There are many tools available to an SEO to help forge success for a campaign. Unfortunately many people believe these to be in the form of expensive analysis tools, professional cheatsheets and best practise documents; many people forget the other tools that SEO’s can wield – communication!
I have never hidden my distaste for web developers who not only do not believe in SEO, are unwilling to listen to anything you say and generally don’t help out due to the increased workload you bestow upon them. It’s a common occurrence in the SEO industry and many agencies experience the same nuances I mention.
Over the course of the last couple of years working with web design companies, full-service agencies and in-house teams for international brands I have found that something simple as communication can make the project not only successful but also rewarding for both parties involved.
Most web developers have heard of SEO; most practise it themselves. More often than not though, most developers are actually looking to learn and broaden their horizons so why not help them with their tasks by explaining why you are requesting the changes and what effect it will have on the performance of the website. It will only save you time in the future when it comes to more new builds when they have already implemented your previous request by default.
By encouraging feedback most developers can listen to your overall aim and can actually help you achieve your goal by tapping into their own experience and suggesting technologies you may not be aware of. These types of interactions have yielded some great results for me in the past.
Quite simply web developers are specialists in their field much like you are; they also read blogs about techniques, tactics and methods for SEO – the same way you do. There is nothing worse than talking down to a developer as if they are fresh out of school and have never heard of SEO (although some of these do exist!)
Recently a friend of mine at a large national entertainment company had to complain about their well paid in-house SEO because of their lack of experience with very basic web technologies & markup and their condescension towards him when it came to requesting changes for the website that would have actually resulted in their website not functioning properly. Nothing can make the job of an SEO harder than a web developer whose opinions are ignored.
I cannot stress this enough, but simply make friends with them. At the end of the day web devs are not the enemy! They are simple carrying out a different role in the success of the project much like a plumber and a carpenter in the construction of a house.
At some point both of you will need help from the other one to carry out your job and nothing makes this easier than actually being friendly with them. You can’t be friends with everyone, but making an effort can’t hurt.
Just remember to communicate and offer help and advice when requesting that massive chunk of work to the CMS system – it can help you go a long way 😉