algorithm to stamp out. Have you been hiding content by repeating your keywords over and over in white text on a white background? Have you been creating websites with no content, then linking to it a bunch of times to achieve rankings? Have you been stuffing your content full of keywords to the point where it has been over-optimized? You can no longer hide from Google behind these techniques – instead, your SEO strategy needs to become cleverer and more ethical.
Do not listen to the naysayers who will proclaim that SEO is dead until they’re blue in the face, because it is simply not true. Whilst there are techniques that have been historically beneficial for SEO, they are no longer achieving the results they once were. Instead of SEO being dead, however, it is just simply time to move on to new techniques and strategies. As long as there are search engines, there will be SEO.
How many times have you visited a website only to be met with audio or video that begins playing automatically, blaring out of the speakers that you hadn’t realized were turned up so loud? The good news is that you’re not alone in your hatred of this tactic, but the bad news is that many people still insist on doing this as a part of their online marketing campaigns.
Automatically playing music and video are bad for a number of reasons, the main ones being that they can disturb the people around the visitor (especially if they are accessing your website in a library or on public transport) and that nothing will send visitors running from your site faster. If the whole point of having an online marketing campaign is to attract visitors to your business, why would you do something that is more likely to send them running in the other direction?
If you need more convincing to take away that auto-play function your online marketing campaign has been using for the last decade, then hopefully the following reasons should do it:
- None of the commercially successful websites (such as Amazon, Facebook, eBay and Google) do it because they realized it was a bad idea.
- Not everyone will have the same taste in music as you; for every person who thinks the music in your audio or video is awesome, there’ll be another who cannot stand it.
- You could be drawing attention to yourself if you haven’t paid for the rights to use that audio or video. Do you really want a lawsuit on your hands?
While it was once believed that automatically playing music and videos was an effective way to draw attention to an online marketing campaign, it is more than clear today that this simply does the opposite. Give visitors to your site the option to watch your marketing video or listen to your audio campaign – don’t force it on them.
Behind many of the bad websites on the internet are incompetent or amateur designers who simply could not do any better. Behind the rest of the bad sites are web designers who really were capable of much more – they just simply settled and were stuck between a rock and a hard place.
It is often said that high quality work brings about high quality work, whilst low quality work brings about low quality work. By doing high quality projects as a web designer, you are more likely to receive similar projects in the future. Do low quality projects, and you are likely to receive the same requests.
If this hasn’t been enough to convince you not to settle, perhaps the following reasons will:
- By pushing yourself, you will improve your skills
When web designers settle for low quality clients or the easiest way to do something, they are never going to improve their skills. If you push yourself to complete your work in the best way possible, however, you will constantly improve.
- The right sort of clients will respect you more
Good clients will respect a designer who has standards and sticks to them no matter what – it indicates to them that they will be receiving the best quality work possible.
- Your peers will respect you more
Web designers tend to respect (and look up to) others in the industry who consistently produce excellent quality work. Whilst there are people who could care less what their peers think, others think that being respected is a sign of their impact on the industry.
At the end of the day, settling for low quality clients and projects will eventually kill your career as a web designer. If this is not the most compelling reason that you shouldn’t settle, then nothing else will convince you. Stand up for yourself and your standards, and you will reap the rewards in the end.