Show content writers how they can use SEO to boost results for everybody.
When content writers apply SEO best practices, they have the power to change the fortunes of any website. Visitor numbers can increase significantly, and the broader web team can help meet business goals in addition to their personal KPIs - as more effective and efficient content is added to the site.
Let's explore a proposed path for the SEO team and content writers to follow that can improve the measurements of the website and the business as a whole using SEO.
The content writer's introduction to using SEO
Most businesses first enter the world of SEO when they hire a dedicated SEO expert.
The role of the SEO specialist focuses on measuring traffic. They also look at which keywords work well for the website to attract more users and visitors and work with those developing content for the website and social media channels.
However, a challenge for SEO experts is knowing how to engage the content team to use SEO in their work. It's not something they may have had to work with before, and it may not be appealing if they care more deeply about using creativity in content production.
However, without knowing and understanding SEO and its importance, their work won't be successful at drawing in the crowds of visitors, which could hold back the growth of the business as a whole.
Let's look at what matters and how you can influence the content team to care more and invest more in using SEO.
The reasons why content writers should put their focus on SEO
To understand more about the benefits of content writers using SEO, let's revisit the role of the SEO professional.
Their role is to measure and ensure that the site aligns with best practices for effective SEO, including creating a structured SEO strategy and identifying risks and opportunities.
There is typically a gap between what the SEO expert wants and what is created for content. The content team will generally have their own ideas about what they want to create and add. However, with some understanding and care, it's possible to instil SEO consideration into the content creation process.
Demonstrate that search data is really user intent data
Surprisingly, a starting point to achieve this goal is to look at what the SEO expert and the content team have in common in their job descriptions.
There are KPIs that are in alignment. The content creators will have the following goals:
- How many users find their pages to enter the site?
- How long do visitors spend on the page?
- How did the content of that page influence where they went next?
Content creators must be in tune with what their audience wants to read and the answers they're looking for to optimise data results.
Search engine queries give all the answers to these questions, and the SEO professional holds the keys to these.
Content teams with access to information such as user searches can work with SEO professionals to increase visitor numbers and satisfy the customer's need for ever more value. Ideally, content teams would have access to research tools to answer their questions.
Teach content writers how to optimise content
Once there is an understanding of what users are looking for, the content team must learn how to get content to the top of search results.
The best way to teach SEO to the inexperienced is to keep things simple. You can give them the confidence to optimise their work by providing them with guidelines.
Provide them with a few best practices and some examples of well-optimised content with an explanation of why it's done in that particular way. They need to know how to analyse top ranking results and understand the format and length of the content that performs best.
You might want to give them browser extensions that help identify header tag info and word count.
Prove the benefits of adding SEO to content
By now, you may have a couple of content writing champions showing a talent for SEO and want to learn more. You can recognise these because they'll be asking interesting questions and want to validate their plans and content with you.
These are the people to keep close to as they're going to be your advocates for SEO amongst other content writers and potentially other teams.
Now that you've got the content writers doing the foundational work for optimising content for better search results, it's essential to keep the ball rolling and build on those skills.
The best way to encourage this is to show the results.
The content writer's interest lies in the number of visitors they're getting to their pages. Showing them how optimisation has increased these numbers will give them the fire to keep going.
In addition, you get some great case studies to demonstrate to others.
Tracking keywords and capturing how these have changed search positions will demonstrate how the work they've put in is worth it. Use the Google Search Console so they can view these themselves.
You may need to pay for an enterprise SEO platform so that the content team and SEO workers can access dashboards to see how the SEO changes they have made in the content are playing out. They can then see where they can improve, where they have made wins, and see SEO metrics to understand their work better.
The broader benefit of content teams incorporating SEO
Now that you've got the content writers using SEO, it will be less of a workload for the SEO team, who won't have to make all the keyword tweaks. It would help if you got the content team to incorporate the SEO into their workflows.
The website will be more resilient and will only perform better and better when it comes to keywords. There won't be the reliance on those few pages that the SEO team have managed to optimise.
Now that the content writers can see the difference in optimising their pages, all new content will work better, and the ball will keep rolling. Content created for users will have much better engagement as content writers better understand which topics users want to know about.
As the content writers have clarity, they will improve their measurements for their KPIs and will personally benefit from the work involved.
More senior stakeholders will then notice this and can then advocate SEO internally for even better support and investment. You may even get recognition for your part in bringing SEO stakeholders together for successful outcomes.
Reach out if you need help with your content or SEO. Paul Gordon offers SEO services to businesses of all sizes.
I'm Paul Gordon an SEO freelancer who has spent the last 16 years helping businesses expand and grow through effective SEO strategies.