Why Your Website Developer and SEO Keep Asking You For Content

Posted by Melissa in Business Tips on August 16, 2010

Anyone that has been in this business for awhile knows that getting content for clients’ websites is not an easy task. In fact, a lack of content and/or photos are the only two things that cause our projects to launch later than planned. We want to explain to you why it is so important and why we keep asking for it. It is crucial to your success and our success as well. We will have suggestions for getting your content done at the end of this article.

Page Layout

The way we layout each page depends on the content. We need to know how much there is or isn’t, where to add photos, where to add headlines and which other pages we need to link to. We need to make each page look nice and cannot do that without content.


We cannot create an SEO plan for each page without the content. The content is the foundation from which we work. Everything develops from the content, including:

  • Meta tags
  • Alt-tags
  • Internal Link Structure
  • Anchor Text
  • Headlines
  • Optimization of Content

Once we have content the keyword research for each page combined with the above can take hours per page – depending on the complexity of the SEO. If you want to launch on “X Date” and we have no content until the day before launch you will not be launching.

Home Page Layout and Home Page SEO

It is difficult to determine what we need to do on the home page without a list of pages (your nav) and the content. We need to determine what must be on the home page for conversion and we need to make it look nice. We need to link to your internal pages and we need to have the optimization plan done for the internal pages before we link from home – How we link from home will support the on-page optimization for each page.

This process is very tedious as well and requires a lot of planning. Without the content we are on hold and delayed, therefore your site launch will be delayed.

Internal Link Structure

Like the home page, how we link internally can or cannot support the on-page optimization for each page. Our goal is to support it and this is why we need the content early in the game. I cannot stress the amount of time it requires to do things right for each client. We cannot get content the last week before launch and do it right.

Photos and Graphics

Choosing the right photos or creating the right graphics for your project/pages are difficult and ineffective without content to base things things on. We need content to get this done. We also need to name those images properly for optimization purposes.

Why Your Web Developer Seems Suddenly Not Focused On Your Project

I think there are some misconceptions out there about Web developers and SEO’s. These misconceptions can cause your web team to lose focus on your project, or you…

  • Your site is not the only site they are working on. They have to eat, so they have to have more than 1,2 or 3 clients. If you ask for a website change, and it hasn’t been done in an hour, please don’t get upset. There are other projects for most developers.
  • When you decide at the last minute to get content and pictures in you cannot expect your site to be done the next day. As I explained above, everything takes a lot of time and planning. This cannot be rushed because you were late.
  • Web developers typically plan on an end date for their projects. They need to make money to support their families. If the project is delayed over and over due to client inactivity the developer has no choice than to focus on the projects that do make them money. See, inactive projects cost us time and money, so working on paying projects is crucial.
  • We do not start work after 5:30-6. Just because you get off work at that time doesn’t mean we start working then. If you have info for your developer/SEO I suggest you contact them during normal business hours and please do not expect them to work on your projects during the off-time, family time and vacations. That really isn’t fair; you wouldn’t think it was if your clients expected it.
  • You may get an email from your developer/SEO at 1AM or 3AM, but that doesn’t mean they work all night every night. This is a complex job and sometimes your mind goes blank in the middle of the day, so you have to take a break and work on things later. Creativity is not always on the clock, but that doesn’t mean we should be expected to work those hours to complete your project. If you have delayed the project you cannot expect your web developer / SEO to work all night for days to make sure your project launches on time. That just isn’t fair.
  • Making changes to site structure and content (including photos) is not easy. It takes a lot of time, so sending different content for a specific page 5 times will make your web developer / SEO unhappy (understatement). How would you like it if your boss or client asked you to do something and your did a lot of work on it and then they changed it 5 times? Would you be happy? Plan carefully, think and proofread what you are about to send before your send it.

Four Suggestions On How to Get Your Content Done!

Plan out your navigation carefully. Brainstorm with your boss, your employees or your team. Once you have your navigation talk with your web developer / SEO and see if they have any suggestions. Once the navigation is finalized you have several options:

  • Hire an SEO copywriter or a copywriter -many SEO’s will help you with this. I do believe that businesses create the most believable content because they are experts at what they do.
  • Assign different pages to different team members or departments – If your have a well washing department they need to do the well washing service page. They know a lot about it, so they are the best option for the job.
  • If you have no one to help you and you have 60 pages of content that need to get done within 30 days you could write two pages a day and be done. If you wait until the last week and have to do 60 pages you won’t be happy and if you can get it done it won’t be the quality that you want. Spread it out.
  • If you just don’t know what to write create an outline of what absolutely needs to be said and build from there.

Web developers / SEO’s want to do a good job for clients, but often clients force projects to de-rail and then are upset that things won’t be done on time. You are the expert and what you do, therefore we need to the content from you or your company.

You also may want to read – Why a web design really takes six weeks.

Melissa FachSEO Aware


21 responses to “Why Your Website Developer and SEO Keep Asking You For Content”

  1. Neil

    Hi Melissa,

    I know this was a serious post, but you had me laughing a few times. I really liked “you will not be launching.”
    It’s funny how some people will dump a bunch of work on you last minute, and then expect you to work your tail off to finish the job on time.

    Take Care,


  2. Melissa

    Thanks Neil! I am glad I made you laugh and that you feel my pain 🙂

  3. chandru

    i agreed that. but some clients dont understand the process level and time line.


  4. Ahmed

    Excellent for Someone new to SEO as well as a well written refresher for an experienced SEO!


  5. Melissa

    Vhandru, I agree and i think these points are important to discuss with them ahead of time.

    Ahmed, thank you so much!

  6. Tom Valaitis

    I agree that it’s important to educate clients about delivering content etc, but in my experience (and based on a lot of the feedback we receive from disgruntled clients of competitors) often the problem is that small (or badly run) web companies (not yours) don’t work to strict or intelligent schedules or plan a time line with a client.

    I think clients view getting a website built as they would getting a new kitchen installed. They try to keep out of the way and be on hand to make adhoc decisions.

    Tom Valaitis

  7. Melissa

    Tom, I agree with you. We learned that we had to put clear due dates in contracts for clients. Dates depend on complexity, lunch dates and more, but if those dates are not met we are not responsible for missed launch dates and if the project drags on we charge them a monthly fee to keep the project open. This encourages content to be done.

  8. Dan

    Great article Melissa.


  9. Melissa

    Thank you, Dan 🙂

  10. T.J.

    Awesome and timely article for us. My web designer and I were just talking about this. We help clients as much as we can from an SEO standpoint building a strong outline that is relevant to what they do and based on keyword research. Also, with WordPress it has become user friendly to teach them how to add content as well. Thanks for your post.


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