When the work we're taking upon us is complicated it requires a large number of fresh ideas and engaged team members. In terms of SEO, to make your website grow, often your team will have to pair up with Web Developers. In today's entry, you'll learn why & how to make such cooperation work.
Often, there can be a disconnect between different teams in organizations, with departments working on associated projects, but no attention to what the other is doing. The truth is it’s easy to adopt tunnel vision and focus only on your individual project.
However, when it comes to creating the most powerful online presence for your business, which should be a focal point of any organization, all efforts need to be aligned. This is especially true when working to improve SEO and even mobile SEO since more than half of online traffic comes from mobile and tablet devices.
It’s easy to see how and why a disconnect between SEO specialists and web developers can happen. These are different branches from the same tree, and they have historically worked independently from each other.
One key point is - if you ever plan to evolve your SEO efforts and these implicate the website on a technical level, you’ll probably need to work alongside your developer. Or, once you start scrutinizing website analytics that highlight potential errors, there needs to be an open dialogue to resolve problems. If you’re not working in full collaboration, you may hit roadblocks.
So, here are some simple steps you can take to the first identify whether there is a disconnect between your company’s SEO and web development efforts, and how you can go about bridging that gap within your organization.
Complete an SEO Audit
A full SEO audit allows you to analyze your website’s place in the SERPs (search engine results pages) by looking at the site through the eyes of Google and other search engines. This is incredibly useful as it not only identifies how well your site is doing in some areas, it helps detect errors and identify the sources. Unless it’s a content issue, this could technically, in some cases, fall under the remit of web development, such as poor breadcrumb navigation or slow loading pages.
In fact, there are many areas an SEO audit should cover. Armed with new insight, the results of an audit will provide a starting block to fix issues within your website, and begin an internal and hopefully productive dialogue with your website developer.
Understand Development Challenges
While an SEO specialist doesn’t need to be an expert developer, it certainly pays to understand the challenges and any process that may have been followed during a development journey. If you find yourself walking into an outdated website, chances are it’s an old system that has existed for a while. The web developer may have even inherited the site themselves and improved it as best they can despite low website traffic.
Once you identify site errors during an initial audit, it’s worth starting a dialogue with the web developer, simply and rationally identifying any technical problems and how they could be resolved.
Whereas some developers might be open to working on improving a website and mobile SEO, some may be reluctant to make changes, or don’t understand the implications of website errors, such as the impact on search engine ranking.
By explaining the benefits of a good SEO website checklist to the business, this should bring all necessary parties on the side since improvements will ultimately elevate search engine ranking and drive more targeted traffic to the website.
Learn From Each Other
A web developer can’t know everything about SEO, and the SEO doesn’t need to be a development expert, but you should understand the basics. At the very least, it doesn’t hurt. In fact, with SEO “rules” constantly changing, it can be hard for SEOs themselves to keep on top of every new development, let alone a developer who is too busy and focused on other work.
One side may not always appreciate the challenges the other is facing, so it’s always worth explaining. If an SEO is ever met with skepticism around certain points, once you confidently grasp and communicate the argument around improving an issue, and why, there is a logical response to any query. Here are some points we’ve had to address:
“Incorrect use of H1 tags and no image alt tags?”
We explain that there should be just one H1 tag or heading on each page and every subpage, as this defines website hierarchy and helps search engines navigate the content. It’s also useful for Google to include what kind of work the business does within a featured keyword, integrated into the titles.
Image alt tags help search engines define what’s shown in a picture, and can be invaluable for text-only image displays or visually impaired web users. Accommodating this will also add your website tracking in search engines.
“Don’t want robots.txt files on the website?”
It’s worth explaining to anyone unfamiliar that the robots.txt file tells Google and search engine bots what can be accessed on the site, and helps the pages be properly indexed in search engine results.
There is still some degree of confusion around bots and spiders, but they’re not necessarily a bad thing. If they’re deployed by the search engines themselves, it’s worth adapting your site to meet the latest algorithm requirements and ultimately rank higher, which will be demonstrated in your website analytics.
“No HTML sitemap because all links of the navigation should be obvious?”
The truth is, it’s never a bad thing to have an HTML sitemap. Particularly as more content is added to the website over time, which content and SEO teams will be more aware of. It’s vital to ensure your visitors can easily see the entire scope of content on offer. Remember, a HTML sitemap also helps define link authority and your link building strategy for the many subpages on your website.
There are, of course, many other query examples, and these were just a few. To fully grasp the complexity of this, also factoring in SEO mobile, it’s important to understand how search engines work.
Website Plan of Action
If you already have a business website, it’s crucial to make sure the SEO expert (whether yourself or somebody else) and the web developer, as an individual or team, is working in harmony. Since you’re more likely to have a website, minus the SEO point-of-contact, rather than the other way around, it’s useful to engage SEO specialists to help navigate this journey. They can also ensure any web developer's future proofs your business for search engine optimization. We offer a wide range of SEO services in proven, performance-based advertising.
However, if you don’t yet have a business website, the same is true. It’s vital that you have both SEO and web development coordination in place to hit the ground running and earn the best website stats from the online presence of your business, including all-important mobile SEO.
By working in sync from the start, initial web development work can be completed and rolled out with SEO strategy in mind, which means you’re not going back to fix old mistakes later. In fact, you could see this position as a blessing in disguise, resulting in the most optimized website to launch your new or future organization.
Monitor Search Engine Ranking
Don’t forget, the ultimate success indicator will be reflected in your website analytics and monitoring visibility. After any changes are made, thanks to your new collaborative efforts with your developer, in time, website stats should improve - including SEO mobile ranking.
Never ignore the stats and regularly check back to judge your website tracking. You should also compare changes and improvements from previous analytics, to ensure you continue moving in the right direction.
How to Improve SEO
We hope this has been a helpful guide and will inspire you to make some changes within your organization. It’s not always a comfortable transition to start, but by taking steps towards SEOs and web developers working together, it can generate huge leaps forward in many areas of the business.
Want to know more about how to improve SEO? Talk to the experts for a comprehensive plan tailored to you. If you’d like to help developing an SEO and performance-based commercial strategy for your website, we would love to offer you a free consultation to better understand your business, goals and current search engine ranking. Please get in touch to find out more.
Managing Partner, has been building Delante since 2014. Responsible for international SEO strategies. He has a strong analytical approach to online marketing backed by more than 12 years of experience. Previously associated with the IT industry, as well as the automotive, tobacco, and financial markets. Has experience in creating scaled processes based on agile methodologies.
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