Talking of Design
Once upon a time, if you searched “freelance web design” anywhere in the world in Google, I would appear on the first page — indeed, for a while at the top spot. But …
He has a point does old Don.
It’s become too tricky to try and maintain such a presence, for the following reasons:
- I got too busy, and possibly took my eye off the ball in terms of being able to maintain that SEO foot-hold. My focus was on achieving the goals of my clients. It’s a tale old as time.
- More competition — boy are there a lot of UK based freelance web designers in the wild nowadays! All doing the right things, with great portfolios and lots to offer. How on earth is Google supposed to reward first page positions when millions have great websites that follow all the right SEO rules?
- Google changed — more emphasis is now placed on results determined by user location and their searching habits. You could come in a good position for one person searching in one place and with a certain profile, then be way down the list on a search done by someone else, elsewhere with a different search profile.
- It could be that Google wants you to pay for position now. I have noticed the monetisation of more and more of Google’s services over the years. Ads now look very similar to regular listings, and there are more of them as well. And why not I guess? Google is a business after all — chasing profit, and with shareholders to please. Plus organic position has become such a tricky beast to tame, it just makes sense to have a budget to guarantee some presence for the keywords that work, instead of putting in more and more time trying to raise your organic position — a full-time job in itself!
- The rise of social media as a method of showcasing yourself and generating leads and enquiries. I mean, hell, some designers only have social media accounts and don’t bother with their own standalone website. It takes your work to the people, rather than trying to reach people via the old traditional search engine methods. Instagram is a good example of a social media platform that many use to showcase their work, talents and updates, which then lead to enquiries — often simply via direct messages within the platform. LinkedIn has also shown a rise in active users looking to cut through the distraction and noise of other social media platforms, as LinkedIn is more work and opportunities focussed.
Oh what to do?
While I’m still going to be providing web design services to anyone anywhere in the world who want to use me (I have clients in London, Manchester, Liverpool, North Wales and all over the UK, and also Denmark, USA, Canada) my on-page organic SEO is now going to be mainly North Wales targeted — my studio is located in the charming seaside town of Rhos on Sea, Conwy.
I think it’s the sensible thing to do, rather than trying to chase goals that just aren’t achievable in the search engine landscape of today.
Here are some examples of the work produced for my North Wales based clients:
- BOCS Self Storage — Conwy based self storage company
- Up Marquees — Marquee hire business in Flintshire, North Wales
- Pen y Berth — Caravan park and golf course near Abersoch, North Wales
- New Edition Ltd — House renovation specialists in Colwyn Bay, North Wales
- Extreme Solutions International — Safety, location, medical and security services for TV
- Barry Evans Driving — Specialist automatic car driving instructor, operating across North Wales
- MH Masonry & Brick Restoration — Masonry and brick restoration & pointing specialists in North Wales
- North Wales Stump Grinding — Tree stump grinding and removal services