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Be an SEOptimized Web Designer
Yes you can brag about your mad design skills and your flashy site effects, but are people actually visiting your site? No matter how amazing you site looks like but if nobody even know about it and you are the only one visiting your site, it'll just be like a Mosa Lisa inside your room.
Why is it important?
There are three basic things that every site needs to have, a good design (site layout), good functionality (programming) and good traffic (site visits). A site may look good without a need for it to be database driven or written in ASP/PHP. A site may have complete and working programming capabilities. But a site that is unknown to people not good for business.
All websites are designed / developed for one common purpose: to be known. Whether you are trying to sell something, make people join your cause, or just for plain showoff, you need people to visit your site.
What do you need to do?
Read books (download online or from a bookstore) about SEO. Aaron's book, the SEO Book is a very good book to start learning SEO. Article sites also have 'SEO' in their categories, you should read those as well (like this article you are reading now).
You should also join SEO forums and groups and take part in the conversations and take notes from tips and tricks people share on the boards.
Use SEO tools that are readily available online. There are a lot of tools out there but you can start by using the free ones first and if you think you can afford more advanced software and you already know the basics, it'll be a good investment.
Practice. Try out doing on page optimization, submit your site to directories and check your stats every now and then. Soon you will see people visiting your site from search engine results. You may soon realize that the more backlinks you build the more popular your site will be.
What happens next?
After weeks and months of practice, you will learn that SEO is not that hard as you think. All you need to know are the target keywords, a database of link submission sites and a lot of time and patience to submit to as many sites as possible.
Remember, your sites may look great, but if no one visits it, itís practically worthless.
About the Author: Alfredo is a web designer of Ituloy Angsulong Web Design Studio providing design solutions to clients worldwide.