Bridging the gap between SEO & IT

As a Creative Marketing Agency, we work on all kinds of projects, and they come to us at a lot of different stages. One of the most common issues we see is when IT projects come to us almost complete but have not implemented a basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) setup.
We then have to go back, usually for an additional cost – thousands of dollars – and set up things like meta-tags, alt tags, correct page titles, keyword enriched URLs and, importantly, website architecture. Such a misstep can break the back of a startup or a young company, and it’s tragic to see – especially for something you can do right the first time.

Part of the issue is that neither the company owners nor developers may know how SEO works or think about it until further down the road. The website infrastructure is the prominent engine behind any website, and that’s where, rightfully, most companies start. It’s the developers’ job to create user-friendly, visually appealing sites and to provide all of the services you need to keep your website up and running. It’s a tough gig which is why SEO usually gets missed.

How to Create an SEO-Friendly Website Design Structure

The first step in SEO website design should be creating an information architecture in the wireframe phase of a project. Website navigation is the structure of hyperlinks on your website and is the first thing you should consider. In most cases, information architecture directly impacts the usability and rankings of your website. This structure guides visitors as they search through the sales process. Once you decide your structure, it should be easy enough for the developers to code the necessary tags into the site and ensure that Google can properly index the site.

Ideally, developers should understand SEO, and it should be a significant development from the beginning, but in reality, it rarely happens that way. The owner or financier usually focuses on getting the thing built and marketing; getting the website found on Google comes later. Then you should convey these priorities to the developers – and nothing more. Often, sites are completed or in their final stages when companies consult us for an SEO analysis that can require dramatic changes to the site.

SEO & IT: Communicating Between Departments

The bridge between the IT and SEO departments begins with clear communication. Part of the problem is that developers and SEO technicians are two different personalities that can often clash. Then sometimes ego gets in the way as developers think that the SEO technicians are putting their nose in somewhere it doesn’t belong and vice versa. It’s important to remember the website’s goal, and each side has an integral part in getting there. SEO and IT need to set industry jargon aside and speak in common phrases the other team will understand to communicate with one another. What’s not important is showing the other side how smart they are.

Lastly, the developers should structure their code so it’s easy for the SEO technicians to make updates as the site adds new pages and Google algorithms change. The business shouldn’t have to rely too heavily on the developers to make minor tweaks for them.

SEO Website Design: Wrapping Up

Ultimately, the business owner will want to create a fast, safe and user-friendly site that will entice your customers to visit and purchase your products. When your IT and SEO departments work together, the possibilities are endless, and they can create a robust platform with an opportunity to gain great SEO with the help of regular content updates. SEO website design isn’t necessarily easy, but it certainly can be a seamless process with proper communication and planning. 

If you’re looking for some marketing help, give us a call at Kipling Media, and we will assess your business goals and make some suggestions on how to get there.