SEO Strategists/Content Creators
Collaboration is essential in today’s fast-paced content and marketing industry. To be truly effective, we cannot accomplish everything on our own – as individual contributors, so to speak. Teamwork is important, but not only as a buzzword. We need the right teammates to collaborate at the right times.
One of the foundations of content performance that I discuss in “Content Performance Culture,” my Top 100 PR book, is having the appropriate people in the right jobs. Content developers and SEO strategists are two of these fields. They can’t exist without each other in the realm of content performance, but how do they truly complement one other? Allow me to share some of what I’ve observed working in the field.
But first, let’s go over some fundamental terminology.
What exactly do I mean by “content creator”?
Traditionally, writers would be included in this category. Then there are multimedia content providers who write but also dabble in other forms of content, such as brief films. Today, I would classify anyone who develops content for publication — usually on the web – as falling into this group. It could be:
- Podcasters, producers, and so on.
- Video producers, editors, and directors, to name a few.
Anyone who creates content by hand qualifies. Right now, I’m a content creator, and I’m writing this. Keep in mind that podcasts and videos are beginning to get searchable as well. There are SEO tactics that can be used there as well.
What exactly is an SEO strategist?
SEO strategists are typically more technical in selecting the ideal SEO approach for content production. They understand which terminology to examine based on the purpose and how to identify alternative ones. They also frequently look at what competitors are ranking for in the same topical area.
One of my favorite SEO strategist stories: At the start of a project, the strategist discovered that the top rival was performing exceptionally well for the top keyword. Should we pursue that one? Let’s take them down! That’s a simple sentiment. However, this strategist suggested that we target the next terms in line. Nos. 2-5, it turned out, still had a decent volume of search traffic and were just as viable.
SEO strategists also stay up to date on how rankings and algorithms change. That is a full-time job in and of itself.
How can content creators and SEO strategists collaborate?
When content writers and SEO strategists collaborate, their initiatives can be more effective. SEO methods are continuously evolving. What works evolves. Remember that it can take months for content to drive traffic from organic searches.
At the start of fresh content creation
Material teams are under increasing pressure to provide content that not only looks good but also performs well. With this in mind, content writers should make full use of all of the tools and knowledge at their disposal, including working with SEO strategists.
I grew up working in print media and writing daily stories. Back then, no keyword research was conducted. We’d never even heard of it. You have a tale, and you decide the best way to write it – in your view. Then write it down. An editor would do the editing. Done. Of all, there was no such thing as content performance back then.
I’m the first to acknowledge that we all have the want to simply write what we think is a wonderful story. We’ve been doing it for a long. It’s deeply engrained. However, there are significant benefits to speaking with our SEO strategist beforehand.
Is it even possible that people are looking for the topic we wish to write about? I’ve had tons of “amazing” ideas that no one was looking for. Consider having no monthly searches. Why would I bother writing about it? Even if a topic has no monthly searches, a strategist can help us evolve it into something with searches.
True, 15% of daily searches have never been done before. But it’s a gamble to create material in the hopes that someone will seek it tomorrow.
“Marketing emergencies,” for example, has no searches, whereas “decrease stress” has more. While the subject matter is comparable, using the appropriate phrases can help the material perform better. This is where an SEO strategist can help. Many content writers can conduct a basic keyword search, but SEO strategists can go a step beyond. Furthermore, the SEO strategist can keep the overall plan of the site in mind. Instead, update content that is already ranking for a given search phrase. New content isn’t the only type that can perform well.
To make changes to existing material
Some content does not need to be created from scratch. If your website currently has content on Topic A and there is fresh information, don’t add a new page or blog post. Here’s the workflow I’d suggest:
- Consider how much traffic the present page receives.
- What keywords does it rank for?
- What is the potential for more keywords, or how can the existing one be made more visible?
The majority of those duties would fall within the purview of an SEO strategist. If an article isn’t performing well and isn’t ranking for anything, it may be appropriate to discard it entirely. In any case, it’s not working. Let’s either start from scratch or recycle some of it.
In reality, after numerous projects and years of auditing, it appears that many of the sites I’ve evaluated have an overflow of non-performing material. Frequently, it looks like this:
- Home runs account for 5% of all pages.
- 5 to 25% are above normal.
- 15% to 25% are slightly above normal.
- 50-70 percent are underachievers.
When we look at a site and 70% of the material isn’t meeting performance targets, it doesn’t feel good to us content creators. Ugh. However, it is frequently the case. The Next-Play Mentality is one of the foundations of my Content Performance Philosophy. Run the next play, just like athletes in a game, to generate future results.
Many content providers struggle with updating existing content. Content makers, as the word suggests, create new content. They frequently do not develop new by updating existing stuff. Many people prefer – or rather, default to – creating fresh content. This can cause problems with having content that targets the same search queries and dilutes content on our site.
SEO strategists can excel in this area as well. They can identify content that should be updated, deleted, or repurposed in new articles.
Combining existing content
This method is identical to the one mentioned previously. When a site has a lot of similar content like this, it’s a good idea to combine:
- The 12 most effective content marketing techniques
- 5 content marketing methods to pursue in 2020 8 content marketing strategies that are now obsolete
- How do these clusters of comparable content form in the first place? This is common when content providers work in isolation and lack historical context.
What is the most efficient workflow?
The content team can generate content ideas. They may also be provided by the SEO strategist. It does not have to be a manufacturing line workflow. If an SEO strategist has a content concept and already knows from their study that SEO success is likely, the entire team — including the content producer – will benefit.
Allow SEO strategists to contribute story and content suggestions as well.
I’m a big fan of teamwork in the hallway. You know the type. In the corridor, a content producer and a strategist bump into one other and share ideas. There is a place for this, but it is difficult to scale, and we do require data to make informed decisions. To some extent, that can be done via mobile devices. I still propose the following workflow:
- Agree on a common procedure for passing tasks and requests back and forth in writing. Use a tool that works for the majority of people.
- Content makers can use this tool to assign research requests to a strategist. Include the present idea, topic name, and any keywords that you are considering targeting.
- It is also beneficial to share the target audience with the strategist: Who is this content intended for? People may be looking for the topic in healthcare, but if your customer is in wellness, it may not be a good fit.
- Include a timeframe and bear in mind that not all requests are emergencies.
Consider collaborating in person. Alternatively, you can call or use a texting app.
This workflow is also bidirectional. I’ve seen strategists identify content tasks that must be addressed. For example, upgrading existing material, combining content, or developing new content for a keyword that is starting to trend higher are all examples.
At the end of the day, content writers and SEO strategists both want their sites to work optimally. At the end of the day, marketing – which includes effective content and SEO – is a team sport. Individual players may struggle to find ways, whereas well-rounded teams may find it easier.
SEO strategists and content developers have distinct skill sets that are all required for high-performing content. Using them as a team in a collaborative approach can result in faster wins.