When Is The Right Time To Start An SEO Campaign?

Almost a weekly occurrence at the office is the same conversation with Clare, our wonderfully talented and personable saleswoman. It usual goes something like this.

“What SEO sales meetings are in the pipeline?”

“I have arranged sales meeting with X, Y and Z. I also need to being company Q this week, as they are just finishing there new website now and want to talk to us about SEO once its live.”

This is the point my head explodes in frustration …. (not at Clare but at the assumption unknowing would be customers make), just after your new website is finished is the absolutely the worst time to start a new SEO campaign!

The reasons being

  1. Good SEO consultancy should be giving quality of advice on not just how sites should be built, but into what should be built.
  2. Time that could be spent on building links is wasted, and the site falls further behind it competitors whilst no action takes place during the site build phase.
  3. All budgets are often used up building a site that probably does not meet SEO specifications, on page SEO changes are impossible to implement due to budget.
  4. Technologies or build methodologies which are hostile to SEO are often used without thought in the build process, this either means spend to redo work or a less successful SEO campaign as compromises are made.
  5. People are tired of the change process once the new site is up, any further changes required are hard to push past this inertia.

Thus the idea of starting to talk to a customer just as they complete there new site usually fills me with dread, the only thing that worries me more is when internal IT have built there website.

When we would be the best time to start looking at SEO, well I am biased but I would say as soon as possible, the early addition of SEO consultancy to any web project has three effects

  1. As the website has fewer SEO compromises your campaign is more successful overall
  2. As you have link building before the new version of the site goes live, you achieve a good ROI much sooner
  3. You avoid unnecessary redevelopment costs after a site has gone live.

These benefits have to be set against the cost of your SEO contract, but in over 95% of causes I am sure that it will be more cost effective to employ your SEO company early in the process.