Although collaboration is at the heart of every digital marketing agency, most service providers are still in the dark about the several benefits of bringing together SEO experts and web developers. Web development for most agencies has turned out to become a hierarchical process, where only developers are involved and SEO analysts are assigned for marketing or branding projects. To generate value from websites and rank them faster on search engines, it is imperative that web developers and SEO analysts combine their proficiency. Yet this type of cross-functional engagement is something most companies find extremely difficult. Because most website development services in Toronto and design firms do not have an SEO team and marketing agencies rarely employ developers. Only those businesses that collide ideas and perspectives foster the emergence of unconventional collaboration and bring new solutions to tough challenges.
Paradoxically, by bringing development and co-creativity, a business can help destroy silos and create better outcomes with a commitment to shared results.
Why SEO and Web Developers Need to Work Together?
Both the web developers and SEO specialists are extremely vital for a website to not only rank on Google SERPs but also to improve customer engagement and lead generation. Especially, with a paradigm change on the horizon – driven by Google’s mobile-first index and core web vitals updates – search engine optimization and web development are playing a central role in positioning websites in the first search engines listings.
Here are some of the most important reasons why SEO analysts and web developers should work together to improve website performance.
SEO-friendly Website URLs
A website’s URL structures inform search engines about the content on that particular page on a website and how it relates to other pages. A well-optimized website URL makes it much easier for Google bots to crawl and index a website to provide relevant content to searchers. Most Content Management Systems (CMS) automatically generate URLs for a website, including the homepage and inner pages. Once the URL is finalized, it is extremely difficult for a developer to make modifications to the URL structure. This means that even a minute change in the URL will lead your website visitors to a 404 page, which could end up in the increase of bounce rate and can affect your website ranking. By including an SEO during the initial stage of web development, well-optimized URL structures relevant to a search query can be created. These SEO-friendly URLs increase the likelihood of Click-through-rate (CTR) and increase your PageRank.
Improves Website Structure During Development
The structure of a website; everything from image placements, content alignment, CTA buttons, etc, will significantly impact SEO traffic and customer conversion. Every business website is different and so are its customers. Web developers tend to make the mistake of developing website structures that all look the same. By collaborating with an SEO analyst, a website can be developed in a way that engages better with users and creates an experience aligned with the businesses goals, product, or services. Therefore, from the initial development phase itself, an SEO can assist a developer on how to organize the website’s structure. This will make it much easier for Web crawlers like Googlebot to crawl a website’s structure and will also help a website visitor to easily navigate through the inner pages.
Optimizing the Sitemap.xml File(s)
The Sitemap.xml file contains a list of all the inner pages that belong to your website. These files enable Google to understand more about the structure of a website and enhance the crawling process. Most Content Management Systems (CMS) automatically generate the Sitemap.xml file while the website is being developed. Sometimes these files do not exactly specify the priority pages, which could end up with the most important page not ranking in Google. By collaborating with an SEO specialist, developers can enable the priority attribute to set the importance of each page. They can also eliminate non-canonical URLs from the sitemap as well as remove all pages with an HTTP status code different from 200 from the sitemap. A developer may not be aware of all these methods that could increase the website’s performance and ranking. By using a Sitemap.xml file, marketers can also obtain relevant information from the Google Webmaster Central that could help track website performance.
Leverage Structured Data for Better SERP Presence
Structured data helps a search engine to easily understand your website content, in turn, it helps in ranking your content more accurately. One of the most beneficial parts of such a ranking is that the search engine will show more information than the usual meta tag and description on the SERP. These are called rich snippets and it significantly enhances the CTR which can improve customer conversion. To implement a structured data markup, an SEO will most probably need the help of a developer because the recommended format is via JSON-LD.
JSON is the text format and LD stands for linked data that enables developers to express data in a manner that is more accurate to the individual entities. It’s the most effective way to communicate with a search engine and that’s why Google prefers it and recommends it to SEOs. Search engine optimizers can use it to enable special search result features for websites on Google SERP, such as, rich cards, breadcrumbs, knowledge graphs, carousels, social profiles links, ratings, etc.
A web developer can create an appealing website based on the clients’ requirements but will not be aware of what needs to be done in order to rank the website. In fact, the SEO algorithms and ranking factors are constantly changing, making it hard for SEOs themselves to keep track of the latest changes, let alone a developer who is too busy with the latest languages and codes. Therefore, companies must abandon the usual strategy of developing the website first and then having an SEO agency rank it on Google. SEO needs to be a vital part of every web development project from the initial stage itself, so that businesses can avoid major ranking and performance issues later.