Any SEO/M will tell you their job description sucks because in the process of describing exactly what they do, they nearly always watch the listener's eyes glaze over, waiting for a topic that may make better sense. Same thing with user centered design/usability industry folks. That glazed eyes thing is often followed up with, "Did you say you wanted another beer?"
There really are productive reasons to incorporate SEO/M (search engine optimization and marketing) and user centered design techniques into web design. Two, well, three discussions at Cre8asiteforums, are focused on how to inject logic and practicality into web design, and why. Two of them are human-computer oriented, for when you're ready to commune with the reasons why people do things, in addition to how. It's about meeting their needs. Of course, understanding them is no piece of cake, which is why there are so many ongoing studies. Some of these studies involve how people search and use search engines, since this is how they find most web sites they'd like to use.
Some thought provoking discussions on web design and programming that meet human requirements:
"What does matter is the way we can use the "thing". How the features don't get in our face and the "thing" just lets us do what at the most basic level we want to do."
"One thing relates to another, and understanding relationships helps us build usablility into navigation strategies."
Should links still be underlined and blue?. The responses are all over the place. Cre8tive choice fights a strong battle.
The tie-in to SEO/M? There are many, but one strong one is landing pages. Large financial investments are made into the design of landing pages for search engines for use in marketing and conversions. Persuasive design is determined to figure out what people need and want, but that's not all. Web user environment matters too. Cultures, gender, and age matter too. Links on a landing page have assignments, much like an army of soldiers.
Don't let anyone tell you that you have a silly little job.