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Should Your Web Developer Be Your SEO Consultant As Well?

SEO/Design/Development JuggleMost people not in the industry think about SEO as something that is done outside the actual website, if they’ve done their research then it will be all about link building, blog posting, PPC, etc.  The truth is there are an awful lot of things that can be done within the coding of a site that can make or break any SEO effort – we call this ‘On-page SEO’.  For more specifics take a look at our Simple Guide to SEO post, but it suffices to say that ignoring this type of SEO can kill a campaign before any ‘off-page’ effort has even started.

Ideally your web developer will know about these practices, but you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who has the time to stay up-to-date on the constantly changing SEO world AND continue to move forward with the latest design techniques.  ViceVersa, don’t expect your average SEO consultant to be able to design and code your entire website.

There are people out there who are experts in both areas and can effectively build your site and manage your SEO, but they are few and far between.  Nine times out of ten attempting to cut costs by having one person do both will backfire.  Another option is to hire different people/agencies for each component.  It is a valid strategy, but there are inherent potential problems with this type of set up.  Any SEO consultant worth his salt will want to take a look at your website’s code, and will probably want to make at least a few changes.  Suddenly  issues of file access and permissions pop up that can really complicate, not to mention drastically slow down, the process.

The best possible solution is to have your site designed by an agency who employs both designers/developers and online marketing specialists.  You’ll end up with a coherent and more successful website because of the smooth communication between the two camps.

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4 Responses to “Should Your Web Developer Be Your SEO Consultant As Well?”

  1. Web Templates Says:

    Designers should know SEO basics because they can impact design, navigation etc… but they don’t need to know it all IMO.

  2. 10th Degree Says:

    Good SEO encompasses both on-page and off-page factors. The ideal situation is having a company that has developers and SEO specialists who communicate well with each other. Developers don’t have the time to keep up on the latest and greatest seo info. The seo department should determine what should be done, then communicate it to the developers so they can incorporate it across the board. For example, if your software can automatically incorporate data about changing inventory in meta, h-tags, etc., without human intervention, that’s huge. Or what if your software could automatically create XML sitemaps and update them daily? If the development and seo departments work together closely, you can make some of these things happen.

  3. MorePro Marketing Says:

    I agree w/ both of these previous comments… the designer is better off focusing on his craft and allowing marketing experts to do their thing separately.

    Despite the fact that most designers have SEO knowledge, having to complete both aspects of a website – the design and the marketing – is likely to be a conflict. I’m not suggesting that a design firm isn’t capable of marketing a site well, but often it is their add-on service and not their specialty.

    Choosing an SEO consultant also allows you to get a 2nd opinion and assurance that you’re getting the right value & ROI from your design and site overall.

  4. SEO Midlands UK Says:

    I agree that designers should be experts in what they do and leave SEO consultants to specialise in their own field. A good designer should understand the basic requirements of SEO but should mainly be concerned with the look and useability of the website. As Alexander Pope said “A little learning (often misquoted as “knowledge”) is a dangerous thing” and this can be particularly true of designers thinking that they know everything about SEO.

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