SEO as an Afterthought is a Mistake
We are constantly getting clients coming in who already have a website and are now looking for marketing, specifically SEO. Mistake #1 & #2. Here’s why.
First of all, I believe (and let all my detractors comment below) that the process should be so:
SEO during planning, web design, web development, SEO, launch, SEO maintenance.
Confused? Let me show you the light (or at least my light). In my humble opinion, SEO should be concerned with the following:
(a) Driving Targeted Traffic
(b) Enhancing and optimizing the experience for the desired outcome
With that said, SEO during planning includes strategies such as content creation, content development, navigation planning, site architecture and more. Sure, lots of great SEOs out there will say, “duh!” In my own defense, I look at a lot of SEO service sites. More often than not I don’t see anything proactive about site planning for initial launch nor do I see much talk about architecture. It’s out there, but the big dogs of the industry are the ones that discuss it.Sometimes those discussions are left to the blog or industry-side communications pages and not necessarily with the ‘call to action’ or ‘sales’ pages.
SEO during planning lends a hand to enhancing the experience as well as pre-shaping the site for multiple pages in the SERPs and all the traffic doorways of opportunity.
If the visitor experience is positive, then one process or goal of the website is complete and successful. In other words, a really crappy site may rank well and get a whole slew of traffic, but if the site is bunk, the conversion is lost. Bye bye ROI. Also, SEO won’t fix your shitty product nor will it sell your junk. So, here’s a mini-lesson — learn to say no to clients if at all possible. I am well-aware that money in a tough economy is tight, but really, the outcome should be positive for both parties, the marketer and the client. It’s a no win situation when the SEO drives throngs of traffic (even if targeted and relevant), but the conversion isn’t there. We’re all guilty of it somewhere along the line whether personally or professionally (and at Overit Media we’re straight up) – delivering on what most people consider SEO is (great rank and traffic), but falling short of increasing the ROI due to a bunk product, site or message.
So, mistake#1: Not using SEO services during planning.
That brings us to mistake #2: Waiting to implement SEO.
There are stats floating around that state extended periods of time for full-inclusion and good (rank) representation in the search engines are present due to implementing SEO as a marketing strategy after launch. So, if a site averages 6-12 months for a good spot in the SERPs when SEO is implemented at launch, then add 3-6 more months if SEO is an afterthought.
And, as a site owner and even as an SEO, time can be an enemy. How so Joe? As a site owner, the more time that passes before the traffic flood gates open means delayed success. Me no love you long time. As an SEO, time is an enemy when those same site owners are calling and emailing incessantly about “needing results now!” But alas, young bucks, time is actually your friend when it comes to entering the arena of those first page results. The challenge of explaining to site owners that time is actually their friend (good, solid SEO uses extended periods time as a tool and technique for great results based on longevity) is a whole other story, for another time.