SEO and Web Development: A Match Made in Heaven?

SEO and Web Development: A Match Made in Heaven?
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Ellen Gao
SEO

Wine and cheese. Hall and Oates. Search engine optimisation and… front-end web development? Well, actually, yes. SEO specialists and front-end developers make the ideal search marketing team.

But what is it, exactly, that makes these two professions so synchronous? Why is it so important that the people in these two roles play well with one another? Look no further than the three website essentials that require SEO insight, dev expertise, and a whole lot of teamwork.

  1. Pick up the pace

    There are many initiatives that require web developers to implement SEO’s changes and recommendations, especially for technical elements. For example, with the ongoing switch from desktop to mobile devices, page load speed has become a prime user experience (UX) consideration.

    Did you know that 40% of users leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load—and 47% of users expect a page to load in two seconds or less? That means page speed isn’t only a significant ranking factor in a technical sense: it’s arguably the main reason users bounce away from pages, which in turn reduces another SEO factor, average time on site.

    Overhead shot of man with hands clasped waiting for his laptop to display web page.

    Google states that two seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability, adding that “at Google, we aim for under a half second”. The go-to tool to monitor your page load speed is, of course, Google’s own PageSpeed Insights, which analyses load times and identifies areas for improvement.

    With unambiguous SEO direction and faithful execution by the web development team, it’s possible to transform any slow-loading page into a much faster, more user-friendly experience. Typical fixes include:

    • Reduce image file size
    • Implement browser caching tools
    • Minify files
  2. Get hip to the schema

    Schema code is a collaborative vocabulary designed by Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! to improve the way search engines understand web pages. Schema markup improves the way your page appears in the SERPs because it adds rich information to guide users to the content on your page. The upshot? More descriptive results, better visibility, and improved click-through rates.

    SERP listing for the ebook "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

    With SEO guidance, developers can mark content on any given page to clarify content not only for search engines but users too. For example, in the picture above, the search result shows both a star rating and how many reviews the novel has. These are derived from correctly marked up product reviews—one of many Schema markup types.

  3. Always put mobile first

    With the ongoing and inevitable switch from desktop to mobile devices, more users are spending time searching on their mobile devices than on desktop. According to Statista, in fact, more than half of users are using their mobile device for search, which means that pages must be optimised for mobile to ensure a reliable user experience each and every time.

    The increase in mobile search means that mobile page load speed must be a high priority for SEO. Page speed for mobile, specifically, is also an important ranking factor, as confirmed by Google last year. Faster mobile page load speed equals better SEO potential.

    So, what does that mean for our dream team? Together, they must coordinate to build a clean, quick-loading front end in responsive design—and ensure that it adheres to SEO best practices from the ground up. With responsive elements adjusting seamlessly to different devices, the resulting improvement in usability should lead to lower bounce rates and drive up the average time spent on site, which is always great for SEO.

Coordinate, collaborate, win

It’s important to continually refine and retest SEO strategies. After all, search is forever changing and there are few standard approaches that are guaranteed to work in every context. But when you achieve the right balance of long-term SEO strategies and agile tech tactics, you’ll see how much easier it is to optimise your digital efforts with your two favourite specialists working in tandem.

Not sure if you should prioritise SEO or web development? With a multidisciplinary team at your disposal, you don’t have to choose. Contact DAC today to arrange a friendly chat about your search performance, your website’s potential—and the best way to drive digital efficiencies.