Your Web Developer – Website SEO Friend or Foe?

SEO can be a complex task, often even more than web development. Find out how we can work together.

Organic SEO can be a complex task, often even more than web development. Both are highly specialized fields and to ensure success, your SEO company and web development firm need to work in harmony, respecting each other’s strengths, knowledge and expertise.

Sometimes web developers will step into the SEO space, mostly with the very best of intentions, but with a limited understanding and naivety of what good website SEO entails; the results can be disappointing for clients with high expectations.

When you start a bricks and mortar business or have a shop front, do you call the people who built the business to promote your company or do you hire a marketing expert? The same theory applies for SEO.

SEO specialists and web developers can actually compliment each other’s specific roles by bringing their unique skills to the table.  In order to do this, both need to act professionally and remember their goal is the same – building a good website that ranks well on the search engines.  And they are doing this for THEIR mutual client.

Let’s take a quick look at the roles of a web developer and SEO analyst/specialist.

Web Developer SEO Analyst/Specialist
Focuses on website design, functionality and developing a user-friendly website. Focuses on the search engine ranking in key search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing and building a search engine friendly website.
Submits your website to popular search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing on request by client. Submits your website to popular search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing but understands the importance of creating landing pages to target key words and the optimization of all title, description and keyword meta tags to increase your ranking.
Manages site issues such as broken links and redirects to enhance the visitor’s experience to the website and encourage return visits. Identifies site issues such as broken links and redirects to boost your search engine ranking. If your website delivers error pages or links to non-existent pages or files on your server, then search engines like Google are going to consider your site as being “under construction“ and your ranking will be lower.
Installs scripts for tracking such as Google Analytics. Teaches clients how to use reporting and understand programs such as Google Analytics, set SEO benchmarks and use SEO techniques to improve or maintain search engine rankings.
Provides feedback on only the website architecture and navigation but does not focus on content. Provides feedback on the website architecture to make it SEO compliant but also advises on creating content that is not only key word rich but also engages visitors to your website, is constantly refreshed or updated, promotes your company and convert visitors into customers.
Focuses only on internal links within the website to enhance the navigation, flow through the website and user experience. Focuses on internal links and link building with external websites that are relevant and related to your industry to increase the credibility of your website with search engines.

As you can see from this table, the role of the web developer and SEO specialist are completely different. Where they may even perform the same roles on the website such as identification of broken links, the desired outcomes are clearly different.

There is no real value in building a beautiful website if it is not ranked on the first few pages of search engines. At the same time, there is no point in having a badly designed website with a high search engine ranking that has a poor navigation structure and badly written copy that is not constantly refreshed and updated.

A web developer and SEO expert should ideally work together and share their knowledge base to create a website that is both SEO friendly and aesthetically pleasing to the users. The collaboration of both web developer and SEO analyst can lead to a website that is not only featured on the first page of search engine rankings leading to increased traffic but also provides engaging and compelling content to visitors to convert them into customers and growth in online revenue.