seo strategy

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Looks matter.

But as all of our mothers told us as children, Never judge a book by its cover and It’s what’s inside that counts.

Think about a house built without a solid foundation – it’s just waiting to blow down with the first change in the wind or a sudden rainstorm. Websites are much like this. Without the proper structure and design, functionality and search visibility they are prone to sub-par results or worse yet – failure!

In this article we discuss several topics you should consider before jumping into a website design or website redesign, including:

  • How SEO from the start will save time and money.
  • How SEO reveals your target market.
  • How SEO builds a content strategy based on your target market’s needs.
  • How SEO works when the website is still in the design phase.
  • How SEO at the start ensures you will have enough money to properly optimize your website.
  • Why you need your web developer, designer and SEO to work together for maximum synergies.

SEO from the Design Phase Will Save Time and Money

Today most businesses know that search engine optimization is important. What many fail to grasp is that it is most affordable and effective when implemented right from the start during the website design phase.

Most businesses will launch their website and other online campaigns and only then start to think about their next step … SEO. Bringing an SEO consultant in after the campaign has been launched means they will likely want to review the site to make sure everything is properly in place for maximum search visibility. If any problems are found they will need to be addressed right away.

One example here are clients who come to us with brand new websites that have dynamically generated URLs such as These URLs always change, are hard for visitors to read and are hard for Search Engines to index. Right away we would suggest that it be changed to a static URL that actually makes sense to the Search Engines and visitors, like

Another example are pages that do not include H1 tags, which are a huge indicator to Search Engines and visitors of the content on the page. We usually have to work with the developer to adjust the page templates so H1 tags can be added.

All of these minor tweaks take time … and time is money. If we had just worked together from the beginning there would be no need to have to go back in and make these changes.

There is a better way: Building your online market presence with SEO as an integral part of your design, marketing and development team helps you set yourself up for success in goals, structure, content and marketing platforms. Your integration online will flow seamlessly. Save time and money by adding an SEO Consultant throughout your design process!

SEO Will Reveal Aspects of Your Target Audience You May Not Know

Marketing to your audience must always come first – but what has that got to do with SEO? Through research your SEO professional can give you valuable statistics that can direct you toward the most successful market areas to focus on.

Your SEO can give you the hard numbers of where your market is looking and how they are looking. Is your market searching from desktop computers, tablets or Smartphones? Are they doing general search engine queries or are they searching on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter? Make sure your campaigns are the most effective across the Search Engines and Platforms used by your target market – an SEO will help you get these numbers.

Involve your SEO consultant in the decision of where to build your online presence and you set up shop in the right neighborhood for selling your wares.

SEO Helps Build Your Content Strategy Based on Customer Needs

SEO has always been about “keywords” and although keyword strategies have shifted over the last year with Hummingbird they are still very important. We even move to say that a proper keyword strategy can be more difficult to develop and all the more important.

People are using specific types of phrases to search for answers or solutions to their problems. They want information. An SEO can help you research what types of phrases they are looking for and all the related terms, questions, ideas and concepts surrounding that search. An SEO can help you anticipate that if a person is originally searching for, say example a dentist who removes wisdom teeth, that they will also be searching for information regarding symptoms, pain, swelling, cost, insurance coverage, surgery, recovery time and so on.

Having all of this information at your fingertips helps you build a website that suddenly makes you the expert on the topic because you have all of the information potential searchers will look for. If you were looking for a dentist, wouldn’t you rather find a website that has all the information you need rather than just a website that says, “We remove wisdom teeth!”?

An SEO can help you build out this content hierarchy and what pages should go where on your website for maximum credibility and impact.

But How Can an SEO ‘Optimize’ My Website
When There Isn’t a Website to Optimize Yet?

Speaking from experience we have had too many companies come to us with a brand new website that looked decent but had several major issues from an SEO perspective.

The content you see on the website is only half of the SEO equation. A huge part of Search Visibility is how well the Search Engines can access your website, crawl its pages, understand how the pages relate together, how fast it loads, where your server is located, how it appears on a mobile device and so on.

All of these items are inherently built into web design! Rather than having an SEO company suggest you fix these things right after paying for them in the first place, why not have an SEO work with your designers to have the groundwork of the site properly set up from the get-go?

Think of this stage as pouring the foundation of a house and building straight walls. If this isn’t done properly then other details such as siding and roofing materials, landscaping, interior finishing and other items don’t matter – the house isn’t sound and stable to start.

SEO From the Start Ensures Your Budget Doesn’t Run Dry

Think about the cost of a new website and the time it takes to build one. For most businesses, it always takes longer and costs more than they anticipate. The danger of leaving SEO until after the website is built is that you won’t have the proper sized budget leftover to properly optimize the site so it gets the results you need to keep fueling sales.

Are You Designing a New Website? Here are the Big Takeaways

  1. Before you get started know what you have to offer – your website must be built around your Unique Selling Proposition and branding.
  2. Use keyword research to know what to say and anticipate what your customers want.
  3. Know where your market is looking and spending time online, and where they should find you.
  4. Deliver your information in the most user friendly and informative way possible.
  5. Don’t think SEO can happen later – start SEO from the early stages of a website design for maximum results.
  6. Build a community between your SEO, web developer and marketing team for the most efficient delivery of your message.

If you are building a website and now realize the importance of having an SEO on your team – it’s not too late! Give us a call at 1-888-262-6687 to bring us on board. We’ll jump in at whatever stage needed and help strengthen your potential for success when your new website launches!

Chris Genge

Chris Genge is the Founder and CEO of 1st on the List. Since 1997 he has helped hundreds of companies across North America with his technical expertise and practical upfront approach to Search Optimization and Digital Marketing. As a pioneer in his field, Chris has the ability to help clients set goals and achieve results all while fostering growth and teamwork amongst his incredible team of SEO experts and Web Designers.