SEO before or after a website launch?
Should you tackle the intricacies of SEO before launching your site, or is it better to delve into SEO strategies after your virtual doors are open to the world?
For those embarking on the journey of creating a new website, one question stands out. Should you tackle the intricacies of SEO before launching your site, or is it better to delve into SEO strategies after your virtual doors are open to the world? This question is more than a technical consideration; it is a strategic decision that can significantly impact your website’s success.
The SEO process (simplified)
SEO tasks can be broken down into 4 main categories. This isn’t to say that the list stops here – but for the purpose of this article, it’s important to know these basics.
These are the words and phrases people type into search engines when seeking information. Through meticulous keyword research, you identify which terms are relevant to your audience and strategically weave them into your content. By understanding the questions your audience asks, you can optimise your content to provide the answers they’re seeking.
Creating high-quality, valuable content around your chosen keywords is key to attracting visitors and establishing authority. This includes blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and more. Well-crafted content not only answers questions but also keeps visitors engaged, encourages them to explore more, and improves your website’s overall search visibility.
The technical aspects of SEO ensure that your website is easy for search engines to crawl and users to navigate. Technical optimisation involves improving site speed, making sure your website is mobile-friendly, and having a well-organised structure. A smooth user experience keeps visitors engaged and prevents them from bouncing away, signaling to search engines that your website is worth promoting in search results.
Building Online Connections. Think of links as pathways between different parts of the internet. Link building involves getting other reputable websites to link to your content. This not only directs their audience to your website but also demonstrates to search engines that your content is valuable and worthy of recommendation. Quality links can significantly boost your website’s authority and credibility, improving your chances of ranking higher in search results.
The case for SEO prior to website launch
Considering the above process, let’s look at which of these tasks are beneficial to perform before or during the website build and why.
Keyword research goes beyond identifying the words your customers use; it’s a gateway to understanding their intentions. Effective keyword research provides insight into what your customers are seeking to accomplish when they search for specific terms. By delving into the diverse intentions behind user searches, you can craft a customer journey that guides them along the path of least resistance. By integrating your keyword research into the build process you maximise efficiency and add a level of insight not possible without keyword research.
Valuable content remains the cornerstone of SEO with a strong emphasis on usefulness. The emphasis has recently shifted away from keyword-centric strategies and towards helpfulness. Simply stuffing keywords into articles and pages without aligning your site’s structure and content with user needs will result in little to no ranking improvement. Writing informative articles that address user issues not only encourages natural linking but also builds trust, which leads to conversions. While content creation can happen after the site is built, starting with insightful articles in place greatly increases your chances of a successful launch.
By incorporating SEO optimisation into the development process, you guarantee that search engines correctly index your site from the very beginning, amplifying your ranking efforts and visibility instantly. SEO typically yields delayed results, as search engines take time to acknowledge changes and adapt. By optimising the site’s structure right away, you not only enhance ease of navigation for your customers but also simplify the process for search engines.
UX Design & site structure
Web developers do a great job of designing site structures and optimising user experience. However, the added influence of SEO research enhances the overall outcome immeasurably. Well-structured and labeled menus not only make the site easier to navigate for the user but also for search engines.
Our main argument for SEO during the build process is cost. Providing developers with optimised site structures, meta descriptions, page titles, and body copy allows them to work much more efficiently. This proactive approach streamlines the development process, reducing the need for extensive post-launch adjustments and, as a result, saving valuable resources. By incorporating SEO from the start, you’re fostering a harmonious collaboration between development and optimisation that will reap benefits long after the launch.
Incorporating SEO into the website development process isn’t just a tactical choice – it’s a strategic investment.
The benefits of post-launch SEO
Even though we recommend a portion of your SEO is performed pre-build, it is not always possible. There are many benefits to performing SEO once a site is already up and running.
As your SEO efforts progress, data becomes crucial. After the initial launch, keeping a close eye on progress is essential. This monitoring helps you make informed decisions and adjust your strategies as needed to improve results.
By analysing how users interact with your site, you can adapt existing pages to better reflect what typical users find useful. For example, if there is a certain style of article that outperforms others, it may be worth incorporating that style into some of your main pages.
Something that is difficult to do during the build process is link building. Links to and from high-authority sites are important in building the trust and authority of your website in the eyes of search engines. Link-building should be an ongoing effort and is much easier to do when you can direct your potential linkers to your optimised site.
The best of both worlds
It goes without saying that a balanced approach to SEO when building a new site will benefit you the most. Introducing pre-launch and post-launch elements, while continuing on a path of long-term SEO will ultimately be the most efficient way to increase your organic traffic.
If you are about to start the journey of building a new website, we strongly recommend integrating SEO into the planning process.