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Rationale for Prioritizing SEO in a Site Redesign

by Andrew Miller   |   Jan 16, 2009

A prospective client asked me for a few bullet points to show their VP of Sales why they should spend incremental money on an SEO consultant during their already expensive site redesign. I get that kind of question a lot, but had never formally created or documented a response.

My usual answer is to talk about their search engine referral analytics and compare their traffic volume and conversion data to actual search volume for the keywords that potential customers actually type in to search engines. Demonstrating this opportunity cost and potential ROI is typically enough to convince even the toughest marketer that SEO is a great investment and needs to be included in the site redesign.

However, in this case the client doesn't have any analytics data so I promised I would follow up with a few high-level thoughts. Here's what I came up with in just a few short minutes this morning. I'm sure this list could go on for many more pages, but I wanted to keep it simple. What would you add?

  • Opportunity – A new website will generally be “Search Engine Friendly”, meaning the content will be accessible to search engines. A truly “Search Engine Optimized” website will be accessible and highly relevant to the keywords and phrases that customers are actually searching for when looking for the types of products offered on the site.
  • Timing – Incorporating SEO into the site redesign process allows for greater collaboration and faster iterations with the content producers, designers, and developers.
  • Efficiency – The site content and structure can be reviewed at the time it is being developed and reduce or eliminate the need to retroactively update the new site after launch at an incremental cost.
  • Maintaining Equity – The current site has attained a certain level of “credibility” and “authority” with search engines, as measured by the quantity and quality of links pointing to it and the relevance of the content. A new site, when properly transitioned, can build off of the existing site equity. Without a seamless transition, the new site may have to start over with almost no foundation.
  • Scalability – Unlike other marketing channels, SEO is a relatively fixed cost with almost no limit on the potential return on investment because there is no cost per click or cost per impression associated with organic search traffic.
  • Qualified Audience – SEO is intended to capture the audience that has already stated they are looking for your products or services by typing those keywords into a search engine. Unlike traditional advertising models, there is no wasted spend to reach an uninterested audience.

What would you add to this list?

portrait of Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller

Andrew co-founded Workshop Digital in 2015 and serves as the Director of Client Services. He oversees our client relationships and ensures our SEO and PPC teams have everything they need to provide amazing results. After growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta during the 1980s, he decided it was time for a change of scenery and moved north to attend The University of Richmond. Armed with dual degrees in Computer Science and Spanish, it made perfect sense to seek another course change and begin a career in advertising and marketing at The Martin Agency and later, CarMax, before venturing out on his own in 2007. Andrew collects hobbies and devotes his time to his family, training for triathlons, and trying to grow vegetables in an expanding backyard garden.