How to work with developers to get your SEO recommendations implemented

One of the biggest frustrations for SEOs is getting their development team to execute technical recommendations. Whether because of a bad experience in the past or a lack of understanding about one another’s field, common problems from both sides can mean implementations are either not made or they’re slow and incorrect. This absence of communication means you won’t be able to drive any results, which then costs the business time and money.

While the blame could lay with your development team, project manager or product owner, in the end, it’s you who’ll be reporting on the performance (probably in front of stakeholders and other decision makers), so it’s in your best interest to get your recommendations implemented (and in the right way).

In this article, I’m going to provide you with a few tips that will help you work better with developers to get things done. First off though, it’s important to understand that developers are not your enemy, but an ally. If they’re not implementing your recommendations as quickly and effectively as you’d like, it’s probably because they have their own workloads and objectives, which may not always align perfectly with yours. You’ll need to make an extra effort to help them understand why they should not only care about but prioritise your recommendations, so that they can dedicate time implementing them successfully.

How to deliver your SEO recommendations in the most effective way

The way in which you deliver SEO recommendations will determine how and when the developer implements them. In an ideal world, you want this to be as quick as possible and without any errors. Whether it’s a technical audit, site speed audit or a simple technical health check, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Change requestPriority list

Setting up the tools requires working together

After delivering your recommendations, you’ll still need to keep track of whether they’re being implemented successfully. Here are some things that will help you work together with the dev team:

Tip: when this happens, make developers aware of the positive impact as well; they’ll be happy to know that their effort have paid back, and this will enhance your relationship with them, as well as their trust in the value of your recommendations.

Here is a link to an example of spreadsheet we use with our clients. You can replicate this for your own use.

Tip: whilst this will help you prioritise tasks against each other, as well as get the buy-in from stakeholders, you should never guarantee these results; this is a forecast after all, so make sure this is clear.

Integration within the development workflow

Don’t expect developers to disrupt how they normally operate to accommodate an SEO recommendation; it’s important that you understand their development methodology and accommodate this as much as possible to them. A few things you can do on this front are:

Tip: it’s also important to have direct contact with their project manager or Scrum Master via email as well, to avoid having to go through any intermediaries.

Tip: for some clients, we keep track of their on-page changes in a separate tab, too. This way, if rankings fluctuate after some changes in the title or page copy, for example, it’s much easier to know what the cause might be.

Developers are your allies

Developers are people just like you or me, with their own objectives and workloads. Don’t expect them to change their workflows but work around them as much as you can. Doing so should lead to faster implementations, snappy reporting and happy stakeholders and clients.

Hopefully this article has given you some tips on how to achieve this but if you have any questions, please do get in touch. We’ve been there before and would be more than happy to help.

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