Don’t have your brother, your cousin, or the girl who works with your wife design your website, unless they are a lot more than a hobby web designer. Why? Because there is a huge difference between a website designer and a website optimizer, and you will regret separating the two. I’ll explain.
When a web designer considers building your website, they think about the layout, the colors, the aesthetics. They may build the website in flash, or HTML, or they may be a more advanced coder and build it in .php or .cfm. (cold fusion). You may have no idea what any of that means, and as long as it works and looks good, you may not care. However, if you want to actually get people to see your website, you should care.
A search engine optimizer, or website optimizer, doesn’t worry about the design other than the fact that it converts visitors to buyers if it looks good. Other than that, they don’t tell you which pictures to display or what color scheme to use. Their job is to get people to the website, and to provide convincing content to get the visitor to proceed with a purchase or whatever the goal of the website is.
The search engine optimizer, or SEO, needs the website to have content and correct web coding and structure in order to do his/her best optimizing. If your whole website is built in Flash, for example, your website may look incredible and do lots of flips and twists and interesting things. However, search engines can’t read any of the text that is included in a flash website. Therefore, the search engines can’t tell what your website is about and won’t be able to properly reward your site with traffic. In order to get visitors to your site, you need your site to be designed and built for search engines to be able to easily read. That means a proper navigation structure and strategically placing important text with keywords that will attract the right visitors to your website.
If you separate your web designer from a web optimizer, you will end up causing more work and possibly limiting the optimizers ability to do their job to their best ability. And you know what that means?…fewer visitors to your website.
So, bite the bullet. Find a website designer that also specializes in search engine optimization, or work with a company that provides both of those services. And if they provide great design and search engine optimization, chances are they’ll have other services to offer such as e-commerce, hosting, and social network marketing.
If you really want to succeed with your business, then invest in it.