Web design, in relation to SEO, can involve many things. Search engine optimization techniques can become integrated into the design itself. SEO can be used to carefully construct clean and underlying web code to make a website more ‘search engine friendly.’


SEO, when used alongside web design, can also simply involve arranging web elements in a certain way, all aimed at best optimizing the site to fit current web guidelines—and the guidelines of many search engines.


Both web design and SEO have as much to do with one another as they don’t. They’re both practices used across the web, just as they are a whole of several different practices in themselves. And, both web design and SEO are perhaps the two most important tools a business or individual can use to make their website truly prosper on the web.


SEO, web design and a website


Search engine optimization isn’t, and never was, only for online marketers. Search engine optimization, in fact, doesn’t entirely revolve around web marketing in any form. Marketing, although integral to SEO, is ultimately an advantageous asset to the practice.


Although webmasters can market their website without using SEO, search engine optimization is something that can help make a marketing campaign better than it already is. Marketing on the web without using search engine optimization is like, let’s say, baking a cake without any special ingredients.


Even though you can ‘bake the cake,’ the cake won’t be truly special without flavorings like chocolate and, well, frosting.


Like there are many things that you can bake, there are many ways you can approach using marketing and search engine optimization together. Web design is very well much involved in many, if not, all of those approaches. And, it’s all due to one reason: the front end.


Looking over the front end


The front end, or the part of the website that everyone sees, is what many of the best web design professionals work on. The front end, even if it looks purely visual, now impact search results in newer ways than before.


In the past, many websites featured designs using mostly graphics and images paired with alt-text (alternative text). Nowadays, people still use images, but those same layout graphics are now mostly designed and/or converted into CSS3 stylesheets.


Since you can use CSS3 (with HTML5) to essentially rebuild any website mockup, you don’t have to rely solely on alt-text anymore to make images and other graphics-based text ‘ping’ search engines.


Let’s look at this example. If you have a logo graphic, you’d normally have a logo created and uploaded for your web designer to use for your site. With CSS3 and other web design tools, your designer can actually recreate that same logo using only text and CSS modifiers to transform that logo into a search engine friendly one that’s comprised of purely text.


On-site SEO


With web languages like HTML5 and CSS3 influencing the structure and style of websites, respectively, integrating search engine optimization into a modern website is more easier than ever. So, how is this done?


The web designers know how to ‘manipulate’ the front end of a website using what’s known as on-site SEO. This type of search engine optimization merely describes all of the things that can be done on your site, which can include the underlying code, the design of the site, in addition to SEO-related things like the target keywords, internal linking and so on.


With on-site SEO, a web designer can change a site from an active one into one that’s active and noticed by people on the web. It sounds easy, but it’s a lot more tricky than some people might think. Why is that?


To start, using on-site SEO in web design merely involves these elements:


  • Writing clean web markup or code.
  • Creating a clean design that translates well to the web.
  • Fostering a web environment that’s ultimately user-friendly.


Whatever aspect of on-site SEO that a site needs, a web designer can accomplish that. As explained through the CSS example, today’s design practices actually benefit on-site SEO more than it did in the past—and it’s all thanks to how search engines now read websites.


SEO, search engines and… web design?


Search engines use what’s known as web crawlers. These web crawlers – used by many search engines like Yahoo and Google – are run by their algorithms, which essentially tell these web crawlers to ‘crawl’ web pages, read them and collect the content located there, in addition to following any associated links.


The crawler then takes this information and deposits it into the search engine’s database, otherwise known as its index. What does this have to do with web design, though?


Users who search for keywords that are associated with a search engine – by searching in their search box – will come across sites that were collected by the crawler via its index. When this happens, the search engine finds the information gathered from the crawler, and outputs that information as their most relevant results.


In correlation with web design and search engine optimization, the main goal of using both to design a website is simple: good SEO-optimized web design helps websites become easier for crawlers, and subsequently, search engines to find. The faster and more frequently they can find your website, the better that same site will rank in search results.


And, the higher your website ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs), as a result of both elements looking for and indexing your website, more people will start stumbling upon and viewing your website—sparking a chain reaction of events in the name of web exposure.


SEO, search engines and… web design?


The best web design and SEO, as a result, can help even the simplest designed websites become much more prosperous over the web. Thanks to that, any business who wants to develop a web presence needs web design and SEO to succeed—more than they think they already do.


Together, web design and SEO coexist in ways that people don’t figure—until they take a closer look at what both can do for each other. Things that web design can accomplish commonly overlap with SEO in many respects. Things that SEO exclusively accomplishes do overlap with many aspects of web design as a whole.


In fact, many aspects of SEO services often include web design in both obvious and subtle ways. If you take a closer look at it, you’ll see that SEO is pretty much an asset to some of the best web design practices.

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