The other day a prospect called us and asked for a proposal. He had engaged a pr firm who was getting him exposure in the press, but if you googled his name, not much came up. He wanted a price quote just to do SEO for his website. That's it, nothing else. No problem, right?
Here’s the catch: We checked out his website, which was comprised of a few pages of nice photos and a few short paragraphs of copy. The structure and foundation weren’t set up for optimal search.
What does this mean? Imagine that you want to put in a gourmet kitchen with a double oven, Viking stove, walk-in refrigerator, 4 seat working island, double sink, and a desk area. You hire a kitchen designer and you escort them into your 500 square foot studio apartment and say, “Make it work. Get me results.” This sounds like a crazy request, right? No one would expect the designer to be able to work within the confines of a small and inferior structure. In such a small space, there’s no place for all the appliances to live!
The same theory behind this example applies to search optimization (SEO), as well! Good content, which has now been declared King, is part of what creates good SEO results. What sometimes gets skipped over is that a well structured and designed website must be the first priority for a company, because the King (your content) needs a really strong castle to live in to be found by the search engines and withstand the onslaught of users storming the gates. (Have I overdone the visual metaphor?)
How To Prepare Your Website for Great SEO:
Create a long-term navigation plan that considers future goals. (blueprints)
Conduct Keyword research. (what phrases will people use to search for you?)
Test Adwords for how much competition there is for those keywords.
Integrate those keywords into the copy and headlines.
Code metatags and descriptions into the site. (technical stuff that sounds scary but isn't)
Create an ongoing plan for adding consistent content on your site. (search engines love new and changing content)
Remain consistently active on social media—your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
Everything needs to be "planned" (have I said that nasty word enough?) in order to get those SEO results some of us expect to happen by accident. The belief that SEO is magic and that users can be tricked into visiting your site is out of date. What it takes now is a good, solid structure and quality content.
Content may be King, but the King needs a well-built castle.