Many business owners and marketing professionals are waist-deep in projects day to day. This is in addition to keeping a 10,000-foot view of operations to make sure everything’s working as it should be. It can be difficult to understand the intricacies of exactly what your contracted service providers do—or don’t do. (Even when it’s stated in the contract.)

Who Does What?

We recently implemented some SEO updates on a client’s website. The site had been around for some time, but was in clear need of some refinement to better capture visitors through search. During a phone call after the updates were made, the client asked if the web development company who had built the website should have done the SEO work from the start, or if it was naive to think that.

After checking the developer’s website to get an idea of their capacity, I explained to our client that the company makes no explicit claim of SEO services. That’s not surprising; many developers are extremely specialized in the technical work of custom websites, content management systems, and programming languages. Unless your developer says so (and sometimes even when they do say so), search engine optimization may not be their forte.

And we say: That’s okay (that is, as long as you’re not being sold a bill of goods about your developer’s ability to deliver on SEO). It’s why agencies like us, who specialize in search engine optimization, exist. We work with and alongside developers to make sure clients’ new websites are optimized for search from the start, or are optimized effectively throughout the relaunch of an existing site.

Most Developers are not SEOs (and Vice Versa)

We’ll be the first to tell you that while we have some capacity to help with updating a website, we are not web developers. We are not CMS experts. The short explanation of what we do is always, “We don’t build websites; we make them better for search and users.” On that note, when our clients are in need of web development services, we are quick to suggest professionals we have worked with closely on other projects. If the absence of an in-house developer, gaining a partner in this area can be invaluable to how a website serves its intended audience.

Break Down Silos for Better Marketing Results

If you’re in the position of starting a new website project, get clear on who does what. If the necessary services are not covered by one partner, seek a trusted partner for each element. Then, bring all service providers and key internal staff to the table at every stage of the website’s development.

We will advocate until we’re blue in the face about the need to break down silos in your marketing efforts. Why? It’s a surefire way to get better results for your investment.