Which Is More Important: SEO or Web Design?

SEO, Web DesignSearch Engine Optimization focuses on increasing traffic to a website while web design includes making the website presentable, easily accessible and attractive. One of the most heated webmasters' debates is the importance of SEO and web design. Which is more important? Should you consider spending more time on SEO or focus more on web design? Certainly, both are vital to a website's success but which is more essential?

The idea to write this post came into my mind when I read a thread on a webmaster's forum called Webcosmo forums. The thread received several interesting replies which I thought I should share with you guys. However, before we get into this debate, lets first start with some background information.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What exactly does SEO do for a website? Simply, it gets you more traffic! With good SEO, your website will rank higher in SERPs and you will get more and more traffic. It is one of the cheapest way of marketing that never sleeps. Furthermore, your traffic will be targeted and thus will help you increase sales.

Web Design
Once a visitor reaches your site, good content is not always what he (lets assume it's a guy) will look for there. An attractive web design compels a visitor to stay longer and makes it easier for him to focus on the content without too many distractions.

So both SEO and web design have their own benefits but which one is more important? Without SEO your website will only get minimum amount of traffic regardless of what a great design your website has. Furthermore, without traffic all the hard work you put into the design will not even get appreciated. However, good SEO may get you a lot of traffic but a lot of that traffic may not stay longer than few seconds if your website has a horrible design.

Thus, I believe that both SEO and Web design are extremely important to make a website successful. However, since I have to choose one, I will pick SEO. But I am not saying that you should only focus on SEO and ignore web design. Take your time to build the website carefully. Spend sufficient amount of time on both but spend a little more time on SEO. This way you will get traffic and still have a reasonably attractive website.

This is just my opinion and I think that it would be better if I presented you with some different point of views.

I think those two are sort of different things, although design help SEO. I would prefer SEO. Because I have seen crapy looking sites make millions of dollars doing SEO right. For example Zappos.com is the biggest shoes, accessories site; looks crappy but they [make] millions every month.
By Manik (admin)

You can achieve both. An SEO site does not have to be dull looking at all.
By amritrr

SEO most likely...after all users search to get information..but we cant deny the web design helps a lot particularly in interface and user friendliness..to keep the user browse the page more.
By 2fk
It seems like most people support SEO over web design but still think that you should spend some time on design. Which view do you like the best and what's your own view? Please share it with us.

Some Useful Links:
Seeing New Orleans through street view - Google Blog
Google in your language - Google Blog
You are not spam - Blogger Buzz
Tip: Customize your web clips - Gmail blog
Search quality, continued - Google Blog
More Transparency in Customized Search Results - Google Blog
A picture isn't always worth a thousand words - Inside Adsense


Biceps brachii (photos) said...

SEO can bring you more visitors, but web design can keep them longer at the web site.
They are both important!

seo experts said...

Hey, sorry couldn't find your e-mail, so must use the comment box. Want to exchange links with your blog, plz contact me via jucick [at] gmail.com

SEO tools said...

Yes we must balance between design and SEO methods both are important.

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