Developing a holistic SEO strategy

Thinking about SEO before, during and after website builds pays dividends, says CPL One’s digital projects director Hannah Anderson.

Should you create an SEO approach before you launch that new website, or explore tactics after it’s up and running?

At CPL One, we know there is more to SEO than just thinking about the technical applications. Developing an SEO strategy will help drive your website’s success, and upfront strategy work  – which can be polished and refined post build – offers a robust approach. 

Incorporating SEO into the website development process isn’t just a tactical choice – it’s a strategic investment. Providing your content managers with optimised site structures, meta descriptions, page titles and body copy, allows them to work much more efficiently.

Planning your pre-build SEO 

There are three main reasons to develop a strategic approach to SEO before you build your site.

1. Keyword research
Keyword research is about more than identifying the words that your audience uses in search engines. Having a strategic approach to keywords offers understanding into what it wants to achieve or find in its searches. It enables you to craft a user journey that guides your audience along the path of least resistance. By integrating your keyword research into the build process, you maximise efficiency and add a level of insight that is otherwise not possible.

2. High-quality content
Good content remains essential for effective SEO. There has been a recent shift away from keyword-focused approaches towards prioritising helpfulness. Mere keyword stuffing of articles and pages, without aligning your site’s structure and content with user requirements, will yield little or no improvement in rankings. Crafting informative articles that tackle user concerns not only fosters organic linking but also cultivates trust, ultimately driving conversions. While content creation can take place after site construction, having some insightful articles already in position will significantly enhance the likelihood of a successful launch.

3. Visibility
Integrating SEO optimisation into the development process ensures search engines accurately index your site from the outset, instantly boosting your ranking efforts and visibility. By optimising the site’s structure early on, you not only improve navigation for your customers, but also streamline the process for search engines.

SEO beyond launch

However, don’t forget to optimise your SEO post-launch and beyond. A strategy for SEO is beneficial here, too. 

1. Outreach
Establishing links to and from influential sites is crucial for enhancing the trust and authority of your website in the eyes of search engines. Link-building is an important part of SEO, but can be challenging during the build process when you’ve no actual website to show people. Concentrate on this once your site is up and running, and ensure you continue to monitor and enhance your site links regularly.  

2. Data and insights
Following launch, data is a crucial input for ensuring your site is optimised for your audience. Make sure you are monitoring the user experience and journey. This will allow you to make informed decisions and adjust your strategies where necessary to improve results.

3. Enhancing content
By analysing user interactions, you can modify existing pages to better align with what typical users find valuable. For example, if there is a certain format, length or tone of article that outperforms others, it may be worth incorporating that style into some of your main pages.

A consistent approach to SEO from your strategic foundation through to development, while also continuing on a long-term maintenance and optimisation approach to SEO, is ultimately the most efficient way to increase your organic traffic.

For anyone about to start the journey of building a new website, we strongly recommend integrating SEO into the planning process. 

If you think you would like to discuss how we could help you with your website build or redesign, do please get in touch with our business development director, Lucy Oakshott.