Guest blog: Why SEO means 'Start Early On'

Chris is the president of Smarta 100 winning digital marketing agency I Spy Marketing. Get expert advice from him this Friday at 3:30 pm in our live digital marketing surgery.

Like Kevin Costner in the film Field of Dreams, where websites are concerned too many businesses believe that 'if you build it, they will come'.

While most companies understand the importance of driving web traffic, many seem to misunderstand the role that search engine optimisation (SEO) plays from the very start of the process.

Digital marketing budgets are easily spent on creating attractive and engaging websites, but making them easier to find is often seen as a bolt-on service. Those coming late to the game may find that starting a natural search campaign further down the line can result in costly changes to all aspects of the site.

This is because boosting a site's Google ranking means making changes to its URL architecture, HTML code and image file names - among other core elements. While there are a variety of other methods that can be used, they aren't as effective - and certainly not best practice. 'Black hat' SEO tactics are a definite no-no.

The good news for businesses at the start of the process is that developers have become much more aware of the need to optimise websites early on. Most are now built using CSS - a programming language which makes sites easier for search engines to read, locate and rank. Coupled with the fact that search engines are much more efficient at relevancy rating, site owners can have a great-looking, all-singing, all-dancing website that's easier to find than before.

Web traffic can also be bolstered by other online platforms, and as social media continues to gain increasing importance, the convergence of all digital technologies in building long-lasting, natural search can't be underestimated.

But you still always, always need to remember that when it comes to SEO, you need to start early on.

Set a reminder now for the digital marketing surgery with Chris this Friday at 3:30 pm.

Get more advice on SEO.

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