I feel passionately that SEO is not a standalone discipline, but something that needs to be integrated into the thought process behind every digital business decision. The following are 6 examples of digital business decisions that should integrate SEO as part of the process...

1. Domain purchase

There are 2 trains of thought when it comes to selecting the right domain for your website. Either select a keyword rich domain or go with a brand domain. A keyword rich domain used to help with search engine rankings, but back in September 2012 Matt Cutts announced a Google algorithm update that targeted low-quality exact-match domains.

When selecting a new domain now, the general recommendation is to go with a brand thats memorable and easy enough to spell.

Google is continually getting better at associating brands with an industry sector. Select a great brand then build relevant, related content on your site. That way youll be improving the SEO of your domain without changing it.

2. Server selection

Back in April 2010 Google introduced site speed into its algorithm. Suddenly websites that were hosted on unpredictable, cheap shared servers had a lot more to worry about. However, it made sense that sites which offered a better experience to their visitors would be rewarded.

If your website targets users in a specific country, it is advisable to host that site in the target country. There are now may other ways of signaling to Google that your website is targeted at users based in a certain geographic location, however, it makes sense to leave a trail of multiple signals for search engines " just to make sure. And server location is an important signal.

3. CMS selection

Selecting the right CMS (Content Management System) could significantly enhance or detract from your website discoverability and user-friendliness.

Some content management systems natively come with horrible URLs, or no heading tags, or the same page title across every page on the site.

Personally I like to use the Thesis 2.0 theme for WordPress, but this wouldnt necessarily be the best option for you. As long as if your CMS is fast and delivers great on-site SEO then thats an important starting point.

4. Initial website content

Most businesses dont think about keyword phrases for their core website content. They might be more likely to think about them as an afterthought, but if extensive keyword research was conducted and comprehensively implemented, this would make it much easier for Google to understand the context of the site, and for the site to rank for relevant keyword phrases.

Once the keyword research is completed it should be used to determine the website category hierarchical structure as well the type and optimization of web page content.

5. Social strategy

Something else that Google is increasingly looking at is the authority and relevance of social discussions. If Google is confident that a social profile belongs to your business, and a great deal of relevant industry discussion occurs on the social profile then this authority will feed back to your website.

Link to your social profiles from your site and use rel=author when you publish content on other sites. This way youre giving Google a better idea of your industry authority.

6. Content publishing

Too many businesses publish content, but dont tell enough people that the content exists. Once you publish fresh content on your website, remember that the quicker and the more strongly that Google receives signals that your content is relevant and popular, the more likely Google is to rank the page highly is search engine results for competitive keyword terms.

When you publish a great piece of content, tell your subscribers about it " and ask them to add a comment or share it with their friends. That way youre significantly increasing your chances for other people to find out about you and your business.

Remember, whatever digital business decision youre making, it is highly likely that it could be improved by integrating SEO into the thinking process.