Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Digital and Web Design

First Advisor

Jason Dude Lively

Second Advisor

Justin Kussman

Third Advisor

Andrew Allen Smith


Today, searching on the Internet is a common everyday occurrence, and behind the scenes, search engines go to work finding websites based on keywords. This project focuses on the different methods applied within Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) and how they can benefit a web designer. The purpose of this study is to identify the best practices for a web designer utilizing SEO and SMO. This research is a blend of qualitative and quantitative methods, with the primary focus as a customized survey questionnaire designed to extract a list of best practices from the various SEO and SMO fundamentals. The survey was distributed to a random sampling of 103 technology-related respondents through Amazon Turk (MTurk). The analyzed results are discussed in this study. This directed project aims to produce two main components: a best practices guide for the web designer, and an accompanying website. Therefore, this project report compiles the SEO and SMO survey results to be pragmatic for a web designer. The implications for the theory and practice are provided, especially the best practices for the web designer utilizing search engine optimization and social media optimization. The list consists of nine fundamental best practices obtained from the customized survey. If web designers learn these best practices in search engine optimization and social media optimization, they are more marketable and better equipped to succeed in an extremely competitive industry.