I do love my metaphors. It is not essential to consider SEO factors when building and laying out your site but it can help give you an edge so that when you’re ready to optimise your site it works with you and not against. SEO can be implemented on a site at whatever stage of a project but if you consider it at the start of a build you can plan the structure of your site so that pages and sections are based around keyword groups. It’s far easier to plan how your content is going to be placed across the site if considered at the start of the build. Going with the maxim that content is king if you put in place a site structure that avoids duplicate content and has sections with easily updateable subjects your site will develop in the search engines on its own. With any luck and good enough content your site will start to accrue links naturally.
If you are in a particularly competitive market you may have to rely on a number of niche key terms. It is only possible to cram in so many keywords into the one title so by focusing different search terms across different sections of your site you can devote entire pages to rankings for a term instead of only devoting a small part of a title or h1 header. It will take more time and links to get all of your individual pages performing in search engines as well as your home page but it will be worth it in the long run. A strong site opposed to a strong home page alone has the potential to pick many more niche terms.