SEO & working with web developers – the easy way

I love working with web developers on SEO!

Said no one ever.

Because in no world is this a remotely fun experience.

Most developers don’t know a thing about SEO.

It’s not a stretch either.

They either don’t know about it or they hate it. Or both.

Often it’s both.

It’s not their fault though.

They’re good at their craft, I’m good at mine – we’re not expected to know it all.

And it can sometimes be a tough experience trying to get devs to understand SEO concepts and get things done while you’ve got management breathing down your neck about rankings and traffic.

And there’s the product managers and CTOs giving the devs a hard time as well.

SUCKS doesn’t it?

Rather than cry about it in the corner, I’ve tried the following things to bridge the divide:

1. educate them on SEO concepts
2. explain how SEO impacts the company
3. pester them for updates every day

The pestering works well, in that, they stop ignoring SEO requests purely to get me off their back.

But it’s not a long term solution.

Educating them has mixed results.

You get some who don’t care and don’t pay attention.

And some who listen but it’s in one ear and out the other.

I still believe education is key though.

Often we’re afraid of things we don’t understand.

SEO is still seen as a ‘dark’ art by many, even in 2019.

I want to live to see this change because it will make so many of us sleep better at night.

But for now we contend with stubborn developers.

You wouldn’t believe how stubborn many of them can be.

I will literally map out how SEO impacts the company in terms of money.

How this impact affects ability to pay wages and stay in business.

How this also affects pay rises and bonuses.

And STILL, web developers will be quick to flip me and my beloved SEO off.

It’s obscene, really.

So what is one to do?

I’ve found success, albeit in limited amounts, by gently poking the bear.

Just enough to be a mild annoyance.

But just short of getting swiped at (or eaten).

I find that if you stay quiet, no one will notice you.

And we already have a problem with visibility.

Heck people have worked with me for ages and not known what I did for the company.

So if you badger them enough, it gets results.

I also find that blending in with their existing workflows and tools is a good way to get things done.

You have to make friends.

Or if not, try not to become an enemy.

If you’re not thinking about their deadlines and methods when you give them your list of requirements, you’ll end up on the hit list.

No one wants that.

You might as well quit your job.

But if you use their tools, think about their work loads and make each task super easy to understand (and therefore, super easy to implement), you’ll get the job done.

And that’s really the core take away here.

Don’t make people think.

Whatever it is you do, make it super easy for someone to get things done.

Even if it means extra work for you.

It’s how you make friends. And influence people.

The SEO way (thanks Dale Carnegie).

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