Having worked with an IT or development team, do any of these ring true?
They should have checked with me first, “Why didn’t they do that?”
“Did they have search engine optimization in mind when they created this?”
“Why don’t they give my demands more attention?”
You are not alone; take a big breath.
Just think about how difficult it was to set up a meeting with the workshop’s content authors. Imagine doing that with developers, and then having to add more demands to their already overflowing plate on top of it all.
When it comes to digital marketing efforts, many firms still operate in silos.
Developers, on the other hand, are very busy.
SEO experts always plan out the material that they will re-optimize or create in the future. Developers have the same problem. In the event that anything goes wrong with our website, they are constantly on call for help.
So that we can work together more effectively, we need to improve our methods for communicating with the development team, prioritising problems, and making process changes.
Learn how to prioritise technical SEO concerns without upsetting site developers in this month’s column.
How to Teach Search Engine Optimization to the Development Team
Prioritizing what you need to accomplish first is critical to your SEO strategy’s success.
When it comes to technical SEO, things become a lot more complicated.
Educating Web Developers on SEO
Make sure the development team knows what SEO is and how important it is as a traffic source to the site before addressing the technical difficulties.
Development teams are often unaware of SEO-related technological problems.
They’re not intentionally causing problems with the software. Technical teams might be very protective of their own work, but who can blame them?
Do not blame them for these problems but instead demonstrate that the two of you can cooperate.
Your Requests Need to Have a Purpose
As part of my documentation of the website’s flaws, I explain why this is important and what the best course of action is.
The developers have a better understanding of why this is so essential and how it may enhance the whole website by providing educational materials about the problem and the solution.
As a result of not providing this context, both teams will have to spend additional time searching for information about why this problem needs to be fixed. The problem is seldom given top priority.
Disseminate Information Regularly and Openly
It’s critical that the marketing and development teams work together to eliminate organisational silos. As a rule of thumb, communication is essential in companies where the aims of several departments may be intertwined.
The final week of their sprint might be disrupted if you submit a ticket to change hundreds of canonical tags.
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But if the development team 404s a number of our important SEO sites by mistake, that might lead to more work for both teams in the future.
Adding extra burdens to someone else’s already full plate is not something anybody wants to do. The SEO team may explain to the development team what is important from an SEO viewpoint on the site and how this can be implemented into the current queue of projects by hosting collaborative knowledge sharing sessions.
I realise that no one wants to attend another internal meeting, but I’ll do my best to make these meetings enjoyable.
Get together for a genuine problem-solving workshop or hackathon. In order to make the collaboration more effective, both teams should collaborate on a project that is both actionable and real-world.
It’s critical that we don’t only delegate work to teams, but rather discuss it as a team project and how all of our tasks are intertwined, so that we may have a mature SEO company.
Prioritizing the problems for our development team is a great method to teach them about the effect technical SEO may have on our website.
As a business owner, how do you prioritise technical SEO issues?
When compared to other marketing platforms, SEO is already difficult to demonstrate return on investment.
In addition, we need to discuss technological difficulties and how they may enhance our crawl budget or reduce duplication in our crawl.
Isn’t it difficult to demonstrate?
Yes and no, of course.
We all know that proving the value of a technical problem is significantly more difficult. However, we can prioritise these concerns for the company and highlight how they can affect our most important or most profitable sites.
We have a few options for the development team to prioritise our technical issues:
- By the Number of Technical Issues that Affect the Page, Prioritize
Prioritizing technical issues is as easy as counting the number of problems on the website.
- Crawling our site and doing a technical audit is made possible by a plethora of various technologies. But this doesn’t imply that these technologies make it simple to see the effect of these shortcomings.
- There are several crawling tools out there that may help us detect the amount of technical problems on our site, or even on a page by page basis.
- Looking at raw data and determining how many errors are affecting the site may help start the ball moving on addressing some of the most critical problems.
Even if just a few pages contain redirect chains, it makes useful to start with the duplicate title tags if there are hundreds of them.
Take the time to explain things in terms your team can understand.
I think it’s a good idea to divide down the problems into categories depending on their nature.
When it comes to technical concerns, I attempt to categorise them into “Content” and “Indexation,” for example (think status code, redirects, non-indexable pages in sitemap).
This makes it easy for the development teams to identify which issues are connected to each other and which are unrelated.
Our missing title tags and header tags aren’t necessarily a 302 redirect or a missing canonical tag, but rather the content on the page, which they understand.
Having a large number of errors on the site may be frustrating for the developer as well as the SEO expert. We must all work together to understand what can be done in the short-term and long-term.
It is important to prioritise issues based on how much time it will take to fix them.
SEO is a long-term endeavour, not a short-term fling. As a result, we must pay attention to what the developers are doing throughout their sprints and match it to the repairs that are required.
Keep in mind that not all fixes are simple or fast. Every website has its own unique features. Everything about a tech stack is unique.
Canonical tags and title tags may be updated by an SEO specialist at certain firms using the CMS.
Another option is for the user to open a support request, go through the approval procedure, and then wait in line until the problem is resolved.
What if the remedy doesn’t quite meet your expectations?
Every development process is unique, so learning what we can accomplish quickly inside the system against what could take longer is critical. We also need to understand what we can’t change and must postpone for another day.
Demonstrate the Web Developer You’re Paying Attention to Their Time and Money
With the help of the development team, it becomes simpler for everyone to comprehend the short-term feasibility of what you want to do.
It’s a good idea to compile a list of the technical concerns and the time it will take for the development team to address them.
The development team has a good idea of what they can and can’t accomplish. Unless you consult with them as you go through this document, you risk sending ticket after ticket for a problem that will never be fixed.
Define how difficult a problem is to solve based on the level of work required. In order to educate our visitors, we must first determine which tasks are the most time-consuming.
In addition to appreciating that we can let the development team to address things that take less time, we can even obtain more buy-in to have more technical resources for SEO since we can start seeing benefits more quickly.
Make a List of Priorities for Quick Successes
Most of the easy stuff, like filling in blanks in title, header, and description tags, goes in first for me.
These improvements are generally much simpler to implement and begin reporting to the organisation about all the changes we are making to the bigger company.
It’s also possible that resolving these content problems will help us figure out what’s going on in our template or content development process.
There is a possibility that the H1 tag and other header tags on the page have never been stressed enough to the content creation or development team.
To avoid being reactive in the face of these challenges, we may begin to plan out what is required on these pages before they are put online.
There are still long-term technological difficulties that we need to be aware of and address. When working on cross-departmental collaborations, it’s always ideal to start with a victory.
SEO helps us understand how long it might take for people to see progress on their projects.
Our most essential pages may be suffering because of technical SEO difficulties, and we can use organic data to highlight the effect these issues have on those sites.
Prioritize in accordance with organic performance (Think Traffic, Conversions, or Keyword Rankings)
If you want the company to worry about anything, show them how their most important pages might be affected by a problem with the website’s technology.
When an executive learns that they may be losing traffic or conversions, and that we know how to remedy the problem, things will start moving in the correct way.
For technical SEO resources to get more support, or for the technical team to genuinely care about our difficulties, I’ve discovered that putting organic performance statistics surrounding these pages helps.
Organic data, in particular keyword rankings, is one of the most effective methods to demonstrate to other departments the importance of SEO for your organisation, and the same is true for technical departments.
Try to include measures that the rest of the team can readily grasp when thinking about organic data to present.
- Traffic that comes from inside the community (sessions, pageviews, visitors, etc.).
- Search engine results (I even break this out into Page 1 keyword rankings to show how visible these pages are).
- The total number of searches based on the keyword rankings.
- Rank of the most frequently used terms.
- Despite the fact that the business or development team may not be aware of or care about SEO, they most likely know which pages on the website are the most popular or effective ones.
Additionally, I’ve found that showing them additional sites that do well naturally but that they may not be aware of is critical.
They’ll be eager to prioritise the remedy once they see how much better these sites operate when there aren’t any technical difficulties.
When it all comes down to it, your company cares most about the things that matter most to them.
To remedy these problems more quickly, bring in statistics on how well these pages are operating and communicate expectations on what can happen if the technical difficulties are corrected.
The Ending Thoughts
Technical challenges might be prioritised in a variety of ways. Without a plan, the technical staff will be at a loss and the number of problems will continue to grow.
We can have the finest content in the world that is optimised for all our relevant keywords. Technical problems on the site that prevent users or search engine crawlers from seeing our material, on the other hand, mean that all of our hard work is for nothing!
When it comes to user experience, Google is taking things to a whole new level.
As a result, we’ll need to discuss about page performance and sitemap updates as we release new material. To that end, the more often we bring up technical SEO with our web development teams, the more it will get engrained in their workflow.
The ideal situation for prioritising these concerns is that we receive a dedicated technical resource and can do a number of tasks we’ve been putting off for a long time.
There is always the possibility of submitting a support ticket and having it authorised by a member of the development team.
In any case, now that we’ve gone into detail about the problem, we’re certain it will be resolved appropriately and on schedule.
If you and your colleagues find this information useful, please feel free to forward it along to your colleagues. So, here’s to making the process more efficient while also making it easier to scale.