The aim: This post highlights SEO areas that need to be addressed and decided on before the website brief is sent to designers and developers.
Imagine a scenario: a client asks what they should do to improve their organic rankings.
After a diligent tech audit, market analysis, and a conversion funnel review, you have to deliver some tough recommendations:
“You have to redesign your site architecture,” or
“You have to migrate your site altogether,” or even
“You have to rethink your business model, because currently you are not providing any significant value.”
This can happen when SEO is only seriously considered after the site and business are up and running.
As a marketing grad, I can tell you that SEO has not been on my syllabus amongst other classic components of the marketing mix.
It’s not hard to imagine even mentored and supported businesses overlooking this area.
This post aims to highlight areas that need to be addressed along with your SWOT analysis and pricing models — the areas before you design and build your digital ‘place’:
Wider strategic areas
Technical areas to be discussed with developers.
Design areas to be discussed with designers.
Note: This post is not meant to be a pre-launch checklist (hence areas like robots.txt, analytics, social, & title tags are completely omitted), but rather a list of SEO-affecting areas that will be hard to change after the website is built.
Wider strategic questions that should be answered:
1. How do we communicate our mission statement online?
After you identify your classic marketing ‘value proposition,’ next comes working out how you communicate it online.
Are terms describing the customer problem/your solution being searched for?
Your value proposition might not have many searches; in this case, you need to create a brand association with the problem-solving for specific customer needs. (Other ways of getting traffic are discussed in: “How to Do SEO for Sites and Products with No Search Demand”).
How competitive are these terms?
You may find that space is too competitive and you will need to look into alternative or long-tail variations of your offering.