There are so many websites out there that have not been optimised for search engines at all, the question is should web designers optimise websites for search engines as part of the overall solution?
Well it’s perhaps a little unfair to criticise web designers for not doing SEO as standard since it is an entirely different skill set, however my opinion is that to be in the web design market these days in order to add value to clients some basic knowledge of SEO is essential.
Of course having the skill sets is one thing, but doing SEO properly is a time consuming process so arguably it should be an optional service in addition to website, and really if a client want their website to produce results for them, then they should be seriously considering this.
However I do believe that every site should have basic SEO included, this means that HTML title tags can be made relevant to the website itself, and the website should be search engine friendly making it easy for either a customer to complete the SEO themselves or an SEO consultant to manage should the design firm not offer SEO services themselves.
Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case most of the time and customers are often left with what might be a great site from a design or technical point of view, but just does not produce results for them.
My advice would be to find a web design company that actually offer design, development and SEO in-house, this way you should be confident in the knowledge that your website should look great, be technically good and actually produces results for you.