So, I had like, um, gee, I'd say NO clue what SEO was when I was hired at the current company I am employed with. I am now learning how truly important SEO is to a web site, what it is, and why it is crucial for a designer to know this information. I am also learning why site maps and the navigation at the bottom of web sites are important. They not only help with the usability of a site, but they also help with the positioning of a site. Spiders, no, not the real ones, look for as many keywords in a site as the person types in to a search engine. If the words in the navigation, the content, the links at the bottom of the page, and the site map all have spots where those words are used, then the site is going to be rated better in the search. These are things that a web designer can use when designing the site. An optimizer can go in and add these things, but it's easier if the designer does it. I have learned a lot in the past two days and the most important thing I've learned is that most of these optimizing tactics can be done in the design portion of the process... So, that's what I'm probably going to be doing if and when I start designing.
A few important SEO thingies that I've learned are:
Uses H1 and H2 tags.
Have outside links to your page.
Use title tags.
Use meta description tags.
Use links at the bottom of the pages.
Use disclaimers with key words.
Use the keyword tags (not really important, but may as well use 'em!)
Use word navigation instead of images.
Use alt tags for the images.
Links to other sites within content.
Repeat your keywords.
That's about it for now. More to come, I'm sure. Learning TONS!!