I met with a new client yesterday who was extremely interested in what I can do for them as far as SEO. Whenever I build a website, I always include what I refer to as ‘basic SEO services’: a limited amount of keyword research and incorporation of 2-3 keyword phrases per page in the content and elements of the code. The client understood this when I explained it, but wanted to know whether this is enough to begin showing up in SERP’s.
By itself, with a badly designed site, it might not be. But in my experience creating a usable site (cleanly coded, very clear navigation, well-written content, appropriate doctype, an intelligent site structure) goes hand in hand with SEO. Without one or the other, a site often won’t perform well in the search engines. But with both, I’ve found that my clients’ sites begin showing up earlier, not later, and often wind up outperforming their competitors even without an ongoing, expensive SEO campaign.
That’s not to say that ongoing monitoring isn’t important, but for the initial launch of a new site, paying attention to both basic SEO and usability is a key combination that I never skimp on.