Website architectural issues are often the most overlooked aspect of web marketing, and not necessarily to the fault of SEOs. Business owners often like to focus on things they can see rather than those mysterious things they can’t. However, I cannot stress enough how important a solid website architecture is to the success of your entire web marketing efforts.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with numerous businesses that want to hold off on starting any web marketing until after their site is built. Unfortunately, that’s backward. Web marketing starts long before the site even begins to be constructed. Or it least it should.
When you hold off on the web marketing until after the the site is built, the total costs of site development and marketing are amplified. Not only are you paying to redo what wasn’t done right to begin with, you’re delaying the time it takes for your marketing efforts to start producing valuable fruit.
Some businesses just look at the cost of site development alone. When you add marketing to the mix, the cost of building the site is greater. Sure, a business can save money on the design, but they’ll pay more — way more — to optimize it. On the other hand, if you pay more up front in the site development, your web marketing costs will be reduced significantly. Plus, you won’t be paying to fix what was never built right to begin with.
Not starting with web marketing before building the site is like not laying a foundation before building a house. Sure, you can build the house, live in it for a while with the plan of moving it onto the foundation later, but it’s not recommended!
Two things good website architecture (the marketing aspect of building a site) looks at:
- What does the site audience need?
- What do the search engines need?
Focusing primarily on the visitors will get you 80% of the way for what search engines need. But that last 20% is no less critical, as that ensures the search engines can read, assess and value your site pages properly.
If your website architecture isn’t built right, you’ll run into trouble with all your other web marketing efforts later. No matter what you do, you’ll be working off a poorly laid out foundation.
Building on a solid architectural foundation not only helps your visitors use your site, but it also helps search engines guide more visitors to your site. As much as we like to pay attention to what we see, all too often it’s what we don’t see that allows our efforts to succeed or fail. I don’t know about you, but paying a lot of money for failure just sucks. How about you pay a little more for the winning package upgrade?