Why integrate SEO with web design?

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A web or mobile app development project requires time and patience. Between creating graphic models, choosing features, hosting and content preparation, it’s easy to forget or side-line the SEO issue.

Working on the Search Engine Optimization of a website during the design phase – before it goes live – is of paramount importance. Taking the step to take your business online is great, but once your site is developed, you’re going to need to think about making it accessible and easy to find. If your website sells shoes that’s all fine and well, but do you know how many other businesses also sell shoes on the Internet? How do you plan to get people to find you, visit your online store and then buy from your site and not one of your competitors? All of this can be planned and structured through a process called natural referencing, or SEO.

Thinking about an SEO strategy before launching your website, in other words during the web design phase, will help you avoid the most common pitfall of having to redesign your website to accommodate SEO later on. You can achieve this by integrating natural referencing. The best SEO strategies are conceptualized and developed while you are developing your site’s tree structure as well as its user experience (UX).

Can I just ignore SEO?

Avoiding the use of an SEO strategy for your website is definitely not recommended – and often is simply not possible. Any website is required to comply with certain rules when it comes to SEO, and yours won’t be an exception.

Let’s take a look at two key reasons why your website must be built in a way that respects natural referencing / SEO:

  • Most websites need the traffic from search engines like Google. Indeed, at 94% coverage, Google is the most used search engine in Europe. Traffic that originates from search engines, otherwise known as “organic traffic”, typically accounts for 50% of total website traffic worldwide.
  • Any natural referencing action or SEO planning that’s taken before the website goes live will be much more effective than if it has been integrated after the fact. It is essential to set good SEO foundations from the start, and to feed webpages to Google that are well optimized in SEO from the time a website launches.

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Why engage with SEO during the web design phase?

SEO specialists dedicate their time to optimizing a website so that quality, organic traffic arrives on the site. They deploy various editorial and technical approaches to achieve this goal, so that the website is well referenced on search engines.

This is an overview of the many activities of an SEO specialist:

  • Analyze key expressions, their utility and relevance.
  • Provide semantic and content-related advice.
  • Optimization of tags: titles, meta descriptions, subtitles, images, etc.
  • Input on link management.
  • Provide technical advice for the development of the website itself: this can include the technologies that will be used, loading times, crawl times, log management, etc.

Benefits of integrating the SEO strategy during a website’s design phase

If your business model and sales strategy relies heavily on visitors from Google, then thinking about SEO from the design stage of your site is critical to your chances of success on the Internet.

These are some of the benefits of implementing an SEO strategy upstream in your web development project:

  • The structure and tree structure of your site is aligned with your SEO goals. The page silos will have been carefully selected to please and convince your target. Internal networking strengthens your positioning in Google. If you develop without SEO in mind from the start, you will ultimately get to the point where you have to rebuild your site, starting from scratch in order to have an “SEO friendly” site.
  • Your site will appear thoughtful and well in-tune to your target, who you will understand deeply and address their concerns. Embarking on a natural referencing / SEO strategy from the get-go means asking the following questions:
  • Who is my target?
    • What are their concerns?
    • What do I want to sell?
    • How does my target find what I sell on the Internet?
  • You have better control over costs: integrating SEO in the beginning of a web project will be much more profitable and make a lot more economic sense than trying to integrate it once the website is online, or years after it has launched.
  • Your natural referencing efforts will be rewarded by Google. The more consistent your SEO activities are over time, the more Google will acknowledge your website’s strength and reward you in terms of visibility.

Another important point: if you try to implement an SEO strategy once the site has already been finalized and is online, the potential scope of your SEO actions will be much more limited. Certain processes, such as optimizing URLs, for example, will be much more difficult once the site is online.

As an IT development company, we can provide you with a team of digital talents to design your software, websites and mobile apps.

In summary: when you implement a strong SEO plan before launching a website, you can avoid having to break your site afterwards to make changes. You will also avoid launching a site that can have a long-term negative impact on your visibility because of bad SEO practices. So, don’t think twice about delaying the launch of your site for a few weeks in order to ensure that your SEO strategy has been considered and properly implemented. The time taken now will cost far less than if you take it later.

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