Most website design elements do not help you with search engine marketing, but that doesn’t mean that some elements of web design can’t help you. There is evidence that paying attention to website design elements can improve your chances of ranking in the search engines.
The most talked about example of web design and SEO is the use of Flash presentations. While Flash is beginning to be a crawlable element now, this is still a brand new development where search engines are concerned. That means the crawlability of Flash is still limited. I would not build a website that is created entirely with Flash elements.
Other things to consider with web design and SEO are:
- Placement of excessive links in your footer
- The use of excessive code
- Navigation elements
- Using alt tags with graphic and photo elements
- Hidden links and redirects can hurt you in the rankings
- Use an inverted pyramid style for information and presentation elements
There are many more ways that web design can affect SEO. You would be doing yourself a favor to learn and study SEO and web design to some reasonable degree before you build your website.