I just finished reading Justin Brigg’s post “9 SEO Tips”. The post may have a boring title but his tips are pretty sound. I especially liked tip number 5, which tells about the power of the hash #, something frequently overlooked, if known at all, by SEO newbies. On my next post I will be expounding on the uses of the hash but for now what I’ll really be writing about was inspired by the accompanying illustration on the need to compromise to come up with a good web design. The illustration, which I’ve shown below, may seem funny but is perfectly true.
As I have written back in 2008 both in my posts entitled “More than Just Optimisation” and “SEO Doctors: Educating our Clients” it is clear that many times clients ideas on how to “optimise” their website may not necessarily be what we know should be done. What I haven’t touched on though is the difference in priorities between web designers and SEOs. I say priorities because more often than not both parties acknowledge the work the other does though they of course give more emphasis on their expertise. As Justin shows us though, just like in real life what ought to be done is often the intersection of two opinions.
Web designers deal with the user interface and so have to focus on the aesthetics as well as the user experience. SEOs are concerned with search engine algorithms and so need to focus more on technical aspects. The thing though is that these two are not mutually exclusive and in fact should go hand in hand. As experience has shown as following good web design practices ends up benefiting SEO efforts and vice versa so there is no reason why web designers and SEOs shouldn’t work together to come up with what’s best for their clients’ sites.
To SEOs my advice would be to follow web design trends because as I said earlier following web standards for good design benefits SEO efforts most of the time. Do not wait for someone to confirm something you know to be good for users to be good for SEO too before you act on it. Stay on top of things. Search engines algorithms are constantly improved upon so you never know when they start factoring in better practices. And as search engines become more intelligent you can bet that with their aim to give users the best possible results they’ll be giving more weight to web design aspects.