9 Tried & Tested Tips for Improving SEO. The relationship between SEO professionals and developers is one typified by frustration and misunderstanding.
From an SEO perspective, it can be difficult to communicate the value and importance of search-related initiatives and prioritize them in the lines of development.
From a developer’s point of view, SEO may seem like an endless source of tickets and inconvenience that takes them to deliver their work on time.
As web technologies become more advanced, SEO becomes more technically sophisticated, which means that it is increasingly important that we actively examine ways to work more harmoniously with development teams.
In recent months, I have been talking with some of the most experienced and respected people in SEO and digital marketing to discover how they have built and fostered relationships with development and engineering teams to achieve success.
In this post, I will share some of the best ideas of these conversations.
9 Tried & Tested Tips for Improving SEO
1. Mention keywords where they matter most.
Include your “one thing” in the site title, domain name, description, slogan, keywords, blog categories, page titles and page content.
If you are in WordPress, you can change a lot of this in the General Settings or through an add-on like All in One SEO Pack (which I use).
2. Heal the Wounds Left by Bad SEO Experiences
Although a large part of SEO is now focused on meeting the consumer intent of searchers with high quality content, developers and other teams can still have long-lasting distrust of SEO professionals.
The days of filling keywords and buying bulk links are not often seen as popular or sustainable SEO practices, but SEO can require time and relationships to win developers’ trust because they Are past experiences.
In the previous job, JP Sherman, search and foundability manager at Red Hat, needed to gain the trust of developers who were burned by a bad SEO agency.
Instead of getting into the business and demanding developers change from an SEO perspective, Sherman made it a point to sit down with the company’s developers to set their shared goals and overcome them by sharing control. Set up a platform for Frustrations with the website.
After a year of that vision, he managed to establish a level of trust with the development team and turned the skeptical audience into SEO lawyers.
3. Involve Developers by Hosting a Hackathon
Hosting for Hackathon is a new way for developers to engage with interest and SEO initiatives.
Polly Dupelova, Head of Search in Delegate, organized a hackathon and invited the developers of the agency to participate.
The sole purpose of the hackathon was to get a perfect score for the agency’s own website in the lighthouse.
The event was a huge success, as the developers not only managed to score 100 in the lighthouse, but the combined goal presented a motif of speed improvement, which included many of Posilova’s deletion clients. Was able to be.
Pospilova’s hackathon is an inspirational and original example of how SEOs and marketing professionals can work successfully with developers by working to achieve a common goal.
4. Embed Yourself in Your Client’s Organization
From an agency’s perspective, it often isn’t enough to simply provide a list of SEO recommendations off the back of an audit and expect these to be actioned by the client’s developers.
Without clear explanations and prioritization of your SEO recommendations backed by a close understanding of the client’s business, there is a fair chance your suggestions will get lost amongst other priorities.
Arnout Hellemans, Consultant at OnlineMarketThink, suggests making an effort to embed agency staff within their client’s organization for a fruitful long-term relationship.
He’s spoken with agencies who send their staff out to work from their client’s offices for a couple of days every now and again.
Rather than the relationship, largely existing only Slack and emails, the agencies are able to build much stronger relationships with their client’s developers by sitting with them and better understanding their priorities, challenges, and ways of working.
5. Pick Your Battles Carefully
While it’s clearly important for SEO pros to build strong relationships with developers, it can also pay to be strategic in terms of the recommendations that you push to be actioned.
It’s often the case that there are large numbers of actions resulting from an audit, but are all of them going to have the same impact?
Areej AbuAli, Technical SEO Manager at Zoopla, said it’s important to avoid overwhelming developers with too many recommendations at once.
She learned the hard way that it is beneficial to focus on getting the mission-critical items prioritized in development pipelines and actioned first before moving on to less pressing recommendations.
This approach helps to ensure that you’re maximizing your SEO impact, while not overwhelming developers with tickets of varying importance.
6. Become a Bridge Between the Technical and Commercial
Being able to understand and empathize with the challenges and commercial and technical frustrations is another way in which SEO professionals can work effectively with developers.
According to e-commerce consultant Luke Carthy, it is important to become a bridge between the technical and commercial aspects of the business.
Have regular meetings with the company’s developers to empathize with the challenges they face to help overcome shared weaknesses, Carthy suggested.
Doing so can help establish long-term solutions and increase the chances of forming strong working relationships.
In his example, he listened carefully to the company’s developers and expressed his frustrations with the managing director so that they could completely redevelop the site and stop covering the cracks with short-term solutions. 9 Tried & Tested Tips for Improving SEO
7. Upgrade Your Technical Skills
Your ability to work with development teams as an SEO professional is going to greatly improve the more you’re able to speak their language and understand the challenges they face.
It’s one thing to be able to identify technical issues impacting the crawling and indexing of a website by search engines and raise that with a developer.
However, it’s far more valuable if you can debug technical issues and propose well-reasoned solutions after:
- Evaluating the pros and cons of different approaches.
- Taking into account the circumstances of the website, business and available resources.
AbuAli said it’s important to upskill and hone technical skills. This will help you move faster analyzing large datasets as an SEO.
Improving your technical skills and better understanding of how the web works will empower you to have more productive conversations with developers.
This leaves less room for misunderstanding and leads to more agile decision making.
8. Establish Yourself as a Trusted Authority
Another key component to building trust and a healthy relationship with development teams is to show yourself to be knowledgeable in your field.
Actively promote ongoing education on SEO topics that are relevant to the business.
At Red Hat, Sherman regularly hosts presentations and in-person meetings, and writes documentation to encourage discussion and interest within development teams that would otherwise not be kept up to date with SEO developments.
That is to exclude the case to make SEO improvements in advance of search engine changes (such as mobile-first indexing) through knowledge-sharing sessions.
When this work is prioritized, Sherman ensures that he supports it with internal guidance and documentation that is ready to share with the people concerned.
Sherman also acknowledged that when SEO recommendations come with priority or action, it can be frustrating, but sometimes it is important to understand that your suggestions are going to be the best thing for the website or business at the time .
9. Get SEO Involved from the Beginning
One common frustration between SEO professionals and developers is that the former gets involved far too late on projects.
This is an annoyance for developers because they are likely going to receive a lot of last-minute SEO related tasks that they don’t necessarily see the benefit of completing.
From an SEO point of view, being involved too late on in a project will mean we are forced to fight fires and make last-minute development requests to avert disaster impacting a website’s organic performance. 9 Tried & Tested Tips for Improving SEO
Chris Green, Head of Marketing Innovation at Footprint Digital, said it’s important to get SEO considerations into projects from their inception rather than as an afterthought.
After completing hundreds of migrations, Green has acknowledged that SEO pros aren’t usually the most popular people on projects.
But this can be averted by making compromises and focusing on the tasks that are critical to organic performance and technical health rather than adding to the developers workloads for the sake of SEO best practice.
For example, during a migration SEO pros should be prioritizing things like 301s, crawl budget optimization’, and breadcrumbs rather than social media icon alt tags, minimum word counts, and rel=”next” and rel=”prev”.
Share Your Experiences
I hope this post has featured a helpful selection of ideas to help you work more effectively with development teams.
I would be keen to continue the discussion in the comments below. Share your experiences, approaches, and tips about what’s worked and hasn’t worked for you,