Most people not in the industry think about SEO as something that is done outside the actual website, if they’ve done their research then it will be all about link building, blog posting, PPC, etc. The truth is there are an awful lot of things that can be done within the coding of a site that can make or break any SEO effort – we call this ‘On-page SEO’. For more specifics take a look at our Simple Guide to SEO post, but it suffices to say that ignoring this type of SEO can kill a campaign before any ‘off-page’ effort has even started.
Ideally your web developer will know about these practices, but you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who has the time to stay up-to-date on the constantly changing SEO world AND continue to move forward with the latest design techniques. ViceVersa, don’t expect your average SEO consultant to be able to design and code your entire website.
There are people out there who are experts in both areas and can effectively build your site and manage your SEO, but they are few and far between. Nine times out of ten attempting to cut costs by having one person do both will backfire. Another option is to hire different people/agencies for each component. It is a valid strategy, but there are inherent potential problems with this type of set up. Any SEO consultant worth his salt will want to take a look at your website’s code, and will probably want to make at least a few changes. Suddenly issues of file access and permissions pop up that can really complicate, not to mention drastically slow down, the process.
The best possible solution is to have your site designed by an agency who employs both designers/developers and online marketing specialists. You’ll end up with a coherent and more successful website because of the smooth communication between the two camps.