In the vast world of the great wide web, Information Technology (IT) departments are crucial to managing all of the intricacies and technical aspects associated with establishing your website and keeping it maintained online. On the flip side of that coin, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become the number one driving factor in establishing a powerful online presence. So it only seems natural that your IT department and SEO team should work collectively with one another. Often, though, these two departments stick to themselves. So how can we create an environment where SEO and IT work together?
IT and Your Website (The Basics)
IT is the backbone of any website. Great web designers and IT departments not only create user-friendly, visually appealing sites, but they also provide all of the services you need to keep your website up and running, and safe and secure. For example, your IT department is essential to website:
- Programming: Like a well-oiled machine, IT provides all of the little details necessary for your website to perform its functional requirements. Every detail you want to include on your website needs to be incorporated from a technical aspect by your IT department. Without your IT department, you would have no website.
- Web Server Setup: A strong and reliable Web server is essential to your website’s performance and efficiency. The Web server is a program that uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to send the files that form your site’s web pages. As your visitor makes a request (i.e. visiting your Contact Page) the server responds appropriately (i.e. sending them to your Contact Page). For the website to run smoothly and accurately, your IT department will establish/maintain your Web server.
- IT Security: Like anything else in the digital world, your website can be compromised. If a cybercriminal hacks your website they can embed files, steal personal information, and much, much more. A strong IT backbone will secure your website, keeping your company information safe, as well as the information of those individuals visiting your website.
Website Navigation and Information Architecture
Developing and supporting your website requires many moving pieces, to include Website navigation and information architecture. Website navigation is the structure of hyperlinks on your website. This structure guides visitors as they search through your virtual world. Site navigation is a very a critical element for any website interface, as it influences the stability and usability of your site.
Information architecture is the fundamental design of your website information and includes organizing and labeling your various website sections to insure usability and findability. This is where your SEO and Content all come into play. In most cases, information architecture directly impacts the usability and rankings of your website.
IT and SEO: Communication is the Key
As Bob Tripathi recently pointed out in a piece for Search Engine Watch, “In many organizations, the marketing, IT, and hardware groups are typically separate departments, and they may not even sit close to one another.” SEO is often lumped in with the Marketing department. That’s quite a hurdle to overcome when SEO needs to work pretty closely with IT.
The bridge between the IT and SEO departments begins with clear communication. This starts with speaking the same language. When your SEO team discusses page ranking with IT, they might want to use the phrase “strength of web page.” Instead of “link juice” they should all discuss “website URL redirects.” To communicate with one another, SEO and IT need to set industry jargon aside, and speak in common phrases the other team will understand.
Once your IT and SEO teams are communicating, they will begin to understand their common goals. Ultimately, as a business owner you want to create a fast, safe and user friendly site that will entice your customers to virtually visit your organization. When your IT and SEO departments work together, the possibilities are endless!
This post is a contribution from Alex Jenkins, a senior technical support analyst, engineer, and IT manager with nearly 15 years of experience in the IT sector. You can find more details about Alex on https://www.alexjenkins.tech/