Successful Collaboration Tips for SEOs and Developers
Working effectively with developers need not always be a hassle for search marketers. From my extensive career in SEO, I’ve had the good fortune of collaboration with extremely passionate front-end and back-end developers dealing with SEO related tasks. Developing genuine respect and recognition of expertise can greatly enhance the working relationship between SEOs and developers.
In this piece, I will discuss my own standard method of working alongside developers that has proven effective and may well serve as your new baseline expectation. Additionally, I’ll touch on some unique scenarios where you can establish trust with developers.
Data-Based Collaboration with Web Developers
Having a standard process when communicating with developers involves certain minimal expectations such as defining the desired outcome rather than specifying exact solutions, approaching discussions with curiosity rather than suspicion, conforming with the workflow outlined by the developers, and promoting their efforts and achievements.
The idea that engineering teams are there to execute any desired task by the push of a button is outdated and largely untrue. Both SEOs and developers need to break down these misconceptions and strive toward mutual understanding to ensure smooth operations.
Desired End States and Active Listening
When proposing tasks to developers, provide examples and thoroughly explain your desired end state. Invest time to justify any peculiar requirements that you may have. Rather than acting authoritatively towards your team, be an active listener and respect their deeper understanding of the code. Once tasks have been accomplished, don’t forget to share their success and speak positively of them whether they are present or not.
Building Trust when Working with Developers
If you’re still struggling to create mutual respect and get tasks done even with the above strategies, consider these alternative methods of rapport-building with developers.
Building through Shared KPIs
Involve developers in SEO tasks that also contribute towards their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In the current climate, you’ll find that site speed is often a shared KPI between developers and SEOs. Therefore, join in their efforts and contribute your insights to make an impact on the business. Be ready to assist in the tasks necessary for the project, such as identifying snippet “owners”.
Creative 20% Projects
Work on exciting, less conventional projects in collaboration with developers. Projects such as interactive articles or wishlist creators not only serve SEO objectives but also make the job interesting for developers. Such projects help in elevating your digital strategy and create replicable tools that save digital journalists’ time.
Spending time with developers and learning together can greatly enhance the working relationship. Participate in user experience workshops together, where you both can benefit from varied perspectives and build expertise. This serves the dual purpose of meeting personal learning KPIs and establishing stronger team relations.
Creating a Harmonious Working Environment
To foster a harmonious work environment with developers, adopt an agile mindset. Be flexible and open to learning, appreciate their expertise and have patience with communication and expectation-setting. Remember that every individual deserves respect and humanity, and understanding this will go a long way in fostering fruitful collaborations.
Go in with a flexible mindset and define the end state of the task rather than dictating how they should arrive at the solution. Be curious and practice active listening to foster an atmosphere of respect and understanding.
Work on SEO tasks that also contribute to the developers’ Key Performance Indices (KPIs). Participate in creative projects and learning workshops together. Speak positively about them and share their successes.
Be willing to learn and be flexible. Listen and acknowledge their expertise and be patient with communication and setting expectations. Treating each individual with respect and understanding that they are not just a means to an end goes a long way in fostering fruitful collaborations.