When is The Best Time to SEO Your Website?
When you're building a new website, at what point in the process do you begin to implement SEO? That's the question raised by Forbes columnist Josh Steimle, who advises that SEO should be integral to the entire web design process from the beginning. Being an online integrated marketing company Moonstone Interactive can help with all aspects of your site from web design to SEO.
"Too often I have been approached by a client who says, 'We just finished our new website, we’re ready to start SEO.' We then audit the website and find out that there are so many parts of it that need to be fixed in order to do SEO effectively that the company has to scrap their new website and start over," says Steimle, before laying out what he calls the "Universal Principles of SEO for New Websites." Those principles stress the interconnected relationship and overlap of SEO, UX (user experience), and overall web design -- a relationship that begins way before the design concept has been made a reality.
In the case of companies that wait to begin the SEO process until after the website has already been designed, Steimle says, "In almost every case this large expense in terms of time and money could have been avoided had an SEO professional been consulted at the beginning of the project, rather than at the end of the project.” SEO should then continue throughout the UX/web design/build process." Moonstone Interactive can certainly help you properly optimize your current site, and also recommends to optimize the any new or redesigned website as it is built for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
In addition, the sooner you begin the SEO process -- "Much or all of the time spent on SEO involves discovery, analysis, strategy, and planning," says Steimle -- the sooner you'll see its benefits. If you wait until the website launches to begin SEO, you'll also be waiting a while to see it produce results. Alternatively, if you're building a new website now and have given yourself the appropriate amount of lead time to develop an SEO strategy, then you can synchronize your SEO strategy with your new sitemap, new design, and website development.
And once your website -- SEO strategy incorporated -- is done and published, the SEO process should continue as an ongoing initiative. That's another of Steimle's Universal Principles. "Your website isn’t 'SEO’d' and then it’s done," he says. "You can’t just 'SEO your content.' Yes, there are parts of SEO that are more like one-time activities while others are definitely ongoing, but SEO isn’t SEO unless you have both." And your website will only continue to perform if you keep up with ongoing SEO activities. You should monitor your SEO visibility continuously. This can be the real work of Search Engine Optimization.
Finally, Steimle stresses that the UX designer, web designer, and SEO strategist should function as a team. According to his Universal Principles, "Your UX and web designers should understand SEO, and your SEOs should understand UX and design." Moonstone takes that principle one step forward by including the developers in that mutual functioning team for optimal SEO implementation. The technical SEO is also important to enable the search engines to quickly crawl the website and recognize the SEO value.
In summary, SEO should not be an afterthought in a website implementation project. SEO should be integrated in the entire process from strategy through website design and website development for a successful website. However, since the people working on UX, web design, and development on your website are unlikely to understand much about SEO, and vice versa, an experienced project manager may need to coach each component of the website creation with the respective SEO best practices. Here at Moonstone Interactive our entire team works together under the direction of an experience web producer, who facilities the entire team to achieve all SEO, marketing, business and functional requirements as one integrated team.