SEO's & Web Dev’s: Why can’t we get along?

Tuesday February 23, 2010

In the fastest moving marketplace ever to exist, today’s business relies heavily on their websites. Sometimes several teams can be involved in the manufacturing and up-keep process; the developers, software developers, designers, PPC guys and SEO’s consultants, which when combined form a complex relationship.

Web Devs Vs SEO

Organised Chaos!

So, you’d presume everybody gets along swimmingly, right? Well... maybe not. When broken down the most complex professional relationship has to be between web developers and the SEO consultants.

Similar Goals, different priorities?

Both parties must work together to create and evolve websites into buzzing high performance funnels where the goal is: a sale, lead or signup! - Doesn’t sound too hard does it? Well behind the scenes, generally un-detected by the client, there’s plenty of banter between parties.

Two Very Different Minds....

So sometimes the fur fly’s, but let’s look in more detail at why web developers and SEO’s think the way they do.

Web Developers

WEB DevelopersSEO Consultants
Focuses on user experience Focuses on Search Engine performance
Likes the dynamic visual impact of Flash Likes content that can be read by robots
Prefers copy written to persuade Loves keyword rich copy
Dislikes making large site wide changes, like re-structuring URLs Doesn’t like Frames, dislikes flash and hates large un-tidy code.


So what’s the problem then? A day in the life of...

Usually, Web designers, Developers and SEO’s get heated up over something simple which usually results in both parties disagreeing, possibly arguments or behind the back comments both causing rifts within the said team. 

Picture this - X developer creates, in their opinion, a search engine friendly website from scratch with no interference from an SEO agency. The site goes through a staging process and after a few tweaks the client sign's off and the site goes live. – Pretty Standard.

But Then - All of sudden the client has engaged an SEO agency to promote the site organically in Google and to make a critical assessment of the site in its current state.

Which results in – Several SEO recommendations being made that mean more development is needed. This often leaves the developer feeling offended, “What the hell is wrong with that?!” – a frequently said thing.

A Formal Exchange of Views – Web developers often challenge SEO’s, in meetings or via email chains, to put them on the spot in front of clients.

The outcome - Communication is now required between Developer and SEO to give the client what they want, which often involves intricate phone calls, emails and meetings which usually have the same outcome: Both parties stabbing each other in the back off the record.

Is there a common ground?

Yes defiantly! Both web developers and SEO consultants agree on one thing, conversions! If the websites doesn’t perform, then both parties have un-happy clients. Web developers generally focus on the usability of the site, whilst an SEO expert will focus on getting the right demographic of traffic to it, both factors in turn hold significant weight in the overall success of the project.

A mutually beneficial partnership

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that this sibling rivalry isn’t going to end anytime, and do you know why?

The fact is it can’t, the relationship between Web developer & SEO is mutually beneficial as recommendations made by SEO’s often generate extra revenue for bespoke development firms and on the flip side, SEO’s would have nothing to optimise if every website was perfect in the eyes of search engines.

Our spin 

At Inflecto, we love SEO and are happy to work with and embrace the recommendations made by our clients’ third party vendors or we can bring in our own SEO experts. We know there is no point spending time getting your web presence just right if your target audience cannot find you. 

Interaction with other teams or consultants be them SEO experts or experts in another field both helps us to grow as a company and develop better performing websites and bespoke software resulting in happier clients.

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Written by Ross