When starting a new business or looking for a new website, it’s easy to fall into the trap of jumping straight into things. It’s an exciting prospect after all.
A website is what connects your business with your audience, so getting it right is essential. Some might invest in an all-singing all-dancing site from a creative agency. Some might use a few online tutorials and give it a go themselves. Others will utilise the skills of friends – we all have a friend who ‘builds websites’, right? But when you do that, you might very well also end up with a website that doesn’t really do much in the end. There’s no traffic. No leads, either. Your niche is still popular and your competitors are thriving online, but somehow your site is stagnant.
It gets easier and easier to forget about it and try the next means instead. The website is cast aside as something that ‘just doesn’t work’. It happens to websites every single day. But there is a solution to all of this. SEO.
What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It generally covers the process of optimising your website and the things that are on it to perform better in search engines. This helps you to appear as high on the results pages of things that your audience is searching for, and as a result, get the business that you need for your organisation.
SEO is essentially the process of making your website get free traffic. That can go on for years to come, too. While you might also be trying to get traffic from other means, like through Social Media or through paid advertising, SEO will always be there in the background to reach the people who aren’t reachable or responding to these either means. It’s a core principle.
As a concept, it actually falls into several different areas that need to be factored in. Everything from the content that you have on the site through to the layout of the pages and even the pages that you have in the first place. Without it, even with the best site in your industry, if it isn’t optimised or if there are issues present that haven’t been addressed, there’s a very good chance that no one will ever even see it without you paying for it.
Why SEO first?
So, with all of that said, one main question arises from it all. Why does SEO have to come before the site build itself? A website can be optimised after it has been built, after all. The answer is essentially that by building SEO into the very heart of the site, it is optimised in every way possible rather than having limitations that may come into play later on. It allows you to really get the full potential of the site, and it comes from multiple different aspects.
By utilising keyword research, you’re able to build the content that you need in ways that will both attract the audience from Google as well as help your website to convert all at the same time.
Rather than having to add additional text later on or do a full rewrite, you will have the best keywords at your site’s very core. That’s incredible for better rankings.
Another thing that is often completely forgotten about when working on SEO before a site is created is that it can give you insights like nothing else. You get to truly understand what it is that your audience is looking for, and build your pages around that.
You can tailor your content to answer their queries or to understand the process that they experience to find and convert in your industry. That allows you to cater to that right from the very start. You might even find keywords or services that you offer but don’t even advertise, all just by looking at the volumes and intent of the things your audience is searching for.
Layout and design
A crucial, crucial factor of any website’s overall success as a whole is that the design and layout are solid. It has to be able to compete in your industry. It has to build trust, and authority and convey the messages that you need to put out, above all else.
By optimising a website before you finish creating it, you can make sure that this isn’t something that you have to sacrifice later down the line. You’re able to design around the content, rather than having to make the content fit the design, and you can truly capture the best of both worlds by doing this.
Structure and page hierachy
This is something that sounds a lot more complicated than it is. It is essentially how you structure your site and pages, and how your users and Google itself will be able to understand your site. Things like categories, help sections and the like are prime examples of this in action.
It shows things like which pages are the most important and which are subpages (parent and child pages), shows your audience how they reach the page they’re on (similarly to using things like breadcrumbs), and it generally helps to keep your site tidy and easy to understand.
Appointing the right web team
Finally, optimising the site before the build also helps you to make sure that you have the right team for the job working on your site. A huge number of agencies and developers are not able to provide and typically don’t even consider SEO when building a site.
If you’re not considering it either, the end result is of course little to no optimisation at all. That could cost you a hefty amount of money to reconfigure or rebuild if you need to. Instead, SEO from the beginning of the project means that you’re able to hire an agency or team that can work on these things at the same time, without sacrifice or neglect. That is a truly underrated tool to have at your disposal.