SEO’s and Developers have had a long standing relationship, and like many long standing relationships there are ups and downs. SEO and Development teams often have their own day to day agendas. These agendas may not be moving in the same direction. SEO’s are completely focused on improving rankings, traffic and conversions while really only coordinating with a Development team when they need something done that furthers their agenda. As you can imagine, this can cause some friction.
There’s a better way. Business owners need to bring these two groups together whether they are in-house or outsourced. Each team should be aware of what projects, goals and deadlines the other has and communicate as things change. Lack of communication is the biggest hurdle when these two groups try working together. Break through this hurdle by having these two groups meet to lay out their agenda’s and where each fit into the puzzle. As an SEO, I consistently need Developers to implement new features that further my SEO goals. For example, there may be new tags that Google publishes helping to deal with duplicate content on one of the company’s web properties. Correcting this technical SEO issue will help the company generate more revenue from this particular web property which is a common goal between SEO and Development teams.
Working towards common goals is a great way to lessen the friction between these two groups. Communicating how to get there is even more important. As an SEO, I am constantly having to slow down developers and make them explain in plain English what they want to accomplish. Each group uses its own jargon and therefore makes communicating more difficult. Try to explain what you want to accomplish and the techniques to accomplish it in a common language – English! Instead of talking about Canonicalization, try “preferred URL for a given page” or “web page strength” instead of PageRank.
Clearly communicating what you want to do, how to do it and the positive impact will clear the way for both SEO’s and Development teams to get what they want and have a much happier relationship in the process.
Author Byline: Matt Shealy is a Search Engine Optimization consultant based out of Orlando, FL and the President of Shealy Domain Development. Google+ Matt Shealy