A philosophy I come across occasionally from businesses wanting to enter the online world for the first time is the desire to have their web design looking like a glossy magazine cover. This works well for magazines sitting on at news stand, however, when it comes to the internet, these pages are difficult to optimize for the search engines and provide little for the user when they do arrive. So what is most important, web design or page content?

They are not exclusive and you only have to look around to see some great websites that have managed to do both – have impressive web design and engaging content. It should never be a battle between pictures or graphics and text – your pages need both.

The key to a good web design is balance. Some designers like to show their flair for magazine covers. That’s fine, let them design magazine covers, in the meantime find a designer that understands balance. Not to much in the way of Flash, if any. Pictures and graphics that are optimized correctly around your keywords, and plenty of room for text – remember, it is the text that your pages will be indexed for.

I know some would argue that images are also indexed, however do you want your site to appear in the search results for it’s content, or only because of images. You will gain more traffic with text based content than with images.

In simple terms, your web design should shaped around your content. Determine what content you want and how you want to display it, then have your web designer build your pages around that content. You can have a great web design which includes great content – you just need to work on that balance.

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