Dave Davies wrote an excellent piece in WebProNews about choosing a designer to work with your SEO. I found this gem inside:
But there’s a big upside and that comes when you have the opportunity to work with web designers who know how important SEO is (as an SEO who knows how important a good design is). Working to balance the two can be a daunting task and having the skills of the SEO matched with the skills of the web designer can be a true blessing. For example, I may have a great idea to make a site more easily navigated by search engines but an ugly solution to implement it whereas the designer may have a more attractive solution in mind if they know the problem and the technical solution.
This is a great article and I recommend you read it. In summary, I’d like to offer these tidbits to help you understand what to look for in a web designer before you hire one to work with your optimization team. This list really is a list of items that are necessary to build an optimized web page. Designer or no designer, your web pages need to have these characteristics if you expect them to perform well organically. Can your designer make it happen?
- Code-to-text ratio: Cut the code and increase the text. Good text, not fluff. You don’t want your code outweighing your website content. That would be bad for SEO. The search engine spiders must crawl through all the code to read the content and that won’t fare well if they can’t find the meat. So cut the code and focus on great content.
- Internal Links: Use proper anchor text. You want your internal pages to rank high as well as your index page. Those internal pages will rank higher than your index page in some cases so you want to focus on links that point from specific pages to other specific pages to help make that happen.
- Keyword Usage: There are two errors, generally, that content writers make when they write website copy. The first is not enough keywords, but the other – and this one is more prominent – too many keywords. Nothing is more annoying than reading a website that is stuffed with the keyword in every sentence. It looks like you are trying to write content for the spiders. Don’t! Yes, put keywords in your content, but don’t overdo it. Davies recommends 3% keyword density. Some other SEOs have recommended a range of 2%-5%. In truth, there is no optimal keyword density. I prefer the range because it gives you some flexibility. What determines your keyword density is the amount of content on your web page and the number of times you use your keywords. Bottom line: Just don’t overdo it.