You may have heard that website design has nothing to do with search engine optimization. It is true that search engines dont see your nicely layed out design and graphics, only the human eye can. So should you even care about design? Of course! You want to please your viewers with a beautiful, clean and easy to navigate website design to keep your bounce rate down and your conversions up.
While your design on the outside may not be important to search engines, its whats on the inside of the design what matters. Designing for SEO starts when coding the website into a XHTML/CSS version, or when you take the static mock-up and make it into a functional website. There are guidelines every designer should follow, but sadly most of them do not.
DOCTYPE delaration. This tells the search engines and browsers alike what sort of file type it is reading (HTML, XHTML, HTML5, etc). This is very important as you cannot pass w3 validation without the proper doctype.
Title tag. Make sure your title tag has your targeted keyword phrase in it, preferably within the first 2-3 words.
Innerpage structure. Keep your websites content structure is common sense for any website developer, but be sure to always wrap important content in paragraph tags, use ordered or unordered lists for lists instead of line breaks. Use only one h1 tag per page, and be sure to always use alt titles or your images. And always make sure your website passes the w3 validation.
These are just the basic functions every website developer should practice. When its time for your business to chose a website development or SEO company, these should give you a few questions to ask.