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When it comes to website optimisation, it can sometimes feel that there is something of a love triangle between the SEO, client and web developer. It can be frustrating to see something from the opposite point-of-view, and some web developers feel as if SEOs are creating unnecessary work for them. However, for the success of a campaign it’s essential that SEOs and Web Developers work in unison.
In order to get the best results from any website campaign, be it SEO, CRO or paid advertising; it’s critical that everyone involved with the project has a good working relationship with one another. Here are some useful tips for ensuring you get the best results out of your campaign by working together.
Often, SEOs will identify opportunities or issues that require action from the web developer. If these aren’t relayed properly, it can come across as though you are creating unnecessary work for the sake of it, when of course this isn’t the case.
When communicating between the team, make sure that the benefits of any recommendations are clear, so all parties understand exactly why something is necessary. Consider structuring your request in the following way or at least cover each of the four parts in your communication:
Missing any one of these sections from your communication may cause confusion or frustration, as though you haven’t done all you can to help.
It’s an age-old saying, but one that is both true and often overlooked when it comes to communication. As an SEO, it isn’t enough to simply highlight a problem and tell a web developer to fix it. Instead, you need to identify a problem and come up with at least one solution to resolve it. You need to do as much of the work as is possible with your access limitations, and make the implementation process as easy as you can for the web developer.
If possible, try to suggest more than one solution so that the web developer can see that you are trying to make their life easier, not harder. If you don’t know the solution because it’s outside of your skill-set, at least try and do some research and provide some supporting resources to show that you have done all you can to provide a solution and not leave web developers thinking that they are expected to do all of the work.
If a web developer sees a website as complete once it’s been designed and launched, it is very difficult to get buy-in on changes. After all, “it’s all been signed off” and “that wasn’t in the brief.”
Try to make web developers understand that the website is never a finished project, and on-going maintenance and optimisation is paramount if you all want the site to succeed. Times change, requirements change and therefore on-going work and amendments are always going to be required to keep it performing as it should.
Improving its performance should be a common goal, as you must both want to see the product become more successful. Without this attitude, it is very difficult to move the project forward; this ultimately means that the client isn’t getting what they pay either the SEO or the web developer for. After all, they might have set a brief and got the shiny website they were looking for but if it doesn’t meet their business needs then the whole project is a waste.
Remind all parties that getting better results from the website is everyone’s business and is in everyone’s interest.
It’s important to remember that most web developers are very proud of a website they have put together. Whatever amendments you’re suggesting, you need to keep the web developer “on side” and not make them feel as though you’re insulting their work or ability.
A little bit of tact goes a long way when it comes to communication between digital marketers and web developers. There’s a big difference between “can we add this here so this part performs even better” and “this needs changing because it doesn’t work well”.
Try to think about how you would feel if you received the request you’re about to send or give; would you be receptive and understanding or could it be misconstrued as offensive or demanding? Getting into good practices when it comes to effective communication is a valuable and transferable skill.
Bombarding everyone involved in a project with emails isn’t always an effective way of communicating important messages or requesting action. Consider using a Project Management Tool that meets the needs of the project, whether it’s specifically tailored for an industry or project type or something more universal.
One such platform is Basecamp, which helps manage communication, responsibilities and goals through a simple and intuitive interface. You can create tasks, or “to-dos”, assign to the relevant team member, set deadlines and much more. Using a tool like this can make it much easier to keep everyone updated on a project while not letting important actions slip.
Of course, there are many other tools out there which you might find useful, including:
What have you found useful when working in a team with different roles and priorities? I’d love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me @MorphNorth.
To see how other teams can work better together check out 16 Tips For SEO and Content Teams To Work Together.