As I was writing the title of this post, I started to write “Top 3 SEO Tips for Your Website.” Then I backed the cursor up and added New to the title.
There’s a reason for that, and it’s not that SEO isn’t important for your existing site (it is) or that there aren’t any ways to improve the visibility of your existing site (there are).
And it’s also not a sneaky way to convince you to build a new website with us (although have you seen our websites?) But simply put, the best time to get serious about SEO is before you launch a new site.
Let’s take a look at 3 key reasons why that’s true.
The best time to get serious about SEO is before you launch a new site.
SEO and Content Strategy
Too often in agencies, SEO and content are completely siloed from one another. It can be easy to view them as two separate efforts that need two separate teams: left brain vs. right brain, qualitative vs. quantitative, nerds vs. um…nerds.
In reality, the most effective websites integrate SEO and content strategy together. Keyword research can inform what pages need to be on the site and what language needs to be included in the messaging. It can also reveal what questions people are asking that your business is positioned to answer.
By focusing entirely on the content and putting off SEO until “phase 2,” you’re making a lot more work for yourself down the road. Trying to shoehorn SEO best practices into a site that wasn’t built with that in mind is going to be more expensive and less effective than using SEO to inform your content before launch.
Trying to shoehorn SEO best practices into a site after launch is going to be more expensive and less effective than integrating SEO before launch.
Google Maps SEO
I often think about the phrase “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” When it comes to SEO, that translates as: If it’s worth your time, energy, and money to build a new site, don’t you want people to see it?
Launching a new website is a great time to make sure all your other web properties are claimed, accurate, and optimized. Google Maps falls under this category.
Sure, you could cross your fingers and hope Google’s magic robot brain correctly lists your business name, website, address, phone number, hours, etc.
But by claiming ownership of that listing through Google My Business, you can have full control over what users see when searching for your brand. You have to jump through a couple hoops to verify ownership of the business, but this is really a no-brainer when it comes to maximizing your new site’s visibility and making sure people can find you on the map.
Don’t Screw It Up!
No pressure, of course. But in my experience, the number one purpose of working with an SEO company is to make sure you don’t do something really, reallllly bad.
Just recently I heard about a company that asked their web developer why their new site wasn’t showing up in Google. Like, at all. The developer asked an SEO friend of mine. My friend took a look and quickly discovered that the developer left a setting in place that told Google to ignore the site completely.
It was a quick fix to change that setting, but there’s no telling how much business that company missed out on or how long it’ll take to recover the visibility they had. The lesson here—other than “don’t screw it up”—is to make sure you have the right SEO company in the room throughout the build and launch process.
Finding the Right SEO Expert
When it comes to SEO consultants in Nashville (or just about anywhere), you’ll find a lot of people claiming to be gurus, ninjas, wizards, or magicians. That crew might be great if you need extras for a remake of Labyrinth, but not as helpful when it comes to building a website that’s a powerful tool for your business.
At Element 47, you won’t hear us making claims about SEO as a silver bullet that will magically fix your business. But when you prioritize a well-crafted SEO strategy within your marketing plan, you set yourself up to succeed online in the short and long term.