SEO & Web Design – Are They on the Same Page?

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When constructing a website, SEO design and web design don’t have to be two different functions. Sadly though, these two sets of features often come from different sides of the building.

Very few graphic people understand SEO or even what it entails and marketing people are focused on results and may feel that the design is secondary. But can combining SEO and web design be that hard?

If you breakdown the functions of both SEO and web design, they’re not really that different and can be easily and effectively integrated if thought through.

SEO Is The Only Alternative

Design for SEO mainly has to do with good structure of content. It’s obviously more complicated than that, but that’s the basic gist of things. You want to make sure that your content is served up in a proper hierarchy using specific code. Just like a good outline is composed with supporting arguments under each headline or section, a webpage should be served up in the same fashion. This is usually the first place where SEO and web design begin to clash.

Web designers who are not familiar with web standards tend to fall short when it comes to the optimization of code and can make any project more difficult. Luckily, I began my career as a designer with a company whose bread and butter was SEO, so I learned very early on the importance of semantic code as well as making sure your designs are exciting and intriguing.

Web Design Can’t Be Compromised

Web design also has to do with good structure of content but is usually attacked from a different perspective. Too many times, designers will let the graphics control which sections get the most attention.

For example, designers will find what they think is a perfect image that could win them an award for their layout. Then, by forcing the image into the layout it slowly gets off track from the end goal of good content structure. Next thing you know, there is a huge image and section that is getting way too much attention and the user never has a chance to concentrate on what you’re trying to get them to do.

Good design is extremely important when you are trying to get the user from point A to point B but it also needs to work in harmony with the content. Sit down with your team before you begin a design to determine what exactly the key elements are and assign them a number. It is easy to design a good structured outline when each piece is thought through and you have the game plan directly in front of you.

Bang… Together

SEO and dazzling web design can easily be achieved if everyone is on the same page from the outset. The key is to get your designers and marketing people involved and working together. This helps give everyone a clear understanding of the objectives and keeps things running smoothly throughout your project.

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