You May Have Lost Sight of What SEO Really Is

Search Engine Optimization professionals don’t carry magic wands with them and they don’t have a magic potion to make your site gain visibility in the Search Engines Ranking Pages. Many companies have lost sight of what SEO truly is. Search Engine Optimization Professionals have gotten pegged into a corner that make them look like magicians that magically pass a wand over a website and “bam!”, rankings are there, leads are coming in, ROI is up and sales are coming in. I hate to let you know something, this is in no way true. Search Engine Optimization, and even the marketing side, takes time. Included in this time is research, development of site architecture, development of content, internal links, obtaining external links, and looking at over 100 points that are involved in making a website an SEO success.

SEOs aren’t sitting back in a dark corner waiting for you to hand them a website. Rather, a Search Engine Optimization professional is more along the lines of a project manger, regardless of where the project starts. Whether it’s a new website or one that is being redone, the SEO has an instrumental position in how the development process moves forward. Gone are the days of the SEO being handed a completed website as minor on and off page changes aren’t going to yield the results that they used to. The process of SEO is now a complete, fully run operation that begins with in-depth keyword research and continues itself through the whole web development project until one of two things happen – the client has decided not continue with the monthly retainer, or the site is down. It’s an infinite process that has only a beginning and really no end.

There is a backwards way of doing SEO and a forward thinking way of doing SEO. The backwards way is to design and develop a site and then send it off to optimize it. This means that the keyword research is done at the end of the project, the content hasn’t been thought out properly, and generally, you have pages that wont’ be filled with content for months on end.

The forward-thinking way of creating or recreating a website has a process that looks like the following:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Silo the research
  3. Create general architecture of the site
  4. Wireframes
  5. Development
    1. Design
    2. Programming
    3. Content
  6. Optimization continues
  7. Testing begins
  8. Testing ends
  9. Site is soft launched
  10. Testing
  11. Site is hard launched

OK, it seems complicated, but here is the other scenario. The site is designed and developed, tested and all is good. But, what about the marketing? What about the interactivity of the site? And more importantly, what about the SEO? So then you have the process that goes from design and development, and then the content is added. Everything is done linear, rather than being done in a quality-check, non-linear process as proposed above. The linear process has it’s defects as you will have to go back to Step 2, then to 4, back to 6, over to 10, back to 3, up to 5… it becomes a mess. Why? No research was done, no wireframes were done to create the architecture, and the silos of information haven’t be considered.

All-in-all, Search Engine Optimization and Marketing are a very big part of the management of web development. Landing pages have to be considered, research has to be considered and the overall architecture of the site has to be considered before a site is designed and developed. No matter how new or old the site, a good process with checks and balances, consistency in development and research into the site architecture will make or break your site.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’d love some input!

 

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