I believe that the web design process is a process of collaboration. When I design a site from the nuts and bolts to the graphic design, I collaborate closely with my clients. I also have had the good fortune of working with some fantastic graphic designers, programming their designs into websites with custom content management systems, of working with some smart search engine optimization experts and of collaborating on sites with social media gurus and marketers.
Programming, Graphic design, Marketing and Search Engine Optimization all need to start incubating at the very inception of the website process. If you plan on hiring multiple experts to collaborate on your site, it is important to meet as a team at the beginning of the web design process.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
I program my websites so that the code is search engine friendly and my content management systems give my clients control over their content, meta tags and other search engine optimization content. However, I do not do keyword research, or content writing, or link campaigns. Those can be, in themselves, full time jobs. I have found that I serve my clients best by concentrating on website design, programming and maintenance, and I refer them to search engine optimization specialists for their SEO needs. The rules of search engine optimization are constantly changing, and a good SEO specialist is constantly in training to stay on top of what is good SEO and what is not-so-good SEO. If you hire someone who is not staying on top of the changes, you may end up having them do things to your site that will get it penalized by the search engines instead of indexed by them. I encourage my clients to try to do as much of their keyword research and search engine optimization themselves as they have time and energy for, because it is empowering. However, if you want to hire an expert, I recommend the services of Lori Stone of roundaboutmv.com.
Kathleen Forsythe, of http://forsythedesign.com and I have worked on a number of sites together. Kathleen’s graphic design work elevates the websites that she conceives to a whole new visual level. Kathleen works closely with the client to plan the website site map, the navigation, the graphic design and how she visualizes the site functioning. She works out all of the details down to the pixel and then passes me photoshop files. I then program the photoshop files into website pages and put in a custom content management system so that the site owners can maintain their site content.
If you are interested in hiring Kathleen to design your website, please contact her directly through http://forsythedesign.com.