Written by: Tanya Wigmore
Published: 19 August, 2019
Great SEO requires more than just keyword research and content changes. To be competitive in today's search landscape you need to be on point with your technical SEO as well, which means having clean code, additional markup and advanced tracking. A great SEO team in today's environment needs a developer as part of their team.
Your SEO recommendations will almost always identify changes for your website template and design. This might be changing some of your heading tags with CSS formatting, to add functional UX elements to your template, or even reformatting your template to add in crucial text content areas so you can work on improving the content on the page. Your SEO might be competent enough in your CMS to make these changes, but having a dev on your SEO team who understands the reasoning as to why you're making these changes can be much more efficient. They'll also be able to identify if there are any blockers as to why you shouldn't implement the recommended changes.
Depending on your website configuration, setting up AMP, schema, or other important markup could be as easy as turning on a toggle button in your CMS.
But if years of working with websites has taught us anything it's that default settings don't always work the way you'd expect them to. All too often, toggling that default 'enable' button can give you loads of errors that you might not be able to identify the root cause of or isolate to find a solution for. This is where a developer can come in handy so they can adjust the settings and defaults as needed or write some custom code to help your website be up to spec with ever-changing markup standards.
WordPress AMP errors almost always require some dev assistance.
If you want to track AMP traffic, filter out your SaaS platform users who have logged in, or other 'non-standard' tracking, it really helps to have a web developer at the ready to help out. Google Analytics' developer resources can get most people most of the way, but a skilled web developer is usually needed to customize the tracking code and implement it. This will save your SEO team hours of headaches and potentially lost data should anything get implemented incorrectly.
Google Tag Manager has been a great asset for teams who don't have access to change the code of the site. There is a lot that you can do with Tag Manager, but even Tag Manager needs dev involvement at times.
One of the biggest benefits of having a developer as part of your SEO team is that they become really good at identifying common SEO requests and start to take those on for their own projects. Having websites that are built with technical SEO considerations in mind from the start saves a lot of time and money down the road, and gives you a quick leg-up on picking up search visibility for your new site.
Experimentation is a great way to learn but if you break something, can you fix it? If you are implementing recommendations and take your site down, will you be able to recover it? We've had clients come to us because they've inadvertently caused serious issues by editing things that they didn't fully understand. Sometimes these are easy fixes but for larger revenue-driving sites the cost of downtime can be pretty significant.
Working with a smaller boutique agency gives you that feel of a personalized engagement and specialized expertise but it comes at the expense of having a larger support team. A full-service digital team gives you security of having a specialized team of experts across different disciplines should anything ever go wrong. We know that our clients benefit greatly from having our development team on-hand to build and implement code, make website changes, and to allow our SEO team to get all recommendations implemented, correctly. Ready to take your SEO to the next level? Contact us.
Tanya Wigmore is the founder of CRO:NYX Digital and is passionate about growing healthy teams and businesses. With an extensive background in inbound marketing, search marketing, web analytics, CRO & UX, she's always finding new ways to apply optimize and improve.