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The Importance Of An SEO First Developer Mentality

2021-08-18

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN SEO FIRST DEVELOPER MENTALITY

VOICES OF SEARCH PODCAST


Part 1

01:25 - How Justin and Michael got into the SEO business

Justin and Micael are childhood friends turned business partners. Careerwise, they both specialized in SAAS models,agency, and full stack development before co-founding Cause Of A Kind.

02:51 - How Justin and Michael started to work together

Justin is the SEO and Michael does the development. The journey into SEO started with them selling t-shirts and doing marketing and web development for non-profit organizations.

04:25 - Ben’s entrepreneurship story

Ben started out in entrepreneurship as a side hustle while he maintained a full-time job at eBay. From there he moved into consulting, which led him into the podcasts he hosts today.

05:47 - The developer-first SEO mentality

The developer-first SEO mentality has to do with bridging the gap between the human experience with SEO and utilising SEO best practices from a development-first perspective.

07:27 - Web development from an SEO-centric perspective

developers and SEOs need to work more closely together. Finding the balance between the hard data of SEO and the ambiguity of the SEO testing stage boils down to being able to measure results at every stage..

09:58 - Experimentation versus measured results

Figuring out the balance between experimenting and using measured results has to do with the type of business involved. Larger businesses like enterprises tend to be less agile or flexible than smaller companies in this respect.

12:15 - Using market intelligence to influence development

Regardless of the suite of tools you’re using, it’s important to gather data from both the user or the demand perspective as well as on the KPI level. Both are integral to the next steps your development team will take towards ranking.

14:30 - Catering for the algorithm versus people

Forget the algorithm. Once you can please your audience with a better user experience, you will automatically please the algorithm as well. Google’s updates are based on what the users want.

17:20 - Communication between SEOs and developers

Developers tend to prefer hard data over experimentation. But SEOs work with both. There needs to be clear communication between both teams for the success of the business as both perspectives can drive results.

Quotes

"Starting from zero is really hard. And also we had no real scale. Starting from zero is really hard. And also we had no real scale." - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

"There's a big challenge in the SEO community, which is to be able to gain a little bit of authority and partnership with the development side of any organization." - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

"In the continuum and the maturation of businesses towards digital centers of excellence are really trying to bridge the gap between that human experience and marketing capacity. " - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“SEO is assessing the largest audience that we have access to and trying to utilize SEO best practices from a development first perspective.” - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“The goal for us is to make sure that we are doing what is not only best for the search engine and the human and what achieves the business goal as successfully as possible.” - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“SEO has like two sides to it. In my mind, there's an extremely measured side...Then there's this whole other side of SEO. That's very ambiguous.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“It doesn't really help anyone to just make stuff up. So we try to be extremely measured about everything.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“We try to be more on that measurement side where we're like, if we can't prove it works, we want to think twice.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“Enterprise level brands can't be as prescriptive and pivot as easily as a small agency would be able to do from an agility perspective.” - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“It's critical to provide data back to authorities of use cases, remove the emotion from the conversation entirely. Use true data and market intelligence to help drive development decisions.” - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“We honestly don't think about the algorithm a lot.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“Forget the algorithm. All the algorithm is doing is keeping up with the user trends.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

Part 2

01:25 - SEO as the digital epicenter and voice of the customer

Demand what influences every other aspect of the digital strategy. SEO makes sense as the epicenter because it all starts with figuring out the demand through search.

03:54 - Prioritising SEO data versus what the consumer wants

Simply put, the algorithm is designed to give users what they want and the data you get is what translates this to you. SEO as the starting point tells you who your audience is and what they want from you.

07:02 - When you should start thinking about SEO

SEO is a continuous process. When you have good communication between your development team and your SEO team, you can continuously use SEO data to improve your site and user experience.

10:35 - Investing in web design versus investing in content

The content on your website is just as important as the design of your website. Truthfully, you need both to get a properly working website. So your content budget matter just as much as your design budget

12:34 - The reality of the developers job

Sometimes the feature that you spend most of your budget on is not the one that gets the best reaction from the audience and vice versa.

14:27 - Figuring out what consumers want

Use analytics and search data to find out what exactly are the questions that people are asking. Google has tools in their suite like Google Trends, that can help you figure out what conversations are being had.

Quotes

"I think placing SEO at the digital epicenter is probably a little bit of a new concept." - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

"When you start thinking about SEO as the digital epicenter, we start to think about the idea of demand influencing the rest of the digital strategy." - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

"The algorithm is designed to give the consumer what they want. And the data we get is the way that we figure out what they want." - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“Sometimes when we look at the data that already exists on their existing site, what we are calling SEO is really what is working and what is not working.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“SEO actually tells us the audience. A lot of times we forget that because we get obsessed with the idea that SEO is a post-launch activity or an end of the development cycle activity.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“SEO is really just the artifact leftover of developers doing a good job.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“I think the goal of applying SEO is happening as frequently as possible. SEO is this continuum.” - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“One thing that we commonly see is clients wanting to spend a lot of money on design, a lot of money on development, not a lot of money on content.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“It's sort of disheartening to think like, wow, we spent, you know, 75% of the budget on a feature that ends up getting canned.” - Michael Rispoli, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind

“It's totally, totally non-emotional coming from Google as the source telling me, where is my consumer audience actually spending their time and attention.” - Justin Abrams, Co-founder of Cause Of A Kind