Developing an SEO Plan Prior to Site Development

11/25/2010 5:24:41 PM
It is widely understood in the industry that search engine optimization should be built in, as early as possible, to the entire site development strategy, from choosing a content management system (CMS) and planning site architecture to on-page content development. SEO practitioners have significant input in both of these areas. Of course, many businesses learn about the need for SEO only after they have built the site, in which case the time to start is now.

SEO plans have many moving parts, and SEO decisions can have a significant impact on other departments such as development, other marketing groups, and sales. Getting that input as soon as possible will bring the best results for a business at the least possible cost (imagine that you develop your site and learn you need to replace the CMS—that would be very, very painful!).

Business Factors That Affect the SEO Plan

Here are some examples of business issues that can impact SEO:

Revenue/business model

It makes a difference to the SEO practitioner if the purpose of the site is to sell products, sell advertising, or obtain leads. We will discuss this more in the later sections of this chapter.

Target customers

Who are you trying to reach? This could be an age group, a gender group, or as specific as people looking to buy a house within a 25-mile radius of Orlando.

Competitor strategies

The competitive landscape is another big factor in your SEO plan. Competition may be strongly entrenched in one portion of the market online, and it may make sense to focus on a different segment. Or you may be the big dog in your market but you have specific competitors you want to fend off.

Branding goals

There may be terms that are critical for you to own for branding reasons.

Budget for content development

An important part of link building  is the quality of your content, as well as your capacity to commit to the ongoing development of quality on-page site content.

How your potential customers search for products like yours

Understanding what customers do when they are searching for products or services like yours is one of the most basic functions of SEO . This involves mapping the actual search queries your target customers use when they go to a search engine to solve their current problem.

Other -----------------
- Setting SEO Goals and Objectives
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