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SEO Vs. Web Developers: Who Should Lead Implementation?

The collaboration between the SEO, web developer, and IT teams is essential to achieve the common goal. But who should take charge of implementing the changes?

SEO Vs. Web Developers: Who Should Lead Implementation?

The relationship between an SEO professional, the IT department, and the web developers of a site can be complicated.

Web developers and IT departments have different priorities from SEO pros; they focus on the appearance and stability of the site rather than its functionality.

Developers and IT departments also don’t typically have ample time or resources to implement changes.

These challenges can lead to conflict between the two groups.

Let’s discuss the challenges that SEO experts face when working with web developers and IT professionals, and the benefits of SEO-led implementation.

The Challenges: SEO Pros Vs. Web Developers

Web developers often require assistance comprehending the significance of SEO, which presents a significant hurdle for SEO experts.

They may also focus more on the site’s visual elements, such as the design and layout, rather than on its functionality and technical SEO aspects.

As a result, developers may refrain from making changes necessary for SEO, or they may make changes that negatively impact SEO.

Web developers may also need the technical knowledge required to implement SEO changes.

They may need to be more familiar with the latest best practices, or they may need to learn how to implement changes in a way that is effective for SEO.

These challenges can lead to frustration for both the SEO and the developer; Web developers might feel overwhelmed by the technical requirements of SEO, which can cause SEO professionals to feel undervalued for their expertise.

The Challenges: SEO Experts Vs. IT

IT professionals are often responsible for the technical aspects of a site, such as server maintenance and software updates.

While they may be aware of the importance of SEO, they may need more time or resources to implement changes promptly.

IT folks may also refrain from making changes that could impact the site’s stability or the underlying IT infrastructure.

Another challenge is that SEO changes may impact IT systems in unforeseen ways. For example, changes in site architecture or URL structure may cause caching or load-balancing issues.

This can lead to delays in implementation and additional work for the SEO and the IT teams.

The Benefits Of SEO-Led Implementation

With their specialized knowledge and expertise in SEO strategy, SEO professionals are well-equipped to lead the implementation process.

They can ensure that changes are made correctly the first time by taking the lead. Moreover, they can guide web developers and IT teams to help them understand the impact of SEO changes and how they can be implemented effectively.

SEO pros can also prioritize SEO changes and ensure implementation promptly. This is especially important for sites undergoing significant changes or updates, as delays in implementing SEO changes significantly impact search rankings and traffic.

SEO experts are typically great at translating complex technical information into usable data.

Putting the SEO pro in charge of implementing all search-related changes saves time on all fronts, especially the communication front – as long as they have a seat at the executive table.

A more significant issue arises in defining what is search related and what is not.

This unclear definition of what search constitutes is a big reason why SEO experts should both implement and define what the search engine marketing program is.

Many SEO experts have served as IT professionals or web developers before. In fact, in some cases, SEO pros take on IT and developer roles while simultaneously running search marketing programs.

There is a definite overlap in skill sets, which can be challenging; it’s hard to know where SEO begins and ends.

For example, site speed is essential for all aspects of a site, especially for SEO pros.

Web developers typically don’t have the technical knowledge to improve a site’s speed significantly. IT professionals can speed up a site, but usually with a performance sacrifice elsewhere.

Competent SEO professionals can improve a site’s speed without losing significant functionality. And, in almost all cases, they will implement site speed changes faster and more efficiently than a web developer or IT professional.

Collaboration Between Departments

Collaboration between the SEO, web developer, and IT departments is essential for larger technical SEO projects.

By working together, these teams can ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.

As the SEO pro guides and supports the two teams, the web developer ensures changes are consistent with the site’s design and user experience. The IT team, on the other hand, ensures the changes are compatible with the site’s underlying infrastructure.

It is essential to understand that while I am advocating for the SEO team to implement all changes related to an SEO program, I am not suggesting changes be made in a vacuum.

The changes made by the SEO team should be checked. If the IT team or a web developer feels a change is wrong, they should speak up.

I don’t know an SEO pro who hasn’t made a mistake. I also don’t know many SEO experts who aren’t excited to talk about their work with anyone who will listen.

Both the IT department and web developers should have some veto power on the changes that will be made, but not absolute veto power.

Any issues with suggested changes are ideally resolved via discussion as long as all teams, especially the SEO team, can keep their egos in check.

Sometimes, SEO is about compromise – and some SEO pros don’t like to hear that.

But in a discussion, problems affecting SEO can have solutions that come from the IT or developer team.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who did the work as long as the results are in – but it is easier if the SEO team implements the SEO changes.


Allowing SEO pros to lead the implementation process can expedite the changes and ensure they are completed correctly the first time.

In larger technical SEO projects, it is crucial to have collaboration between SEO professionals, web developers, and IT departments. This helps ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.

By working together, these teams can achieve a visually appealing and functional site while ranking well in search results.

Ultimately, this can lead to increased traffic, improved user engagement, and a better overall experience for visitors to the site.

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Featured Image: fizkes/Shutterstock

Category SEO

I am a 19-year veteran of the digital marketing world with previous experience in journalism, public relations and advertising. I’ve ...

SEO Vs. Web Developers: Who Should Lead Implementation?

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