Can My Web Developer Help with Search Engine Optimisation?

Website Development

T he short answer is, maybe. The reality is, of course, far more nuanced than a single word answer.

Web developers and design agencies regularly use phrases like ‘SEO friendly website’ and ‘we use organic SEO methods’. But, what do they mean in reality?

I might upset a few web developers here when I say, in most cases, it means absolutely nothing. They’re just words they add to their design list to inflate costs or to keep clients tied in to them.

In the best case, it means they’ve got the basics covered – the HTML source code and page templates have title tags in the right place and the template is optimised for internal linking. The website is fast and mobile first.

Essentially, the same as you get with any off the shelf premium WordPress theme for £50.

Unlike web development, where changes are made to the website & the results are instantly seen; the impact of SEO actions can take days, weeks or months to be realised. Because of this, they need to be fully researched beforehand and continuously monitored on an ongoing basis.

If this is a brand-new website build, you need to be ticking off the following tasks, before your website is designed.

  • Keyword Research

  • Competitor Analysis

  • Content Mapping

Keyword Research and Why Keywords Are Important for SEO

Keyword Analysis

As I tell my clients time and time again; if the words aren’t on the page, then your chances of ranking for search terms that include those words are slim to non-existent.

Keywords are not just important for SEO, they are the cornerstone of your off-site content and social profiles as well.

The importance of good keyword research cannot be understated. Your digital marketing strategy should be built around keywords and phrases that people use to find your product or service at the time they are in the market to research and/or procure those products or services.

Without solid keyword research, you could end up wasting a lot of time and effort in making content for a market that doesn’t exist. You may even end up having to re-do content for the entire website.

Why Do We Need To Do Competitor Analysis as Part of Our SEO Strategy?

As with most things in life, SEO doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Your competitors are also putting their sweat and tears into ensuring their website is ranking well for their search terms too. For this reason alone, competitive analysis is a key aspect of any SEO campaign.

The insights gained from this analysis help us understand which tasks we should prioritise and it shapes the way we build out our campaigns. By seeing where our competitors are strongest and weakest, we can determine how difficult it will be to outperform them and the amount of resources that it will take to do so.

What About Planning & Creating My Website Content – Can My Web Developer Help?

Once the keyword research and competitive analysis is complete, you then need to plan how everything is going to sit on the website.

Planning and developing the content for your website can be a difficult task. Deciding what content to place on your website is crucial to your online success.

Whoever is performing this task will need tools. For this, I first create a content map for the entire website and then I create content templates for each web page using SEMrush.

SEMrush analyses the content in Google’s top 10 ranking pages for my target keyword and provides recommendations on content length, semantically related words, backlink sources and readability score. This can then be used by your content writer to create a webpage that is fit for purpose, and your SEO professional has a list of backlink sources to start their outreach with!

There’s a great article on Moz that goes into building a keyword map for SEO that can be viewed here:

And you can find out more about SEMrush’s Content Template features here:

Your web developer isn’t doing any of this. Trust me!

Some SEO Tools I use To Make Tasks Easier

  • SEMrush (paid)

  • Accuranker (paid)

  • Moz (paid)

  • Majestic SEO (paid)

  • Google Search Console

  • Google Keyword Planner

  • Google Analytics

  • (paid)