If you work in digital marketing, then you will have already heard a lot about the role of SEO and front-end development in creating popular websites.
SEO and web development are often considered as incompatible as iOS and Android devices.
Both have similar goals, but take vastly different approaches.
However, technological progress has facilitated change.
These two different web specialties have now come as close as they have ever been.
So close, in fact, that they could now be considered the perfect ensemble. Together, they can outsmart more conservative approaches in the search marketing industry.
Here are five reasons why SEO and front-end developers make the ideal search marketing team:
1. Coding knowledge is a future-proof asset for SEOs
Even beyond SEO, the demand for coding skills is on the rise.
According to the Evan’s Data Corporation, the number of developers globally will increase by at least a 20% in the next 5 years. If this doesn’t sound much, imagine adding more than 4 million jobs to the industry.
As depicted by Ian Laurie in his piece “Why all SEOs should learn to program,” a basic understanding of front-end coding offers a variety of benefits.
To start with, SEOs benefit from understanding the coder’s mindset — an extremely valuable, transferable skill.
It can also give a better understanding of APIs.
And finally, the coder’s mindset gives a better idea of what can realistically be done to fix technical issues. This in turn helps in making more sensible and feasible recommendations.
2. Hybrid roles are on the rise
In the past few years we have seen a rise in technical SEO roles, all including a basic understanding of front-end languages.
Why? Static HTML websites are a memory from the past. Now, focus is all about creating interactive, fast websites that perform well on a variety of devices.
With the majority of visitors coming from mobile devices, the attention to page load speed has never been higher.
The new trend of progressive web apps is gaining momentum too. These enhancements can be achieved just with a deeper understanding of front-end languages — hence the growth in demand for technical roles.
Machine learning is another big topic on the rise. It allows companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple to better respond to search queries and predict the next steps in user behavior.
Python is key in building machine learning applications. It has become the fastest growing programming language, making it a necessary learning step for both SEOs and developers.
3. Collaborative environments speed up projects
Setting up collaborative environments and re-thinking internal project management through agile working could also help in speeding up (and improving) the output of projects.
Through team and process re-organization, we can break complex projects down into small chunks.
This provides the invaluable benefit of a continuous feedback loop.
Continuous feedback loops offer an extremely helpful approach in making sure that each milestone is delivered on time, and according to the end-user’s needs.
SEO can also be seen as an umbrella function (it is related to marketing, site structure, product and development).
Thus, we can easily understand why big organizations are setting up collaborative environments where SEO is considered like a product function, rather than a specialty.
To give an example, the London-based fintech startup TransferWise has taken this approach to the next level, scaling SEO by building products.
They’ve created independent teams with SEOs, developers, analysts and content specialists all collaborating together in the same group.
This approach has shown to be highly successful. Teams develop products quicker and with better results, taking away the pain of SEO efforts being delayed due to technical barriers.
4. Teamwork encourages healthy risk-taking
As search technology advances at a lightning pace, organizations need to embrace a more tolerant culture about risk-taking and failure.
The reward of dominating web niches (e.g. voice search) represents a high return investment for a great number of companies.
Big tech firms such as Google, Apple, and Amazon have already seen great results by using this kind of approach, trying to expand their capabilities on top of their natural expertise.
Sometimes, we have seen some downfalls (e.g. Google+). Other times, we’ve seen exceptionally good results, such as Amazon with cloud infrastructure services.
Developing a model of “smart” risk-taking is highly beneficial in SEO and web development as well.
For example, to stay ahead of the competition, Google has had to experiment with new services and solutions to be even more user-friendly, and keep the users using its services.
This inevitably creates new niches and opportunities, with “smart” risk-takers making the most out of them.
5. Team collaboration leads to better communication
As studies suggest, a deeper collaboration among teams can boost effective communication in the workplace. In addition, the ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, superiors and other teams is a skill that nowadays is indispensable, even for technical roles.
Communication skills such as presenting with confidence, empathy and listening abilities have become increasingly important. Key factors such as job satisfaction and employee retention are now indispensable to run complex projects.
This means that SEO and development teams could only benefit from this collaboration. And it could eventually lead to higher productivity, lower stress levels and — most importantly — a better working environment.
To wrap up
As we have seen, there are plenty of reasons to consider SEO and front-end development as the perfect search marketing team.
Coding skills are in great demand, and the rise of hybrid roles is making SEO a bit more technical day-by-day.
In addition, this structure can also benefit the team dynamics, enhancing communication, performance and healthy risk-taking.
To summarize, it appears clear that blurring the line between SEO and front-end developers has a positive impact across the overall search strategy.
So, why not spend some time improving team dynamics and fostering new skills, and start grabbing the low-hanging fruits straight away?
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