SEO and Web Development – BFFs?

Many Options for SEO

Curious who is who? Easy. The SEO has obviously ‘optimized’ his chest hair. ūüėõ

The chances are that if you’re in search of SEO for your website there are multiple options available. You could use a dedicated SEO company or select from a variety of add-on service providers such as a PR or Advertising Agency, traditional marketing company or website development company.

Most likely, your website developer is pitching SEO. Which, may or may not be a bad thing. A quick Googling for your city name + SEO should reveal if they take SEO seriously. If they are not on page one, I wouldn’t have high hopes (unless they utilize the services of a dedicated SEO company with their own).

A Little Background…

We’ve had a lot of experience with web development. In fact, that is actually how I got started with SEO over in San Francisco at Les Concierges years ago. Those were the good old days of search engine optimization. The wild west, really. One could pull-in hundreds of thousands of ‘hits’ just by using the phrase ‘Britney Spears’ heavily in visible and hidden website copy among similar and related tactics. Ahh the good old days. ūüėČ SEO has come a very long way since then. Thank goodness.

Presently, Jtree has frequent engagements with web development in the form of:

  • Helping programmers optimize their content management systems (CMS) for search
  • Working with developers to help improve the efficiency of a given website in terms of speed and usability
  • Helping clients ‘select’ search engine friendly web developers
  • Managing project teams that include multiple web development shops that service hundreds of clients
  • Aiding in the removal of any malware or virus attached to websites that hinder search engine rankings
  • Providing consulting to web development agencies and companies as a component (project team member) of their web dev or marketing service to clients
  • And on…

Web Development – A Prerequisite for SEO

Why doesn’t Jtree provide web development services? This is a question I’ve been asked a lot. We can work with just about any CMS, programming and scripting¬†language¬†out there, some of my sandbox websites have turned out to be quite successful and I was actually a web design and development consultant for years… so what gives?

While we have a vast working knowledge base of web development, which is a required SEO skill, we focus on what we do best… SEO. We have the advantage of learning from SEO implementations across multiple web development platforms and CMSs. This helps us understand which platform is the most suitable for a particular purpose or industry. The website design and development aspect is best handled by the pros. That’s not to say that SEO shouldn’t be consulted with during the early stages of development of any web-based project.

So, SEO and Web Development – BFFs?

You bet.

Should they be one in the same (provided by one company)?

Not necessarily. Only a handful of web development companies are going to be good at SEO, while companies specialized in SEO will be GREAT at SEO.

Developers should be focused on creating highly usable websites that look and perform beautifully. They need not be concerned with ‘which words appear where’. The creative balance between code and content is best leveraged by an experienced SEO. The inherent risk of blending elevates the potential of muddying web development efforts with SEO considerations.

In my own experience, it is extremely rare to see a combo company (providing both web dev and SEO) managed website outrank a website managed by a company exclusive to SEO.

Exceptions, of course, would be:

  • Agencies that involve SEO specific consultants or companies with their own project teams
  • Talented,¬†boutique¬†shops that have¬†successfully¬†embraced SEO and integrated it with their core development processes
  • Veteran webmasters/developers that specialize in SEO and have an active history of design and development experience

There you have it. SEO and Web Development are definitely BFFs, but not necessarily best offered together.

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