Today, I want to get into why SEO should be considered as early as possible in digital marketing, especially when launching a site, whether it be a relaunch of an existing site, or the creation of a brand new one.
The typical thinking when it comes to SEO, is that the channel will be considered when it comes to marketing.
And, this is understandable. SEO is a marketing channel. It sits within marketing – for the most part!
So it stands to reason that it’s considered along with other marketing channels, when the marketing of a site begins.
Although this thinking is logical, it doesn’t serve your business very well.
Because SEO sometimes operates outside of the marketing department.
There are times when SEO is full throttle in the marketing mix.
However, when launching a new site, you’re better off to consider SEO as a Research & Development channel.
When you’re launching a site, you’ll want to engage SEO to gather insights, which will shape the decision you make.
What kind of insights can SEO provide during the research phase of a site launch?
Keywords! This is a big one, right?
It’s a big area of insights because this can, and often do, shape the entire website.
Rather than launching a site and having SEO restructure it afterwards, you can engage SEO to carry out keyword research as part of the information gathering process that then leads to the creation of the site.
What you tend to get with websites, when SEO isn’t involved prior to its launch, is a site that’s built from the company’s point of view.
A company’s point of view is often not its targeted audiences’ point of view.
You can see this clearly with the keyword choices.
Without SEO involvement, a site launches without any targeted keywords. If there are, in the case of product-based sites, for example, the targeted keywords are brand-based, which is targeted by default, not strategically.
With SEO involvement, a site launches with precision targeting. I’m talking, page for page, the targeted keywords are mapped.
This is where you get to know the SEO equity of pages across your site!
This is what you get when you involve SEO before a site is launched.
You can literally see on paper, or a spreadsheet, rather, the keywords you’re targeting, per page.
What value do you think this has? Knowing the keywords you’re targeting for each page?
Put aside the CTR from organic search, the ranking and traffic projections – all of that!
You can have and see all the value in figures but from an operational point of view, what benefit does SEO bring to your business when you know the SEO equity of pages? What does this mean?
It means pages are regarded as assets.
When your workforce (your assets) regard pages as assets, what do you have? Assets building assets!
You have this! Why? Because you engage SEO before launching a site!
I’m telling you, this SEO thing… there’s more to SEO than SEO!
It will shape the way you think about digital marketing!
When you involve SEO before launching a site, you get to build a site for your targeted audience, and let me say something about your targeted audience…
…they’re a mixture of people who are and aren’t aware of you and/or your offering.
This is a well known insight to an SEO, which is why the term ‘brand’ and ‘non-brand’ keywords exist.
SEO is able to show you such insights!
You wouldn’t go to market without researching the market, would you?
Why would you not include SEO in that research process?
Why would you not include SEO in the development of your site before you launch it?
You know what you end up with, from a technical point of view, when SEO is not included in the development of your site?
You end up with a cluster-mess that search engines find difficult to crawl and/or understand!
How do you expect to increase your organic visibility when search engines find it difficult to navigate your site?
Why will search engines present your site to their users when they themselves do not understand it?
If what I’ve just said sounds foriegn to you, let me suggest another reason why SEO should be engaged before launching a site –
Your business becomes more familiar with how search engines work!
Why is this important?
It’s important because it will make the implementation of SEO streamlined.
It will make the relationship that SEO has with departments conducive of an environment where improvements are welcomed.
What’s the alternative to this…?
Well, the alternative is where SEO is brought in post-site launch and point out things that need to be ‘fixed’.
What does this usually lead to? It leads to blame, right?
And which department tends to be the first to shoulder this blame? The Dev department!
Is it any wonder why Devs and SEO are at logheads at first?
If a site is launched before SEOs are engaged, and are then brought in afterwards, the first step will be an audit of the site, a tech audit.
The audit will show things that need to be ‘fixed’, which lands on the Dev department, a department that has been responsible for launching the site.
It’s understandable that they interpret an SEO tech audit as a slight on their work!
Let me tell you this…
Devs are not responsible for SEO.
Devs do Dev-shit. SEO does SEO.
Devs implement SEO but Devs are not responsible for SEO.
The development of a site requires SEO. By this, I mean, a person who specifically focuses on SEO, and ideally has SEO, or something equivalent in their job title.
What you want to avoid doing, which unfortunately is still the norm in digital marketing, is to leave SEO to the Dev team to ‘configure’ as part of their duties in launching the site.
This can be a pitfall!
This can be a costly mistake!
One that can easily be avoided by simply getting an SEO involved in the launch of the site before the site launches.
And by the way, a few days or even a few weeks before launch is not enough time for SEO.
The time allocated to develop a site is a good rule of thumb of how much time should be allocated to SEO.
This is why, when launching a site, you’re better off thinking of the SEO channel as a Research & Development channel, which then transcends into a marketing channel once the site is launched.