Being a web designer I feel that sometimes I want to advise a client against using my services, especially if I suspect that the client is in a highly competitive niche and is not likely to invest money in SEO and promoting the site. The reason for hesistency in business is that with each new Google update to their algorithm they are making content more and more important to search engine position.
Some people are not worried about their poistion for key words in Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. They have a strong brand already or they are offering something unique. While others should be more concerned about the position of their website in the search engines than the look of the site.
For example, if you have a hotel on Koh Phangan Island called ’Happy Hotel on Koh Phangan’ and you set up a website with the URL ’www.happyhotelkohphangan.com’ then you will come number one or near near number one for anyone who types in ’Happy Hotel on Koh Phangan’ into Google. Your prospective customer will find you quickly and will soon realize that he or she has found the official website. In this case web design can make the site attractive and help improve conversion rates.
However, if you have a website with affiliate links to Agoda etc that promotes accommodation on Phangan Island then you will find it very hard to rise above Agoda etc. to the top 5 for the key words ’Phangan Island accommodation’. What is needed more than exciting web design is lots of content, and content that is frequently updated. Only by offering better content than competitors will you make any money from the website. In this situation a platform that involves minimal coding and is easy to use such as WordPress is much more appropriate than a complex website with lots of bells and whistles that is never updated.
So before going to a web design expert or a graphic designer consider what you need a website for, and whether it needs to be constantly updated.