What Came First? SEO or Website Development?

What came first, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or website development? It’s the classic Chicken and Egg conundrum, except the answer may be a little clearer. 

Website development is the process of creating, building and maintaining a website. For small business owners, this will be the nexus of their online presence as well as a major POS. But a website is unless customers are visiting it. 

That’s where SEO comes in. 

By following the best practices and creating optimised content, a website with good SEO can rank higher on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This means customers are more likely to see it and therefore make purchases on it. 

So the answer is that web development came first, but custom seo services appeared as a necessity. At Reform Digital, we have a whole host of SEO specialists eager to help small businesses like yours. 

Read on to find out what they’ve learned over the years, and why small business SEO is so important. 

What Is SEO And Why Should You Think About It When Developing Your Website?

So what exactly is SEO? In a nutshell, SEO is designed to help web pages perform better in search engines. It is an organic form of marketing that drives an increase in customers, specifically online customers. 

Here are some examples of the different types of SEO practices: 

SEO vs Paid Advertising

When it comes to increasing sales through attracting customers to your website, there are two main points of marketing. SEO and paid advertising (also referred to as SEM or Search Engine Marketing). 

To give you an idea of what would be best for your business, here are the differences between the two:

Paid advertising: 

Yes, you have to pay for this. With most paid advertising, the method of pay is based on PPC (Pay Per Click). If you were running a Google Ads campaign, you would pay to have your web or product page at the top of the search results, with the word ‘Sponsored’ next to it. This is a good way to get quick results but the problem is most people scroll down past the sponsored section to get to the organic results. 

SEO – the organic approach: 

By following the best SEO practices or hiring the support of an SEO Agency, you can ‘earn’ your rankings on SERPs. This means instead of directly paying for a spot at the top of the page, you can naturally sit there after a successful SEO campaign. 

Why? Because your page provides value to the customer, and search engines like Google and Bing are designed to reward that. 

But remember how we said you needed to earn that spot? A good SEO campaign takes time and expertise to run successfully. It takes continual work anywhere from 4-6 months before you start seeing results. The good news is that those results can be exponential, and with continued support, your ROI can be much higher than what you would get with using paid ads. 

However, paid advertising is still an extremely useful way to receive short-term gains. Think about starting with paid advertising whilst shifting to a more organic approach like SEO. 

The Benefits of SEO

Here is a list of benefits to get you excited about good SEO. 


Unlike traditional or paid advertising, SEO focuses on organically gaining traffic from users with specific queries or search intent. In the long run, this is more cost-effective as you do not need to pay higher rates as your website traffic increases. 

  • Increases website traffic

That being said, SEO is designed to increase the number of visitors to a website. Higher website traffic can lead to more conversions and ultimately more sales, meaning higher profits. 

  • Works at a local level

Local SEO is a great way to attract customers to a physical store. Apps like Google Maps or UberEats can help small businesses in a specific location promote their brand at no extra cost.

  • Gives your business a competitive advantage

If your competitors are not utilising SEO effectively, a strong SEO campaign gives you a significant advantage. Potential customers are more likely to find and purchase from websites that rank highly on SERPs after all – it’s simply more convenient. 

Results of Good SEO 

Now that you have seen the benefits of good SEO, let’s take a look at some of the results of a Reform Digital SEO campaign. These results are taken directly from our SEO Strategist team, with some great wins for our clients! 

Here’s what good SEO can net you: 


Boosted Google Rankings 

Boosted Google Rankings

This client in the food equipment industry wanted to perform better on Google. Thanks to a long-running SEO campaign, one of the results is a massive increase in Google rankings. Now a huge portion of their new sales comes from Google! 

Increase in website traffic

Boosted Google Sessions From Seo

The same client also gained a huge increase in their organic website traffic. This means a lot more chances to convert users and overall, increase online sales. 

When Is The Right Time To Invest In SEO?

There is no right or wrong answer for this, as it depends on the nature of your business. The main point of SEO is that it helps drive sales, which means revenue growth. All businesses have this goal in mind but it may be more important for small businesses to really focus on levelling up their SEO to stay competitive and keep growing. 

To that end, here are the best SEO practices for small businesses: 

Growing Your Small Business with SEO

SEO isn’t just for major brands; it can have a significant impact on small businesses and their future growth. 

Here are some ways you can improve your SEO to gain more potential customers: 

  • Research your audience
  • Create quality content
  • Optimise your website
  • Be mobile-friendly
  • Build quality backlinks
  • Measure and analyse your results

If you need a helping hand, you can talk to a professional SEO strategist. They can help you get started on using these practices in a personalised SEO campaign for your business. 

For any other queries, simply call 8564 8509 or contact us online. We offer custom SEO services that are tailor-made for each client. No snake-oil, no bs. We’re here to work with you.  

Harry is an SEO Copywriter at Reform Digital. With a talent for writing, he has been creating stories since he was seven and has translated that passion into providing high-quality content that connects with potential customers and drives sales. With a range of experiences across the marketing industry, no matter the brand size or tone of voice, Harry can provide the right words to build a bridge between customers and their new favourite business!

Reform Offices

Find us at these locations

Melbourne Office People


Level 3, 141 Osborne Street, South Yarra, VIC 3141

1300 713359


Level 1, Suite 3, Fortune House, 88 Foveaux St Surry Hills, NSW 2010

1300 713359
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310 Edward St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000

1300 713359

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