Website Design And SEO Working Together
If we all lived in a symbiotic world where we understood each other and worked together well, then all of our lives would be easier. Of course we don’t live in that perfect world, which means website design and SEO working together doesn’t always work. The problem with that is they should always work together and not against each other. If a new website is being built or a website is being redesigned you need an SEO professional on board. You might be asking yourself why? The easy answer is so the site is built with usability, aesthetics and Google ranking factors in mind.
So What Exactly Does Website Design And SEO Working Together Mean?
The quick and easy answer is making sure a website is designed using SEO best practices. The simple truth is that when SEO and website design play well together you can get a huge payoff. I bet you would like to know why!
We know if you are missing a great design then you are missing a very critical piece of the website. Something that maybe we all don’t know is that if you are missing SEO then you are also missing a very important piece to the puzzle. Most of the time you run into the problem of having a great looking website, that’s hard to optimize. Of course, you can also have a site that is really optimized but looks awful and is hard to use. Neither of these are ideal situations.
Major Web Dev and SEO Hurdles
A major hurdle is getting the Web Dev team and the SEO team to work together to reach the common goal of having a great website that both looks good and will rank well. One of the major problems is that Web Dev teams and SEO teams have their own, sometimes very different agendas. Each team could be moving in opposite directions in order to reach their goals and finish the website on time.
If you know anything about SEO you should know, SEO’s are going to be focused on improving rankings, getting more traffic, increasing conversions and getting a better ROI. They really only communicate with the Web team on the occasion that they need a task completed. Let’s say they need something coded into the site because Google just made a ranking change, this furthers their agenda and could cause a problem with the dev team as it might put them behind schedule.
If the 2 teams are brought together in the beginning and made aware of each team’s timeline, goals and overall deadlines this can help. It will especially help if there is an open line of communication as things change on either side. As in any group, team or relationship, the lack of communication is often the biggest problem to overcome. Have meetings between the teams to lay out agenda’s and how each agenda is important to the other.
Understanding Each Other
As stated before, SEO’s are always needing constant changes that only the Dev team can take care of. Usually, this is because there are new features or developments by Google that will lead to better rankings in the end. Fixing this or adding this new feature or code could lead to the company making more money in the end, which of course helps the dev team and the SEO team, which means this should technically be a common goal.
If the communication is there and it’s shown how this is a common goal, there should be less animosity between the 2 teams. Of course the 2 teams need to learn how to communicate to each other so they understand each other. SEO’s might not get the technical jargon the Web Dev team is speaking and have to ask them to explain in layman’s terms. Of course the same thing goes vice versa, so both sides should stop using jargon and try to stick with plain english.
Think about an SEO trying to figure out SaSS and CSS and ….. well you get it. If you are working with a web team that hasn’t had much exposure to SEO think about what they are thinking when an SEO is talking about canonicalization or how PageRank is going to help. If each team takes a moment and is able to clearly communicate how these things will be a positive for the website. Both teams should be able to get what they want and be happier with each other at the same time.
Let’s Talk About The Important Web Development, User Experience, And SEO Common Goals
If you sit back and think about it, these 2 teams have some obvious common goals right from the beginning. You might already know that better rankings are affected by good quality content, good inbound links, and traffic. Did you know that SEO is also strongly affected by things like page load speed and overall user experience? These are 2 things which are directly affected by the Web Dev team. SEO will bring users to the site, but it then depends on the web development team to keep users engaged and lead to conversions.
If we are looking at Google’s “quality updates” of its algorithm leans strongly towards the user experience, which comes from website development. In order to meet Google’s website standards, you must have a really good user experience because Google wants to provide each user with the best results. Of course, the most relevant results affect the user experience. SEO won’t do anything for this part of the website build and can actually penalize sites that try to cheat.
With that said you can see how important the web dev team is when it comes to user experience. Now let’s talk about how SEO plays just as strong of a role in that same user experience. The first place an SEO is going to start is with research. Every single website developed is going to have different goals and different priorities. These should be determined before the website build ever begins. SEO research is going to provide real data relating to the web sites industry and customer base. This research will provide the dev team information from the customers they are trying to create a user experience for. This should give the web dev team a perfect place to start developing their goals and tasks.
Prevent Technical Issues
All of this demonstrates how having the web dev team and the SEO team working together can prevent technical issues, such as broken links and page errors that might occur during a build. Finding and fixing errors like this will make sure the site runs smoother, of course, it improves the SEO and leads to a better user experience.
Working together as one team means you can easily optimize websites you build for your users and Google. As stated before both of these are essential to the success of your site. If both teams are working together, understanding the goals you both have your site will gain traffic and conversions.
Start Working Together From The Beginning
After everything stated in this post it’s an obvious conclusion that the website design and SEO teams should work together. It’s still common for web dev companies to develop the site. Then go hire an SEO expert or company to optimize the site. Many times even if the web design company has an SEO expert working in house they will still wait until the design process is over before the optimization begins.
This is a very redundant process and will lead to more money being spent. This money could have been saved from the beginning. Many times search engines will start to index the site before it’s done even if you ask them not to. Of course, there are ways around this, but if it does happen, then this will be Google’s first impression. A better way to design and develop a website is to start with SEO techniques already incorporated from day one. This will save everyone time and money. It will make sure that your SEO doesn’t have to come back and bug the design team with more changes. Or even ask for complete redesigns of certain aspects of the website.
If your website design and SEO team start out working together, everyone at the company will be happier. Not to mention understand each other better, get things done on time and stay within the initial budget.