SEO Blueprint

If you are thinking you need some help with search engine optimization you are probably also wondering when is the right time to bring SEO into the process? And the answer is…right now.

A common mistake that businesses new to SEO make is that they think that SEO is something you can inject into your site whenever you need it. It’s never a fun conversation for a SEO consultant to explain to a new client that this is not the case.

Building a website is like building a house. The time to make your decision about what kind of windows you are going to use is when you are creating the blueprint. You don’t want to wait until the foundation has been poured and the walls have been built before you decide to change your plans.

So the time to make your decisions about SEO is when you are developing your site blueprint. SEO is a factor that affects every page on your site and is no less integral than what price you are going to charge, what color you are going to make the pages, how big the font is, etc.

I have seen too many clients have to retrofit SEO elements not only into their websites but also into the business processes they have created and trained their staff on. Retrofitting SEO can be an expensive and time consuming process.

If you are in the middle of building a website and starting to think about a SEO strategy my advice is to stop what you are doing, find someone who can help you with a good basic SEO plan and save yourself a lot of headaches down the line.

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8 Response Comments

  • Josh Garner  November 6, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Good advice. Any chance you can send this to every single business about to start a website? Lol.

    To take it a step further, it may also be a good idea to discuss the website design with an SEO before you get started. SEO’s can often refer you to a quality designer who he or she knows will be mindful of the SEO process. Makes things easier for everyone, and will end up saving a lot of money.

    I can personally attest that my rates for my SEO services increase if I’m coming in too late. If one of my referred designers build the site, I charge greatly less than normal.

  • Matt Ellsworth  November 6, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    I can definately agree with josh there. The right time to discuss SEO is before a site is built or when a redesign is planned. There are some simple things that can make a big difference.

  • Suzanne B  November 7, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Great point. In the same way you don’t ignore site design & just throw the code together and launch the site, you can’t just drop in the content without optimizing it first. It has to be a holistic process. And, as we all know, SEO takes time, so the sooner you get started, the better!

  • Pam  November 7, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Great stuff. One question: if you’re approached by a client who has a lousy Web site already built, what’s the best approach for retrofitting SEO into the site? Is it somewhat like installing replacement windows and a jacuzzi tub into an existing 1970’s home? 🙂

  • Andrew Shotland  November 7, 2007 at 5:52 pm


    That is a hard question to answer because each case is so unique. My approach is usually to give the client a comprehensive strategy which would likely require a rebuild but also give them options for low impact changes. Unfortunately the low impact stuff can sometimes have low impact if you know what I mean.

  • pete  October 9, 2009 at 3:59 am


  • Danny  November 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I think you should put domain name research as part of your plan.