SEO and web development are more closely tied than ever and having a plan for integrating them is crucial to your website’s success. In the past, companies hired a developer, a designer, and an SEO firm, thinking that each organization operated completely independently and that there was little to no overlap.
However, as the search engines’ algorithms continue to evolve to mimic human behavior, it becomes increasingly important to have development, design, and SEO all working together to adapt to the rapid changes of search.
Here are several reasons why your SEO provider should also be your web developer:
- Good SEO depends on good site architecture: Time and again we’ve seen organizations struggling in their SEO efforts because their sites were poorly architected to begin with. Hiring a company with integrated web development and SEO to build your site ensures that they employ best practices for searchability.
This includes creating crawl-able link structure and sitemaps; search-friendly URL naming; no-indexing or canonical linking to duplicate pages, categories, and archives; and implementation of rich snippets and semantic markup.
- Good SEO depends on rapid changes in response to algorithm updates: If your SEO firm cannot access your website without the help of a separate development team, this may dramatically slow down efforts to make fast changes to your site.While a good SEO firm will spend its time on white hat, sustainable SEO practices that will never go out of style, there may be onsite changes that need to be made relatively quickly.
- Your CMS should be designed for SEO: A development company that also does SEO will ensure that each time you input text and images into your site you have the option of optimizing them with metadata, alt-tags, and keywords located in appropriate places.Your site shouldn’t just look good, it should also function in such a way that all of its content is indexed properly.
- Good SEOs know UX: A good SEO firm knows that search engines look for signals from users when ranking a website. For example, if your site load time is too long, then visitors won’t want to stay. Likewise, if your bounce rate is high, then the search engines assume the content on your site is not worth as much as your competitors.Understanding what keeps a user on your site is inextricably linked to SEO. This means making development and design changes that real people respond to.
Whether you’ve chosen to go with a development company that programs in WordPress, Ruby on Rails, Drupal, Cake, Joomla, Magento, or any number of platforms, choose an organization that knows SEO well. If you’d like for us to tell you what to look for in your development company, give us a call and we’ll give you our recommendations.