Why Development and SEO Need to Work Together

employees fist bumping

I know what you’re thinking, “SEO and Web Development are two completely different departments.” Well, you’re not wrong. In all actuality, they very much are. But here’s the thing – to have true site success, these two worlds need to work together. You can’t have a great site (and have it rank well too) without both a solid SEO strategy and a Web Development team to create, adjust the code and help you optimize (more on that later). Let’s be real though, the true magic goes beyond just coding and all the jazz *cue trumpet playing*. This is why these two departments need to live in perfect…er, near perfect, harmony.

You’re Not A Coding Genius

I know, I know. “But Stevie, you said it wasn’t just about code.” It’s not, but bear with me for a second. Even if you’re new to SEO, you know there are really two segments – content/on-page and technical. And, take it from someone who recently took courses in Technical SEO – it’s hard guys.

Are you using proper pagination? Was that page supposed to be no-index and why is my PDF document showing up in search results? Honestly, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some of it (okay, a lot of it) went over my head at first. I’m the furthest thing from a coder. But, I am learning. And, like me, you are probably on this same boat. Or, you understand all the aspects of Technical SEO but don’t know how to actually change the code. This is why you need your development department.

You, as a SEOer, find these issues. You know where to look and you use the latest crawl simulation tools. Now, it’s your job to relay these to development. They fix what you can’t. And, even if you index a healthy site, it doesn’t take much for something to go wrong. GDS configuration, algorithm updates, server shutdowns, etc. are all possible at all times. By continuously auditing and working with development in this way you can stay on top of the errors and ensure that (from a functionality stand point) that your site is top-notch.

Bonus Tip: Ensuring that your site is functionally sound works to also improve UX. Meaning, you’re site is user friendly enough to gain more traffic and possibly garner a decent domain authority (what I like to call a “backseat ranking factor).

Indexing The Site at Its Best

So far in my marketing career, there’s one key thing I’ve learned – Make. Everything. A. Process. Not only that, but ensure that everyone involved understands and follows the process to a tee. Why? Because in the long run it saves you both time and money, and for creating and indexing a site it’s no different.

For instance, if you’re a web developer you need to be working with SEO (either a side agency or in-house, etc.) there’s no way around that. If you’re not then your site is practically useless. Sorry, not sorry.

Before indexing, on-page and content SEO need to be on point, otherwise the site won’t rank. It’s not optimized, there’s no true keyword to be found, no description so Google has to just randomly pull everything and guess about which queries you should be showing up for. You’ll be lucky if you’re on the 10th SERP. So, take your time and work with SEO to ensure that all the pieces fit together just perfectly. Here’s what this process might look like:

  1. You get the client you are making the site for.
  2. You relay client information (services, tone, any key information) to SEO.
  3. SEO uses this information to do keyword research for later use.
  4. Once the site is fully developed to had it over to SEO.
  5. They use those keywords to then generate Titles, Meta Descriptions, and ensure that related keywords are featured throughout the site copy and Heading Tags (if applicable).
  6. You index and wait for the magic to happen!

BONUS: In about a month you will want to audit the site and ensure any technical errors that happened to occur are taken care of. I recommend doing a site audit once every 1-3 months.

Long story short, if your agency or even your client (if you happen to be a freelancer) is siloing SEO and Development it needs to stop. These two departments feed and grow off of each other so that your site and business can be showcased at its very best. It’s a win-win.

Published by Stevie Howard

I am a digital marketer that has experience in a variety of fields including social media, SEO, SEM, lead generation, content strategy, and more.

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