In the last month I’ve been presented with a half dozen projects that all go something like this: “we’ve just completed our site can you add some keywords to make it SEO”. Some of these requests have come from a client that I’ve done a number of projects for. In every project I’ve done for them I tell them that trying to shove SEO in at the end of the project is the wrong way to go. Every project should start with SEO!
If you understand nothing about SEO you should come to understand this – SEO cannot create demand. The best you can hope for is that you get found in the places that people are already going. This can be a search engine or the search tool in a social media site. Search only helps you find people that are already searching. That’s one of the great things about search marketing. You are marketing to people that are predisposed to your message.
I’ve never liked describing myself as a search consultant. It is certainly what I do and it is what my prospective clients understand but I do more than that. The work I do to help a site get found in a search engine can and will help drive traffic that wasn’t necessarily participating in a search. I might get my client mentioned in an article that drives visits from people there were not looking to solve a problem. You can’t get the kind of traffic by simply stuffing keywords into content that has already been produced.
In order to maximize the return when you hire a search consultant you need to engage the consultant before you build your site or even before you think of your website strategy. Your search strategy should be the foundation of your website not the window dressing.