By David Levy, Associate Director, Marketing & Business Development
Site owners often wonder why search marketers recommend that SEO be built into the web development process from the very first stage – ideation. Makes sense to question this notion at first glance, but there are reasons why this recommendation is important.
Below are three of these:
- Saves Money. It’s always easier to optimize content and site structure as it is being built, as opposed to going back and optimizing what already has been implemented. The latter requires not only more resources for the search agency, but for the marketer as well. And remember, IT teams, copywriters, etc. don’t enjoy going back and changing what they’ve already built. Ingraining SEO best practice from the beginning makes everyone’s life easier, and marketing dollars go further.
- If You’re Not in the Natural Search Listings, It’s Difficult to be Found. A recent study released by TNS Compete demonstrated that approximately 93% of all clicks on a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) come from the natural listings. Combine that with the fact that over 80% of all web activity begins at a search engine (Harris Interactive Poll) and you can see why placement here is perhaps the most important thing you can do for the growth of your site.
- Site Content Should be Structured Around Search Behavior. The key to search is giving customers what they want – It’s really quite simple. Search volume is one of the best available tools for measuring consumer demand. It’s literally thousands or even millions of consumers telling us what matters to them. Shouldn’t this be accounted for when developing site content? With tools such as Google’s Wonder Wheel and Quintura, we can uncover key concepts that people are searching for around a given topic… and in hierarchical order! This then fuels the hierarchy development of the site so that the most prevalent topics/concepts (i.e. those with the highest search volume) bubble up to the top.
These are just a few examples, and there certainly are many more (let’s here ‘em!).
Just remember, no matter how you slice it, the time to optimize a Web site for Natural Search is not after it’s launched… it should be built into the development process from day one.