At first glance SEO falls outside the traditional reliability and infrastructure scope that Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) teams focus on. Product managers drive keyword targeting and content development while marketing focuses on link building and domain authority metrics.
But the reality is SEO has widespread, cascading effects on technical site performance, infrastructure capacity planning, and overall customer experience – key areas that deeply impact SREs. After all, 40% or more of an eCommerce site's total traffic often originates from organic and paid search.
While they don’t control on-page copy, any backend decisions made by SREs regarding site architecture, data pipelines, monitoring tools and more can torpedo an otherwise high-traction SEO strategy. Technical obstacles easily block bots from properly indexing and surfacing content as well.
By expanding their view of SEO beyond simply chasing vanity rankings, SREs can better support business outcomes in partnership with product teams. This blog covers 6 core reasons SEO merits ongoing optimization.
Reason 1: SEO directly drives infrastructure-straining traffic volumes
Spikes in organic visibility send influxes of new visitors to capitalize on, directly impacting capacity planning and scaling for SREs. While moving up one position in Google rankings will increase your absolute CTR by an average of 2.8%, it varies greatly depending on the position per Backlinko. Further analysis from the same research shows moving from #2 to #1 offers the greatest increase with a relative CTR boost of 74.5%.
Unprepared infrastructure immediately strains under sudden jumps. By modeling and projecting SEO traffic impacts, then aligning server, CDN and database expansions to expected growth, reliability suffers far fewer hiccups.
Reason 2: Site uptime and speed metrics have direct SEO ranking impacts
Google actively monitors site availability, uptime percentage, and page speed KPIs including Time to First Byte (TTFB), First Input Delay, First Contentful Paint and overall Core Web Vitals. All have documented influences on search rankings for terms a site targets. For example, Google indicates that companies should aim for a server response time under 200ms within their PageInsights documentation from 2019. By optimizing these metrics with reliable cache delivery, lean configs and nimble autoscaling, SREs ensure SEO retention.
Reason 3: Web team partnerships around SEO depend on performance
While driving organic strategy, onsite product teams rely heavily on SREs architecting a platform that can dynamically serve experiences at scale. Without optimizing DB calls, intelligent caching, bot allowlisting and JS efficiency for crawlers, even the best content falls flat.
Constructive collaboration around balancing featured content launches, URL migrations and schema changes with technical SEO concerns leads to shared success. Prioritizing crawl budget alerts, bot-specific observations and site speed bolsters effectiveness.
Reason 4: SEO influences architecture and site change strategy
Thoughtful SEO analysis should inform technical decision making on new microservices, CSS delivery, rendering logics and deprecation timelines. If supporting infrastructure can’t digest Core Web Vital wins from React frameworks for example, expected organic visibility gains may be completely lost.
Data pipeline design or database migration approaches that impede crawler bot access or slow down page load frequencies will jeopardize hard-won SEO gains. Considering SEO as a pivotal technical constraint stress tests reliability planning while improving agility to scale efficiency.
Reason 5: Optimizing SEO improves customer experience
When SEO delivers more high-intent visitors primed for conversion at scale, but site infrastructure fumbles page loads, checkout flows or stock integrations, bounce rates can increase. Or worse, cart abandonment will rise and loyalty churns, as repeat customers try other sites.
Constructing a SEO-friendly site also means crafting technically frictionless journeys. Strong organic outcomes and conversion velocity KPIs go hand in hand by aligning SEO search relevancy with user experience excellence.
Reason 6: Higher SEO visibility drives more revenue, funding tech
Recent research reveals that identifying the best potential customers stands as the second largest challenge for eCommerce in 2023.
Increased transaction volumes and order values from improved SEO position directly justifies further investments back into supporting infrastructure reliability, availability and resilience. More revenue funds better architecture. Customer experience and conversions come full circle back to capacity planning and scaling.
Get started raising SEO rankings
Rather than a marketing distraction, eCommerce SREs should actively participate in SEO analysis due to wide ranging impacts on traffic loads, site performance benchmarks, web team partnership effectiveness and customer experience calibration.
In reality, achieving observability across critical SEO signals like crawler budgets, index coverage, page speed metrics and journey friction points should be standard practice. With shared visibility into both algorithmic prominence gains and revenue cycle performance, joint prioritization and reliable scaling naturally improve hand in hand.
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