Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often misunderstood in the process of building a website. The client and the designer spend hours hammering out a design, content and navigation. Once a design is approved, a good designer will insure that the website is architected so that the design is ‘SEO friendly‘. Marketing, social media and SEO are often separate deliverables with separate pricing structures.
A good designer will define deliverables and set expectations for both the designer and the client. Websites can be beautifully designed and fully functional and yet generate minimal traffic. Marketing a website entails ongoing work requiring extensive research, daily traffic monitoring and implementation of strategies to help the client get their website ranked. Clients may not have the time, knowledge or manpower to take on this level of work.
I Want to be on Page One of Google
This is the most common statement heard from clients after the website is online. In some cases, the client may have contracted for SEO services, but in many cases, the client opted not to purchase ongoing marketing and SEO services. Unfortunately, there is no ‘magic’ involved in SEO. It requires knowledge, time, and quality content to establish and achieve SEO goals.
Small businesses rarely have available staff that can take on such rigorous requirements. If the staff does exist, they may not have the knowledge or the skills to get the website to come up in search. Depending on the competition, this may take months and mistakes can be costly in terms of ranking among your competitors.
I recently did some research about Orlando auto parts stores. There were over five million results returned. Five million. If I did a more specific search, the field was narrowed down to one and a half million results. That’s the competition.
Where Does SEO Strategy Begin?
The easy answer is ‘in the beginning’. Everything is strategic. The end results require the proper planning and strategy in the beginning steps of the project. It is imperative to be upfront about your business goals and to communicate those thoroughly to your design company. The relationship between designer and client is a strategic relationship.
I am Finally on Page One of Google!
This is great news and news we all want to hear. Getting there and staying there are two different things. Remember the auto parts store and their competition? Over a million search results and statistics indicate most people do not look past page one of the results. Remember: Your competitors are reaching for the same brass ring.
It can be overwhelming – but it does not need to be. Establish your goals and your budget upfront before you call in a design company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you clearly understand your goals, it will be much easier to communicate those goals to the company that will design and market your website.