SEO vs Development How Not to Suffer the Customer

All statistics in the article are presented only in our experience and may differ from your data.

Web developers really don’t like SEO optimizers. Naturally, the main problem in genetically incorporated species hatred, however, there are rational moments . But first of all the customers suffer from this.

Let’s talk about what this conflict can lead to and how to avoid it.

So, what can happen to your project in such a conflict:
complete and final failure: money is spent (and considerable), and instead of the result – only unpleasant consequences;
drop in sales through the site (even if the project is formally successful);
the project is successful, even sales have increased, but expenses have not been included in the estimate several times;
Yes, the project can be completed safely, but it will require from you the magical skills of a manager and a negotiator.

Conflict anatomy

The developers will tell you that “most of the SEOs offer delusional edits that will _imply improve the position of the site, and require you to remove the link to the developer (supposedly it spoils the position), while not hanging up your own.”

SEO will say that: “developers simply do not want to make changes to the site and do not understand why they are needed, because they do not understand the subject. In fact, everything is done elementary, and the safety of edits depends on the experience of specialists. ”

It seems that the situation is clear, and the conflict is inevitable. True, it can be relaxed if the seo-department and the development department are divisions of the same company.

Developer interaction with optimizers usually begins when a technical task (TOR) for search engine optimization is ready. This is a document in which seo-specialists ask the developer to redraw the site to their requirements. And here for the customer surprises begin.

The technical tasks for site optimization usually contain fairly typical and logical requirements. The developers know about them and stipulate this in advance in the code. But even here there are nuances:

1. Task: to make “good” page addresses (CNC – in SEO jargon).
Insufficiently qualified optimizers are limited to this phrase, and further in the text TK use URLs that they themselves invented without specifying which page should be with such an address. Specialists will prescribe, firstly, a universal algorithm for constructing CNC for all pages of the site, and secondly, a list of pages for which special addresses in the “was-has-become” format are needed.

But the problem is not always solved in an amicable way. Moreover, even for such a seemingly problem-free CMS, like 1C-Bitrix (for example, if the main content of the site is a directory in which the rubrics are set by selections through a filter).

2. Task: set the specified meta tags for the specified pages (it seems simple, but again we recall the catalog with filters).

3. Task: add text blocks to specific pages.The problems may be the same. Still here the customer is in danger of SEO. If the TZ says “the texts will be provided later” – in any case, do not let it go to work!

We recommend that you first write good texts, and only then solve the issue with their installation on the site. There are two reasons: firstly, if you adjust the block design to the content, it will ultimately look better than if the content is crammed into a block that is not entirely suitable for it.

Secondly, because optimizers may request texts for hundreds of pages. If you do not give the texts – they are ordered from SEO-copywriters. If you read them before placing – you can and will manage to agree about ten per month (or rewrite yourself). If you don’t, it’s pointless to promote the site, users will not place orders due to the poor quality of the content.

Next are usually the requirements for page layout, image names, links, robots.txt, etc. – in general – nothing criminal. What happens to be absolutely irresponsible (in our TK, thank God, not detected):
change the address of the entry page (“muzzle” – in SEO jargon) from “” to “”;
break off from the calculator the automatic substitution of data from the catalog so that the entrance to the calculator is always with zero data, and so that users hammer in all values ​​with zero hands;
make on the main page two columns instead of three (without explanation, naturally, what is the sacred meaning in it);
generate page headers using some kind of exotic scheme (I assure you, handwritten headings are driving), etc.

From personal experience, when projects on search engine optimization are successful, and when they most likely fail:

In SEO there can be different criteria for the success of a project, different formal parameters, but the decisive parameter of its success in the end is always customer satisfaction. A dissatisfied customer, even if the formal criteria are met and the project is fully paid for – the company will only incur losses.

When developers get SEO-TK, they usually find problems with the implementation of part of the requirements, and they start asking questions about outright nonsense. The customer insists (optimizers put pressure on him) – the developers roll out a convincing price tag.

The customer is talking about this to optimizers. Those begin to object – that you can do everything elementary. Naturally, the customer is extreme.

Options for the development of events:

The customer pays the same developer to implement the technical specifications. Result: TK done, but the optimizers all the time find where to find fault. Most likely, everything will result in a conflict. And the customer will remain with the joyless feeling that he overpaid. And because of this, you will find fault with the optimizers. The project eventually fails.

The optimizers themselves are called to implement the TZ and the customer goes for it in order to save. Result: the site is likely to break (even if the optimizer has good programmers, the site is a complicated system!). At the same time, everyone will point to their neighbor’s crooked hands. The customer will have to repair it at his own expense. Well, if he did not spoil the relationship with the developer by this time. The third team will make it even more expensive and more unpleasant. Relations with a team of optimizers in this case also inevitably deteriorate. The project will fail.

The developer takes to his project on SEO. It also happens this way, especially if there were edits in the original TZ, which were also strongly doubted by the customer. Result: the customer again has the feeling that he pays twice for the same thing, and that everyone is trying to deceive him. The project is likely to fail. Being taken out by a good project manager on the developer’s side is not always the case.

It turns out that a “developer-optimizer” conflict can be resolved, either if they agree directly among themselves, and not through the customer, or by steep management on the customer side. We could only do this by starting to take on projects exclusively developed by us projects that no one, except us, had had time to optimize before.

It would seem that this option is ideal, but even such projects may eventually fail. The reasons are usually a discrepancy between the customer’s expectations and formal criteria, a customer’s refusal to participate in the process or force majeure (which is more common in this industry than in the rest). How to deal with these problems – consider below. All the same, the share of successful projects is many times greater.

From personal experience. How to bring an SEO project to the goal with minimal losses

We have developed the following recommendations for customers (here I will not talk about SEO tricks, anyway, optimizers will be able to tell about them better, and will only touch on organizational issues):

When choosing a company for search promotion, request a commercial offer and from the developer. Working with him will save you a certain amount on edits. Take this into account when comparing prices in offers. And it will save everyone a lot of nerves.

If you order SEO in the same place where development is impossible, and the customer does not have the strength to get into a conflict head-on and manager both teams – it is better to link them directly, let them agree.

Before starting work, find out if the project manager has any promotion experience in project management in website development (or at least just experience in web programming). Ideally, it will also have a usability competence. This will protect you from TK sites that are impossible or very expensive to do or that will worsen the usability of the site.

In drawing up the technical specifications for search engine optimization, the priority should always be for usability. If editing makes the site less convenient – it is not needed. Moreover, now the search engines give great weight to behavioral factors (positions will fall if users leave your site very quickly).

Demand from SEO a very detailed, understandable and specific technical task. It should be clear not only to the developer, but also to the customer. There should not be generalized pronouns: everyone, everyone, any, etc. Only in this case, the absence of a result will the optimizers not be able to write off later on the incorrect or incomplete fulfillment of the requirements of the technical task.

Require the developer to evaluate for each item of the technical project, and not the overall assessment of the TK. Firstly, you can immediately identify unexpectedly expensive edits, and secondly, when requirements change, it will be easier for you to discuss the new amount.

Discuss the points where the edit budget worries you, not only with the developers, but also with SEO. Perhaps without this edit you can do or do it differently. If the cost (complexity) of making changes to the site is more than the expected return from this edit, then it is definitely not necessary to do it.

The success of the project, the customer first of all assesses not on formal grounds, but on the quantity and quality of applications. Therefore, the optimizer needs to think first about the conversion, then about the positions. If the site is outdated, there is not enough information, and the texts were written by someone under the grass too creative – you need to fix it! Advice to customers: ask your potential customers whether they like your site and are comfortable using it. If the negative reviews will be repeated – an occasion to think and urgently redo it.

Well, another moment. When a customer complains about a drop in conversion, optimizers should not ignore this. Advice to customers: if it seems to you that there are fewer applications (and this is actually so after the counting), do not hesitate to demand that problem analysis be optimized by optimizers. The project must be fully tested, all metrics must be analyzed. Usually in such cases, you can catch the unexpected things that are not related to SEO, but that can fail the project. For example, applications were, but did not reach the post office, or suddenly all orders began to fall into spam. Or the problem is in the change of new products on the site, because they have bad photos. In short, the options are endless.


Use alternative channels to drive traffic. It is psychologically difficult for customers to wait for the effect of SEO, which, as we know, becomes slightly noticeable after six months. So that it does not seem that the money is taken for air – in parallel, it is worthwhile to attract traffic through contextual advertising.


Never, that is, absolutely, absolutely never, do not order texts from SEO-copywriters. Neither to your site, nor as articles on external sites where links are bought. If the goods are not cheap, the buyer will look for information about the seller through search engines, by company name. And these copywriting “texts” will be extradited. The buyer will read them, see the inadequacy and with a high degree of probability refuse the transaction.


Remember that the PR department pays off. But only under the condition that the copywriters are not freelancers, and in the office for a full day and already understand the topic. For example, we have two copywriter-pr-managers in our staff who write 90% of their time to us. The general director and sometimes project managers also write articles.

Of course, you can make friends with a cat. If you follow these rules – you can successfully carry out the project, even if the parties simply observe armed neutrality. Patience to all participants!

Evan Murray

Hey, I'm Evan Murray from San Antonio City, I'm a pharmacist and affiliate marketing enthusiast. I have a huge passion for food, hate to stay in comfort zone.

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