What Should a Perfect Cooperation Between SEO and DEV Teams Look Like?

8min.

Comments:2

What Should a Perfect Cooperation Between SEO and DEV Teams Look Like?
20 February 2024
Imagine your website content and code working together seamlessly to propel you to the top of search results. That's the power of a perfect collaboration between SEO and DEV teams. Unfortunately, miscommunication between these teams can lead to disaster, derailing your website's visibility. What to do?

8min.

Comments:2

SEO isn’t just about keywords; it requires seamless cooperation between SEO specialists and web developers (DEV teams).  This article explores the importance of this collaboration, highlighting the pitfalls of miscommunication and outlining the key elements for a successful SEO/DEV partnership.

Website content and code are two of the elements that have a significant impact on page visibility on Google. All changes the IT team implements are a crucial part of the SEO process. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure proper cooperation between SEO specialists and web developers.

What Will You Learn?

  • The perils of miscommunication. Discover how a lack of communication between SEO specialists and DEV teams can thwart SEO efforts.
  • The SEO/DEV collaboration roadmap. Learn the key steps for establishing a successful partnership, including defining task scopes, setting deadlines, and providing clear instructions.
  • Essential knowledge for both sides. Explore the basic SEO knowledge every DEV specialist should possess and the fundamental web development skills that benefit SEO professionals.
  • Communication tools for seamless teamwork. Discover project management platforms, code repositories, and communication channels that can streamline collaboration.
  • Real-world examples. See how successful SEO/DEV partnerships have tackled technical SEO audits, maintained website health, and created compelling content.

Ready? Let’s depart then.

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?

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 the 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 doubts about 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 site’s visibility. It’s advisable to set specific deadlines for deploying 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 frequently ignore the guidelines prepared by the SEO team. They deploy changes according to their preferences and don’t consider the available data. Some of them also categorize given tasks as insignificant and postpone performing them. Hiring web developers with at least basic SEO knowledge is great, as this makes cooperation much more efficient.
  • Providing specific SEO recommendations — giving your web developers hundreds 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 implementing specific solutions to find out if these updates are 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 came from a website creator, implementing required changes and performing necessary SEO activities may be 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 Google’s requirements. However, these efforts may not pay off. The web developer can even 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 SEO specialists everything, who, in turn, are supposed to explain it to the client who makes the final decision.
  • Setting achievable goals — when planning the implementation of any SEO activities on the page, SEO professionals should consider that it’s not always possible to do everything immediately. It’s unacceptable 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 that 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.
TaskSEO TeamDEV Team
Keyword ResearchIdentifies relevant keywords and search intentN/A
Content StrategyDevelops content strategy based on keyword researchBuilds/maintains CMS for SEO-friendly content creation
On-page OptimizationOptimizes titles, meta descriptions, header tagsImplements technical aspects of on-page optimization (schema markup)
Technical SEO AuditsIdentifies technical SEO issuesFixes technical SEO issues identified by SEO team
Link BuildingBuilds backlinks to websiteEnsures the website is crawlable and indexable for link-building efforts
Content CreationMay contribute content creation (e.g., blog posts)N/A
Performance TrackingMonitors website traffic, rankings, and conversionsAssists SEO team with data analysis and reporting

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 when implementing website modifications?

  • Developer website versions shouldn’t be indexed — indexing test versions of a website is a common web development mistake. At this point, applying the “noindex” tag and removing it only when the page is ready is necessary. Below, you can find a few guidelines from Google:
cooperation between seo and dev team - essentials
  • Direct redirects — try to avoid redirect loops. It’s better to choose direct redirects such as 301 or 302.
  • Short website loading time is a must — apart from being aesthetically pleasing, transparent, and user-friendly, the website should also load swiftly. That’s why it’s advisable to eliminate unnecessary CSS and JavaScript code elements, optimize photos, or delete useless queries from the database.
  • One website version on Google — decide on 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.
one google website - 301 redirection
  • 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 is, 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 diverse. Some people may not even expect you to have any web development skills. However, it’s simply worth acquiring them. This knowledge will significantly enhance your cooperation with DEV specialists, besides making your everyday work easier.

Successful Collaboration Examples

Here are a few examples of successful SEO/DEV collaborations and their impact on everyday work. What can you achieve working together?

Tackling Technical SEO Audits with a Unified Approach

Technical SEO audits identify website elements that hinder search engine visibility. Here’s how SEO and DEV teams can collaborate on them:

  • SEO specialists analyze website performance and identify technical SEO issues like slow loading times, broken links, or mobile-friendliness problems.
  • Working together, the teams prioritize issues based on their impact and develop solutions.
  • DEV teams then implement the fixes, while SEO monitors the progress and impact.

Ongoing Maintenance: Keeping Your Site SEO-Healthy

Maintaining website health is crucial for SEO. Here’s how both teams can contribute:

  • DEV teams can regularly scan for and fix broken links that can hurt user experience and SEO performance.
  • Regular updates to CMS plugins and core systems ensure website security and prevent technical SEO issues. DEV teams can manage this process.
  • As mobile browsing grows, DEV teams can ensure the website remains mobile-friendly and optimized for different devices.

Metrics and Reporting: Measuring Success Together

Tracking the success of SEO/DEV collaboration is essential. Here’s how both teams can work on it:

  • Collaborate on defining key SEO performance indicators (KPIs) like organic traffic, keyword rankings, and conversion rates.
  • Develop reports that showcase the impact of SEO/DEV collaboration on these metrics. This demonstrates the value of teamwork and helps inform future strategies.

Collaborative Content Creation

SEO and DEV teams can work together to create SEO-friendly content:

  • DEV teams can build or customize a CMS that allows SEO professionals to optimize titles, meta descriptions, and header tags easily. This ensures content adheres to SEO best practices.
  • SEO specialists can provide keyword research and suggest content structures that target relevant keywords and user intent. DEV teams can then implement this structure during content creation.

Let’s give two more examples of a fruitful collaboration between these two parts. Imagine the situations below and see how DEVs and SEO specialists can complement each other.

Building E-commerce Website – No Problem!

An SEO specialist identified a category page with low traffic and high bounce rate. Collaborating with the DEV team, they implemented a new faceted navigation system and improved product filtering. This resulted in a significant increase in time spent on the page and conversion rates.

The Blog Content Refresh

SEO team identified a drop in organic traffic for older blog posts. Working with the DEV team, they revamped the content structure, optimized images, and ensured mobile-friendliness. This refresh led to a renewed increase in organic traffic.

Communication Tools for Seamless Collaboration

Several communication tools can streamline collaboration between SEO and DEV teams:

  • Project management platforms – tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com allow for assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and tracking progress on SEO/DEV projects.
  • Code repositories –  platforms like Git or Github enable developers to share code changes, collaborate on modifications, and ensure version control. This is crucial for SEO as it helps track the impact of code changes on website functionality.
  • Communication channels –  utilize Slack, Microsoft Teams, or internal communication platforms to facilitate real-time communication and information sharing between SEO and DEV teams.
Collaboration NeedCommunication ToolDescription
Task assignment & trackingProject Management Platform (Trello, Asana, Monday.com)Assign tasks, set deadlines, track progress on SEO/DEV projects
Code sharing & version controlCode Repository (Git, Github)Share code changes, collaborate on modifications, track code versions
Real-time communicationCommunication Channels (Slack, Microsoft Teams)Facilitate real-time communication and information sharing
File sharing & document collaborationCloud Storage Platforms (Google Drive, Dropbox)Share documents, spreadsheets, and other project files

Takeout

By fostering clear communication, establishing achievable goals, and utilizing the right tools, SEO and DEV teams can achieve incredible results.  Imagine improved website rankings, increased organic traffic, and a user experience that fosters conversions.  This is the power of a well-oiled SEO/DEV machine!

Author
Ola Drewniak SEO Content Team
Author
Ola Drewniak

Content Specialist

An editor by profession. She has been working in marketing for the past 5 years — first in the social media teams of Krakow publishing houses, then in SEO and copywriting, until she finally decided to excel in content marketing and combine her organizational skills with her extraordinary linguistic sense of style. She works on content projects at Delante, conducting content audits, arranging content plans, and creating content for the most demanding clients. Privately, a cat behaviorist, future dog trainer, and a lover of tattoos and RPG games.

Author
Ola Drewniak SEO Content Team
Author
Ola Drewniak

Content Specialist

An editor by profession. She has been working in marketing for the past 5 years — first in the social media teams of Krakow publishing houses, then in SEO and copywriting, until she finally decided to excel in content marketing and combine her organizational skills with her extraordinary linguistic sense of style. She works on content projects at Delante, conducting content audits, arranging content plans, and creating content for the most demanding clients. Privately, a cat behaviorist, future dog trainer, and a lover of tattoos and RPG games.

Comments

  1. I think that communication is the key – no matter between what teams we talk about. The most conflicts arise from misunderstandments regarding desired effects, methodology or current matters, so to make the whole company works efficiently it’s crucial to get the information flow right 🙂

  2. Interesting. Also, I think many misunderstandings between Tech and SEO team come up because SEO specialists assume that IT people know how SEO works from the stars. In fact, we do know the techie stuff but don’t necessarily understand how SEO processes work – it’s crucial to explain such matters through cooperation.

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Award - Deloitte 2021 Award - European eCommerce Awards 2022 Award - European Search Awards 2022 Award - Global Agency Awards 2022 Award - IPMA Award - US Search Awards 2021

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