SEO Dev spec

How To Put Together SEO Testing Notes For Developers

It takes a village to build a successful website that leverages organic traffic but collaborative operations aren’t always as easy as it sounds.  To effectively implement an SEO strategy you need to realise that this is a discipline that spans across the cross multiple individuals and there a unique set of expertise. This includes web development, user interface design and user experience, content marketing as well as your traditional technical SEO.

To get teams to work together seamlessly is a challenge many companies often struggle with. One of the key discussions that often lead to poor communication and total communication breaks down is tech requirements needed for SEO.

What may seem like a no-brainer to an SEO is a non-issue to a developer.  To bridge this gap, stakeholders need to articulate their arguments constructively by creating tech specs of business cases that are easy to understand and bring across the benefits of the proposed update.

From personal experience and being at loggerheads with developers, I’ve found that creating tasks that cover the following 5 aspects often get picked up and pushed through development fairly quickly with very few mishaps.

Story

When starting your spec you need to explain the logic behind the update and explain in detail the user journey behind the proposed update.

  • How do users benefit from the update
  • The location or locations on the site where the update will live
  • When the update needs to be active or not
  • Any other factors you deem important

Use case

Define the task into a stream, is it a new feature, bug or improvement on an existing feature. Once you’ve defined the intention of the update you can then begin by describing the current use case or cases.

Then you need to explain in detail each step a user can and would take that this update will affect and how the update needs to react to these user interactions.

Current vs proposed update

Now that you’ve explained why you need the update and how it will be used its time to show how it will be changed on the website.

Here you will explain what the current site does, where it is currently lacking and why you feel this update will improve on the situation currently at play on the site.

Impact

Here you will explain the impact the change will have on the site, and how it affects the value metrics you track as well as user behaviour.

You will then need to elaborate on how the update will improve your tracked metrics. How it will improve conversion, reduce bounce rate, improve time on site, crawl-ability, indexation, page speed and how these changes will evidently lead to improved site performance and help reach business goals.

Technical documentation

Now that you’ve done your bit explaining all the end use product its time to get into the nitty-gritty.

Here you will need to explain what systems will be affected, how the system needs to execute the task. You will need to answer questions like:

  • Is it a blanket rule or are there exceptions?
  • Does it need to read or write any data to and from a database?
  • Does it require additional tracking?

This section may be a bit of a stretch for those who are not familiar with the tech stack or have a deep technical understanding so you may want to consult dev stakeholders when putting together this section of your spec.

Once you’ve fleshed out your spec, its time to submit it to the ticket queue and hopefully your update gets picked up in the next sprint cycle.

Speak the same language

This may seem like a bit much for what you may think is a simple change but often times there are factors you may not be aware of.

Frustrations such as poor or incorrect execution, removal from dev sprints/downgrades in priority or even longer lead times can all be mitigated with a well-drafted tech brief.

For more on how to create tasks, developers won’t fund frustrating to work on I highly suggest you check out or post – Create A Comprehensive Software Dev Spec

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About the author

Che Kohler

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