Don’t look for or expect an SEO quick fix with your initial web design.
Web design and seo that will rank you are two completely different things.
Did you just launch a website? Did you expect your website to start knocking out your competitors in search results?
If you did, you’re certainly not alone and while, yes, I would agree that SEO should be a part of your site launch; as a site owner you should know how to plan for the results you want.
It’s surprising how many business owners still believe that a few quick adjustments upon website creation like adding meta titles and keywords, yes keywords, will provide the boost they need to dominate search.
In my experience, a successful SEO strategy comes in the form of it’s own it’s own proposal, separate from the web design proposal or at the very least seo services should be identified as line item services for implementation. Web design and seo certainly should work together, but are distinctly unique services offerings.
In the web design industry, a clear project proposal is essential to not only completing the task at hand but making sure that you know what is going to be accomplished.
I can’t tell you how often I hear comments like; “I thought that SEO was going to be done as part of my website package,” or “I just had my website designed and I’m not showing up anywhere along with my competition.”
Just to clarify, there is NO magic once-over seo that can be thrown in with your initial web design to make your website magically rank above that of your competition.
The best way to avoid disappointment immediately after site launch is to educate yourself and set up a strategy for success prior to the launch.
Here are 3 articles you MUST read if you’re building a new website and are expecting successful SEO results:
by Paul Boag
by Chris Luttjohann
by Cyrus Shepard
While The Inconvenient Truth About SEO is quite a contraversial article in the SEO realm, Paul makes some great points that I believe every site owner should be aware of. Firslty, Paul paints a very clear picture of how much frickin’ work it truly takes to create a site that ranks well enough to generate good quality traffic.
In short, write useful content. This could include (but is not limited to):
Publishing white papers,
Writing a blog,
Sharing research findings,
Producing detailed case studies,
Encouraging user-generated content,
Creating useful applications or tools,
Running a Q&A section,
I also believe that truly successful online businesses have several people involved in creating the content and delivering the marketing message in a meaningful way.
Ultimately organizations need to change so that online marketing is a more distributed role with everybody taking responsibility for aspects of it. I am not suggesting that the central marketing function has no role in digital, but rather recognizing that they cannot do it alone. Others will need to have some marketing responsibilities as part of their role.
The rub for most small to mid-sized businesses is that they truly don’t have the staff, time or resources to set up and maintain this type of digital marketing strategy; which is why so many companies ultimately do turn to seo companies for help.
Since it’s conception, SEO is a term that has been bastardized endlessly taking on so many different meanings and definitions that most don’t really know what the hell it is. I personally break SEO into two simplified categories when determining strategy: on-site and off-site.
Authority and Trust
Chris, like Paul, also clearly portrays the amount of work involved in creating a truly successful SEO strategy. Read his full article for an in-depth explanation, but to give you an overview of what you should expect regarding SEO, you will need a team to help determine the appropriate course of action for:
Choosing the best targets means analyzing not only traffic levels, but searcher intent, competition level, and stage of the marketing funnel.
An SEO audit takes stock of items like how well your website is built, whether there are any infrastructural issues impacting crawling or site speed, whether you’ve been hit with any penalties, and how well you’re currently performing in search.
Because links are an enormous factor in both how well you rank and how liable you are to be hit with a penalty, it’s wise to do an assessment of how many links you have, where they’re coming from, and what the anchor text says.
Content and Conversion Audit
Driving traffic to your site is only the first step. Nurturing that traffic with compelling content and setting up your pages to convert is critical. These audits look for gaps in your content that are keeping people from converting and also examines how well you’re currently converting.
Business Goals and Performance Assessment
If you don’t know where you’re going, you may not like where you end up. Setting smart goals and benchmarking current performance gives you a barometer of how well your SEO is performing down the line.
Strategic Project Plan and KPI Creation
With all of these things assessed, everything is documented and KPIs are set.
Just to drive home my point that there is no magic one-time seo that will help your site upon launch, please make sure to read Cyrus Shepard’s, “Can You Rank in Google Without Links?”
Wait, I thought we were talking about SEO??? What do links have to do with anything?
Funny right? Not really.
There are far too many business owners being taken advantage of due to lack of understanding. With as much information out there regarding this topic there shouldn’t be.
A brand new site has no links, no authority and no trust.
In other words, if you’re looking for a site that ranks well with no external links, be prepared to look for a very long time.
It seems obvious, but the study confirmed the long-standing correlation between higher rankings and the number of external links found from unique websites.
Indeed, out of all the data points the ranking correlation study looked at, the number of unique websites linking to a page was one of the highest correlated relationships we found.
I like the 3 articles mentioned above because together they provide enough detailed insight for business owners to understand what is involved in creating SEO for traffic and conversions as well as to make an educated plan of attack regarding their website launch or redesign.