What Comes First, SEO or Site Development?
This might be a dilemma faced by other domain owners/developers, but I always seem to have an issue with my search engine optimization once my websites are developed. When I consult with friends who do SEO, most give some very good tips, but it can be quite an exasperating amount of work – especially after a site is launched. So, my question is, how do you prioritize your SEO while developing your website?
Much like you can’t expect your web designer to be a master coder/programmer and visa versa, you can’t expect your web developer to be a master of SEO. As a result, there may be some major issues related to the SEO that would require huge back-end changes, which is something a domain owner/developer doesn’t want to hear after a site is launched. When major issues come up, there is a whole lot of redesign that might need to be done, costing a great sum of money. That said, how do you overcome these issues?
Take TropicalBirds.com for example. The site averaged less than 1 visit per day before launch. A couple weeks after launching, it was receiving over 100 uniques per day, with the majority of the traffic coming from Google. People were finding the site via searches for tropical birds and other long tail keywords – just as I anticipated. In fact, only the home page is indexed in Yahoo – and the site has been live for close to 2 months! The RPC is very low, but it was a neat topic and the site is making more money than before.
For some reason (probably natural occurrence), after a month and a half, the site dropped from #4 to #20 for the term “tropical birds” in Google. Traffic has been down, and I can’t really figure things out. I have in links from bird breeders, although I do have dupe content on the bird breeder and bird veterinarian pages. I started a forum, although I am currently blocking the Googlebot from seeing it because there isn’t a ton of content, and the free forum software would probably be considered duplicate content.
Anyway, long story short. The site has been launched after a considerable amount of time and effort. I want to help grow the site, but I don’t know how to tackle it via SEO. I know that in links are important, but those are very difficult to gather. In general terms, how does one go about building a good looking, informational, structurally sound website that also utilizes great SEO techniques? How much can someone expect to spend to on improving the SEO for a completed site like TropicalBirds.com?
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