How Content Marketers Should Work With SEO Experts
Pair with Why Content Marketers Should Work With SEO Experts. And a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, if you’re so inclined.
In our last post, we talked about why content marketing needs SEO to reach its maximum potential. Today, we’re going to discuss how to make that happen, by undergirding the strategy and execution of content marketing with the framework and metrics provided by an SEO.
So let’s start this conversation in the same way we began our previous one: by tackling Important Issues We Need To Get Out Of The Way.
#1: You don’t have to work with an SEO expert on every post. (Although in a perfect world, we would.)
Some of our clients have an SEO on retainer, and in those cases, we have a preferred process, which you’ll hear more about below. But many of our clients don’t, so in those situations, it’s up to us, the content marketer, to perform the necessary research and work our own tools to optimize our content.
What does this mean? That we--both the writers at our agency and the writers in our profession--need a strong knowledge of SEO best practices and techniques in order to maximize ROI. This can’t be emphasized enough: the articles and landing pages we create need to do actual work to advance our clients’ businesses, not just fill a 300-word quota for “client’s content marketing piece of the week.”
Important Issue We Need To Get Out Of The Way #2: Start with the client’s business goal, not SEO.
Every client has a problem they need to solve, whether it’s increasing their client base, attracting more of the right kinds of client, or amplifying their thought leadership and brand presence. Because we create editorial calendars in consultation with our clients, we’ve already strategized and reviewed our client’s needs.
Do you have (or are you) a bankruptcy attorney who wants more Chapter 13 clients? A landscape architect who’d like more high-profile speaking engagements? A small-scale non-profit interested in growing its email list? A local health food company that would like to sell its products in organic grocery stores? There is targeted content for each of these situations, and it all starts with an understanding of ideal audience and behavior. Once we know these elements, we can develop a series of posts and marketing pieces that offers value, both to our clients and those they want to reach.
Important Issue We Need To Get Out Of The Way #3: Every post starts with a topic, not a keyword.
Here’s a miniature case study: a cosmetic dermatology clinic wants more clients. So they sit down with us, developing a list of whom they want to see walk through their doors: women with questions about botched Botox, anti-aging treatments for millennials, and the latest in laser facials. We develop post topics around these target customers, each focused on those particular concerns. In the case of anti-aging treatments for millennials, the topic list looks something like this:
When Should You Begin Anti-Aging Skin Treatments? Is 25 Too Young?
The Top Five Anti-Aging Skin Care Products You Should Try Before You Turn 35
Is That A Wrinkle On Your Forehead? Yes, Millennial, We’re Talking To You.
Some of these headlines are more click-baity than others, but they all represent outreach to the clinic’s desired demographic of 25 to 35-year-old women with an interest in their skin and some disposable cash. We can now drill down into each of these topics, working with an SEO to build out a keyword list for each post. We consider volume and competition numbers for each phrase (high volume, low competition is ideal), as well as keyword variations for common terminology, like acne, pimples, and breakouts.
From this example, you can see that a post crafted around the terms “acne,” “pimples,” and “breakouts” won’t be very precise or fix any real problems unless it is focused around an actionable issue that the publisher of the content can help solve. But a post deploying these terms and written around the latest products that can zap acne and address anti-aging in millennials’ skin? That would get traction.
Important Issue We Need To Get Out Of The Way #4: SEO + content can generate leads. But it’s what clients do with those leads that counts.
If SEO-guided content creates value, then SEO experts can help us measure that value, by tracking metrics on click-throughs, newsletter sign-ups, e-book downloads, and contact form lead generation. All of this data, however, won’t help a business that lacks solid sales techniques, conversion strategies, or an impeccable product or service. Once a prospect calls an office to book an appointment or tweets about an energy bar they just bought at Whole Foods, then our services...are of limited service. At this point, clients must summon their brand’s moxy to create the experience and deliver the solutions that we’ve set up for them through content. And those actions, ultimately, will determine the content's real ROI.
Interested in hearing more about how we work with SEOs for lead generation? Give us a call or send us a note, and we’ll walk you through our most recent case study.