SEO v. Web Site Design

by admin on May 27, 2007

Nick at Search Engine Optimization Journal says:

“OK, back to the beaten path: SEO requires hours of research. Web design doesn’t. Your web design company does not have to research keywords, competition, or anything else to make your website look pretty. But pretty won’t make you money. Your SEO will affect your bottom line a lot more than your web design company ever will. That’s why you should focus on a search engine optimized website rather than a pretty face. Most people could get by if they slashed their web design budget by 50% and put the savings into SEO work. Not only will that save you money immediately (since SEO work is often less expensive than design), but it will make you money in the long run.”

He is absolutely right, and may well be underselling his point. A crappy looking site that is well optimized for search engines (and has quality, compelling content – a critical point that can’t be overlooked) can potentially make you serious money. A beautiful site, badly designed for SEO can be invisible to search engines and make you nothing.

Here’s another point beyond pure SEO: Many, if not most search engine experts know quite a lot about Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and often offer both services simultaneously. Which makes sense if you think about it. SEO/SEM is quantifiable. It’s about traffic, leads, and conversions. It’s about continually measuring success and improving.

Design, on the other hand is “fire and forget”. The end product is the deliverable of the site design, and that’s it.

And I’ll also second the opinion that most designers don’t know squat about SEO. It does seem surprising that this continues to be the case given how culturally important Google has become. But the fact that anyone would ever consider using a flash intro page in 2007 proves this to me. I still see them on new sites.

About Dave Matson

Dave Matson is the owner and operator of High Steppin' Searches. Dave Matson on g+

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