You want to start an online business. Who do you first turn too? Thats easy; a web designer. What is the first mistake you will likely make with your web promotion campaign? Even easier, hiring your designer as your SEO expert. Why do we say this? Very simple; it's about time.
A bona fide web designer must devote untold amounts of time learning html, php, xml, asp, css and long list of alternative design codes along with the applications to actually apply these skills (dreamweaver, frontpage, etc).
A true SEO also must invest copious amounts of time to learn and understand the up to date functions of search engines and predicting future changes. Google is rumored to change their algorithm (how they rank websites) every 24 hours. This was confirmed by famed Google Engineer Matt Cutts during a recent live question and answer session held by real Google staff.
How often does your search algorithm change?
Matt Cuts: "We change the algorithms all the time - last year we had over 450 changes."
Would your superman web designer have the time to research and keep up to date with these changes? Unless he never sleeps and has an attention span of a Buddhist monk, this is highly unlikely.
True SEOs also must have excellent writing and copywriting skills due to the fact a large component of effective optimization requires content writing. This includes direct onsite optimization, article writing, press releases, blogging, etc. They have to understand technical structures of websites and know which codes/urls are easier for search engines to read and rank. They also must understand external promotion tasks including effective link building.
What should you do if you plan on getting your website designed? Have your SEO communicate with your designer. He or she maybe able to identify and correct major problems before your web design is finalized. This will save you time, money and headache down the road. Also hire an independent SEO to promote your website after it's finished, but make sure he or her has a open relationship with your web designer. The SEO will often make suggestions that will require the web designer's assistance.
Remember the SEO Industry would not exist if the web designer could do such an "easy" job. Make sure you take the time to find the right person for the job. It's worth it.