“SEO technology is the answer to the challenges that agile organizations face”
We spoke with Michal Magdziarz, CEO of DeepCrawl, about what developers need to know about SEO, what benefits it can provide, the most helpful tools, potential challenges, and what the future of search engine optimization may be.
JAXenter: SEO tech is usually affiliated with marketing. What has changed over the past decade that makes it a crucial tool for developer teams as well?
Michal Magdziarz: Over the past decade, the web has evolved crucially in three areas: scale, complexity, and in the frequency of change. Fifteen years ago there were less than 100 million websites; now there are almost 2 billion. There were no amps, hreflangs, canonical tags, and in particular, no mobile phones as we know them now. A release to any website was a “big thing” that would happen monthly or weekly.
Now, at best code is being released simultaneously across multiple domains on a daily and hourly basis. As the web now is 20 times bigger, far more dynamic and continuously updated by millions of developers all over the world, they need SEO tools now more than ever. With SEO tools, they can ensure backend codes are functioning as they should and each unique website is optimized for organic traffic.
JAXenter: What benefits can SEO software provide for developers?
Michal: SEO software provides numerous benefits for developers, but perhaps the most significant benefit is flagging any critical issues in the entire deployment lifecycle. With the power of robust SEO software, developers are better equipped to catch issues regardless of how minor they may be before they are released to the end-user.
With multiple domain deployments and updates, there is an increased risk of impacting a website’s search visibility, rankings, and traffic. By using SEO software as part of a quality control measure, developers can create a better user experience from the start of a deployment.
Overall, SEO software also increases credibility, provides a higher return on investment, and helps create a stronger marketing strategy for organizations.
JAXenter: What challenges are developers running into without having this tool in their arsenal?
Michal: It’s becoming increasingly critical that developers use SEO tools regularly. Without it, there is a serious risk of introducing a piece of code that can negatively impact SEO and effectively cause a drop in traffic and revenue for their company. Take ASOS, for example, which last year launched 200 new versions of its website and redesigned its existing landing page, to penetrate new opportunity markets and acquire new customers while retaining existing customers. However, these technical upgrades omitted an SEO perspective, and the online retailer’s organic traffic dropped by 60% leading to a quarterly decrease in profits by a massive 87%.
In addition, not keeping SEO top of mind during deployment can lead to added cost concerns. On average, the cost of fixing a bug after deployment is six times more expensive than during the design stage. So if a deployment occurs and leads to decreased organic search, not only is an organization fighting decreased revenue, but they are also managing the costs of troubleshooting the error.
JAXenter: What are the barriers to adoption? How does DeepCrawl help customers overcome these?
Michal: Developers are already juggling multiple tools and applications ‒ so adding another may seem burdensome. And rightly so ‒ many SEO tools are external applications that need to be downloaded to the user’s computer. As such, they can only crawl a limited number of web pages at a time.
However, as a cloud-based web crawler, DeepCrawl is unique because it can crawl hundreds to thousands of web pages simultaneously and flag any issues in real time. DeepCrawl is also releasing a new product, Automator which is implemented to a CI/CD platform through native integrations, shell scripts, or via a GraphQL API. It can be configured to either block a release if tests fail, or let the release move forward while issuing warnings to developers. This new solution will help organizations to reduce the risks associated with a drop in rankings due to code changes that impact technical SEO.
JAXenter: Are there certain sectors where an SEO management solution is more crucial than others?
Michal: In the modern business landscape, almost every company has an online presence, regardless of its industry, size, or location. As such, an SEO platform is a critical tool across the board for SEO/marketing teams and developers alike. As more and more brands sell direct to consumers online or utilize user-generated content, a loss in organic search can result in a significant decrease in the bottom line.
JAXenter: What is the future of SEO technology? How do you see it evolving as it becomes more synonymous with developers?
Michal: In the 21st century, websites are constantly changing, updating, or being completely redesigned to keep the modern consumer engaged. SEO technology is the answer to the challenges that agile organizations face during continuous domain deployments and updates and it helps circumvent code issues.
Businesses need an SEO tool that can crawl environments with new code and automatically flag critical issues that the new release will potentially cause. SEO tools can provide a 360-degree quality assurance analysis on any code scheduled for release without impacting the environment, making it ideal for developers. As we continue to move critical business assets online, SEO tools will only become more important for developers to leverage moving forward.
Thanks very much!