By Dan Kuthy, Supervisor, Search Engine Optimization
When talking to people in this industry about content optimization, I have come to expect a certain response:
“But, Dan, our Web development and IT teams are totally strapped, we know many content recommendations require considerable time and we simply don’t have the bandwidth. What else can we do?”
I have a few suspicions as to the root of these hesitations:
- Web developers and IT staff aren’t totally comfortable with SEO so the SEO workload tends to be challenging for them and solicits resistance and dissatisfaction
- Many have worked with an SEO firm in the past and they’ve been berated for not mustering the agility to implement all ideas quickly and in full
- Marketers don’t have the relationships or communication foundation in place to understand development workload and prioritize their needs
To alleviate this pain, we, natural search experts need to focus on our communication skills and leave the technical hats at home. We need to understand our clients’ businesses and Web development cycles well enough to slot our recommendations into a fast-moving schedule.
So here are two quick and easy ways to insert SEO into the web development process to help ease resource strain that comes with content optimization:
1. Create a 10-point SEO checklist and give it to your client’s QA and testing staff – focus on basic, objective SEO factors that are “deal breakers” for content that is about to be published:
- Does this URL contain content duplicate to another URL on ClientSite.com?
- Are there at least XXX words of static copy on this page that can be modified within the CMS?
- Does this page have a title tag?
- Etc. etc.
2. When a copywriter submits a new piece of copy to design and development teams for execution, modify the template they are using to include 4-6 targeted keywords to create a forcing mechanism that requires copywriters to pursue or perform keyword research before creating a message
I provided two simple examples, but there are countless ways to create routines that enforce SEO best practices across an organization. These simple checkpoints will allow you to stop spending your time chasing new content and lecturing developers on basic natural search best practices and let you focus on developing an overarching natural search strategy and vetting emerging media opportunities.