Design Vs Optimization – Finding the Balance

There is a conflict happening on the web today that many novice website designer will encounter soon after the outside of their careers: blending the right amount of design aesthetics with enough suitable content for search engine optimization. Web designers have a tendency to exhibit a flair for style, and the urge to incorporate a heavy amount of graphical elements into a new website may run strong. Oftentimes, however, focusing too much on the visual aspect of a website may have one overlooking the importance of carefully implemented content that is crawlable by the major search engines. After all, what good is a design masterpiece if it is not in a position where people can see it? This article will examine a couple of key points to consider when taking on that next big project.

What are your client's needs? ;

A significant responsibility of the web designer is getting to know any and everything you can about your client. Is your customer a local business? A more regional mid-size business? Is your client an individual, such as an entertainer, athlete, or other public figure? Designers who are commissioned by large corporations with well-established brands will typically have a lot more freedom to be creative with site design, worrying less about search-engine friendly content, as these types of companies are likely to have high page rankings due to familiarity . The opposite can be said of a small or start-up business. These types of businesses will need to rely more on keyword-intensive content, and less on style, so that their website can be made visible over their competitors. This situation can become problematic for new designers, because while a good SEO strategy is vital to this type of client to attract potential customers, the client will also rely on a clean, visually appealing site to ensure people will want to visit again.

Proper SEO requires a good understanding of design, and vice versa.

These days there is an endless list of SEO "experts" who use a variety of methods to internally configure web pages to reach high search rankings. Although most of these methods will work in theory, many SEO companies will bombard a web page with keyword-driven text at the expense of good design. This is a fundamental mistake. Line after line of repetitive text is not only likely to drive a visitor away, it will also run the risk of getting your site penalized by the search engines for misuse. A good designer who is also SEO-minded will know how to strategically place keywords and content throughout the site, while maintaining good grammar in the text and keeping the overall design pleasing to the eye. This works both ways as well: designers will often lean heavily on images to combine the structure of their site. Search engines read text, not images, so a good designer should use an even blend of the two. Make sure to include text links somewhere on each page, and if images must be used, make sure to implement alt tags properly in a way that is relevant to your site and your keywords. Remember, improper use of tags in images may also result in penalization.

With a little practice, website designers can find the perfect balance between content and creativity. Honing this skill requires time and patience, but will definitely pay dividends while putting current clients ahead of their competition with a website that is both eye-catching and marketable.