Website content and code are two of the elements that have a significant impact on page visibility on Google. All changes implemented by the IT team are a crucial part of the SEO process, therefore, it’s essential to ensure proper cooperation between SEO specialists and web developers.
Cooperation between SEO and DEV teams – what are the effects of miscommunication?
Although more and more developers know some SEO basics, it’s still not common knowledge. Very often inappropriate activities conducted without any consultation with an SEO specialist can deteriorate website visibility on Google. Maybe you’ve already had to deal with the “noindex” tag or the hreflang attribute deployed incorrectly which resulted in your page being blocked from the search results?
In most cases, such mistakes can be easily detected when analyzing website traffic or visibility. Then, after getting rid of the problem, the page should be indexed again relatively quickly. However, it’s necessary to find the cause of the issue. Most frequently it results from the lack of proper communication, division of duties, and consultation with specialists before implementing a given solution.
The consequences of such mistakes may be really costly for your business. If you run an online store that generates high revenues thanks to its visibility on Google and suddenly the page isn’t shown in the search results anymore, it may mean losing even thousands of your income (even if the situation continues only for a few days).
What should ideal cooperation between SEO and DEV teams look like?
In order to ensure that SEO specialists and web developers can successfully work together to improve your website’s visibility in the search results, they need to know how to cooperate. It’s worth following a few relatively uncomplicated rules that are important and help to ensure proper implementation of individual steps or tasks:
- Determining the scope of activities and responsibilities – SEO specialists can implement certain solutions on their own, however, they shouldn’t do it if they have any doubts concerning web development elements. On the other hand, web developers should consult the deployed modifications and tailor them to the SEO principles. Both teams ought to clearly state when it’s necessary to contact one another.
- Setting deadlines and prioritizing tasks – the SEO team has prepared a set of necessary website modifications and their implementation is crucial to perform other activities and increase the visibility of the site. It’s advisable to set specific deadlines for the deployment of individual tasks and notify web developers which steps are more important and should be taken first.
- Not ignoring guidelines – web developers who don’t have impressive SEO knowledge very frequently ignore the guidelines prepared by the SEO team. They deploy changes according to their own preferences and don’t take into account the available data. Some of them also categorize given tasks as insignificant and postpone performing them. It’s great to hire web developers who have at least basic SEO knowledge as this makes cooperation much more efficient.
- Providing specific SEO recommendations – giving your web developers a hundred of pages describing updates that should be implemented on the website may be off-putting and discouraging. The guidelines should contain only specific information about the necessary changes. Web developers don’t need descriptions that are often provided for the client. Essays on why given modifications are necessary are also pointless. The specific instruction on what should be done is fully enough. This will facilitate the work and ensure that all important updates are deployed efficiently.
- Listing modifications that actually can be implemented – SEO specialists can indicate which changes are necessary, however, it won’t always be feasible or easy to implement them. Such problems don’t occur in the case of popular CMS systems as almost every modification can be implemented relatively easily, often with the use of ready-made solutions. Deploying changes in dedicated systems may be more time and energy-consuming. Then, it’s helpful to ask whether a given update is really necessary. Here, the issue of proper communication comes into play once again – web developers should inform SEO specialists about all the requirements and difficulties associated with the implementation of specific solutions in order to find out if these updates are really essential. SEO specialists are often unaware of the fact that theoretically simple updates can require a lot of complicated system modifications.
- Implementing updates that can help – if the page was developed years ago or comes from a website creator, then, implementing required changes and performing necessary SEO activities may be simply infeasible or unprofitable. If the client’s website is old and doesn’t meet current standards, the SEO specialist will probably prepare a long list of modifications that need to be implemented to meet the requirements of Google. However, these efforts may simply not pay off. The web developer can even be able to deploy necessary updates, nevertheless, their costs may be higher than the costs of creating a new page from scratch. One more time, it’s all about communication. In such situations, website developers should tell everything SEO specialists who, in turn, are supposed to explain it to the client who makes the final decision.
- Setting achievable goals – when planning implementation of any SEO activities on the page, SEO professionals should take into account that it’s not always possible to do everything immediately. It’s not acceptable to promise the client that given updates will be deployed on a given day and then send all the necessary data to the web developer at the very last moment. It’s necessary to take into account all possible mishaps or complications, especially if the page has a dedicated CMS or a relatively old system which hasn’t been updated for years. In this situation, the company may not perform the promised activities on time which will have a negative impact on its brand image and relationships with the client.
Basic pieces of information every SEO and DEV specialist should know
The cooperation will definitely be more effective providing that, apart from being specialists in their fields, web developers have basic SEO knowledge and SEO professionals have basic web development knowledge. So what should every DEV specialist remember about when implementing website modifications?
- Developer website versions shouldn’t be indexed – indexing test versions of a website is a very common web development mistake. At this point, it’s necessary to apply the “noindex” tag and remove it only when the page is ready. Below you can find a few guidelines from Google:
- Direct redirects – try to avoid redirect loops. It’s better to choose direct redirects such as 301 or 302.
- One website version on Google – choose one website address. Your page shouldn’t be accessible under a few URLs (for example with or without WWW). Take advantage of 301 redirects to do it.
- Internal linking – it’s a great solution to use regular texts to link to product categories or offers. Graphic links aren’t the best in this situation.
- No duplicate page titles – it means that the <title> tag shouldn’t be the same for each subpage, make it unique.
- Structured data – this element is especially important in the case of online stores. The data should be introduced as specified by Schema.org.
At the other end of the spectrum, it’s truly precious if SEO specialists have some basic expertise concerning web development. The more they know, the more efficient the cooperation with DEV specialists gets. Thanks to it, understanding what can be implemented or how time and energy consuming it becomes much easier. It’s good if an SEO professional has at least basic knowledge concerning:
- HTML5 – this enables implementing numerous basic changes and modifications without the help of a web developer.
- CSS – thanks to it, SEO specialists are able to improve website operation and loading time.
The requirements outlined in SEO job offers are very diversified. Some people may not even expect you to have any web development skills, however, it’s simply worth acquiring them. Apart from making your everyday work easier, this knowledge will significantly enhance your cooperation with DEV specialists.