September 19, 2022

A Guide to Building Good SEO-Developer Relationships

Making modifications to websites or applications and getting everything lined up is what an SEO specialist does daily. If you’re one, and if you’re aptly blessed with coding know-how, you would be able to alter any aspect of on-page SEO by yourself. But in reality, a majority of SEO specialists occasionally need to ask developers for help.

Getting along with a developer or a dev team will make your life much easier. There is a chance that you won’t be able to eliminate errors, manage 301 redirects, or improve the speed and security of a website without their assistance.

In this article, we’ve outlined some tips on communicating with coders and what to do if you fail to understand each other.

Educate Your Developers

You might want to bear in mind that  developers are not as well-versed in SEO as you are. Therefore, gently provide them with valuable facts every once in a while. Of course, they’d already know some basics, but you can’t expect them to understand terms such as “cloaking” or how “latent semantic indexing” works.

Consider holding educational sessions with them, or send interesting cases and terms in a working chat. If you lead your development team and explain to them why specific upgrades are necessary, you’ll likely eventually create a strong working relationship.

We suggest starting with the following terms:

  • Crawling;
  • Indexing;
  • Breadcrumbs;
  • Canonical tag;
  • Hreflang.

Don’t worry if the team doesn’t seem very interested in SEO at first. Sometimes you need just one advocate to infect the others. If you see someone who appears to be at least moderately engaged in SEO, send them to SEO conferences, ideally the ones that are tailored specifically for developers. Allowing a legitimate SEO specialist to explain the world of search engine optimization instead of constantly telling them what to do may sometimes help them see the light.

Discuss New Options and Technologies

Developers tend to be better informed about new technologies and can thus suggest solutions you may not know about. Explain the ultimate goal to the devs and ask what solutions they can offer. This way, you’ll show respect for their expertise and very likely learn something new about a technical part of the job.

Another splendid way to encourage developers to share knowledge is by hosting a hackathon. Find a task that would interest you and your colleagues from the dev team. For example, page speed improvement. Indeed, you may know of many SEO solutions that can help you deal with the task. But developers know about other useful tools too. For instance, they have Magento 2 Image Optimization insights. Such events allow you to learn from each other and help you understand the power of teamwork.

Share Statistics and Insights

Often, developers just perform the required modifications without understanding what effect those changes will bring. It leads to a lack of motivation and creativity when performing SEO-related tasks.

Instead, let them in on statistics and insights. They will recognize the worth of their effort when they realize that even a minor modification, which took a couple of hours to do, boosted sales and increased revenue. 

Provide them with the numbers that show how beneficial optimized SEO may be for your brand. For instance, according to Brightedge, organic search drives 53,3% of all website traffic.

Screenshot taken on the official Terakeet website

To motivate your dev team even more, celebrate with them when the sales team reaches their monthly, quarterly, or yearly targets. This way, you’ll show their merit in this achievement, and, hopefully, developers will feel more engaged in the SEO improvement process.

Improve Your Technical Skills

The more you can communicate with development teams and comprehend their problems, the better you can deal with them as an SEO specialist. With some technological knowledge, you’ll be able to:

  • Troubleshoot technical problems and make valuable recommendations to the developers;
  • Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of various strategies;
  • Analyze massive datasets more quickly.

Apart from that, with your better understanding of one another, there will be fewer risks of miscommunication, and the working process will become quicker.

Moreover, you can greatly benefit from learning performance optimization tactics, like image compression, CDN integration, or JavaScript settings optimization. You can also gain much from learning coding skills and becoming more familiar with coding languages. By adopting a coder’s perspective, you may more easily recognize where technical problems can occur and how to address them.

As for comprehension of these skills and knowledge, you can study by yourself, attend courses, or learn from your colleagues by asking questions about their work. Alternatively, organize regular overview sessions, where you and your colleagues review successful cases and describe how you worked on them.

Explain What You Want to Achieve (Not How)

Nobody enjoys being told how to perform their duties. As we’ve mentioned before, explaining what you want to achieve will be more efficient than conveying how you think it should be done. Organize a brainstorming meeting, start a dialogue, present the latest SEO audit results, and explain what you’re attempting to do.

These discussions need to come up with a compromise that benefits both sides. Let the devs explain the problems with your present platform and why some SEO solutions are impossible to implement. Let them brainstorm sensible options and devise a non-traditional solution to the issue. Your developers are bright; let them demonstrate their problem-solving skills.

If Nothing Helps

If you fail to establish good working relations with the dev team and the problems seem unsolvable, involving a third party can be the only solution. 

Ask the HR specialist for help. They’ve probably faced similar situations in their work before and better understand how to solve them. On the way to peace, you might have to go through psychological activities, problem-solving skills training, team-building, and other activities to improve communication as well. 

It’s essential not to delay. If you feel stressed out in communicating with your dev team or some of its members, don’t wait to ask the human resources department for help.

Final Word

Collaboration between SEO and development teams saves the business both time and money. Developers with knowledge in SEO will be able to create websites and provide updates swiftly and with less marketing intervention. SEOs can offer productive solutions that may be included in the roadmap if they know the development team’s procedures and priorities. Apart from that, more collaboration and peer learning will result in more creativity and opinion diversity.

About the Author

Kate Parish

Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Magento ecommerce development company Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion. Kate always strives to stay in pace with the ever-advancing online world and the sphere of Magento PWA development. Her expertise includes in-depth knowledge of SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, and the field of online sales in general.


Kate Parish profile pic
Kate Parish
CMO, OniLab

Kate Parish, chief marketing officer at Magento ecommerce development company Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Digital Marketing and website promotion.

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