It is so so so very important that your designer keeps SEO in mind when making your website. It is all too often that I see people get caught up in how “pretty” a website looks but then cry in horror when they have had no significant traffic 2 months later. You NEED to be found by the search engines on keywords relevant to your business. If your designer is not savvy of this you can potentially be already dead to any traffic (even before you have launched!). There is a simple process of steps you can under-go to make sure your designer will not create you an SEO disaster!
1. Find out about where your designer stands with SEO. His experience, his viewpoint on it etc. Determine, and make sure they are aware of the main keywords your website wants to link for so that he/she can keep this in mind whilst designing it. Make sure all the headings, image tags and even URL contain your keywords.
2. Make the content keyword rich! Make sure that the designer liberally scatters your relevant keywords throughout the design. Make sure your designer knows secondary keywords relevant to your primary (eg: linguini is a secondary keyword for pasta). If this is done correctly, there will be no problems having the non SEO-friendly flash banners to increase the visual appeal of your website.
3. Make sure that internal pages are interlinked and that a sitemap is made to allow for better indexing by the Google crawlers.
4. Make sure there are no BLACKHAT techniques being used by your designer! This involves sneaky SEO techniques such as hidden text, alt-image tag spamming, title-tag stuffing etc. Here is a great article by About.com Wendy Boswell on WHAT TO AVOID in SEO – http://websearch.about.com/od/seononos/a/spamseo.htm
5. Being completely honest with you: It would be hard to give EVERYTHING you will need to communicate to your designer. The best full proof way to get excellent SEO (and therefore increase the chances of your business success!) is to hire a professional SEO Consultant to work with your designer.
This helps with your initial launch success but more importantly provides a base for an SEO strategy that will determine your businesses long-term success. If you have any further questions, then give us a call and We will be more then happy to have a chat about your website!