How to Create a Content Process that Works for SEO
Host of the Page 2 SEO Podcast and all-around SEO maven Jacob Stoops joins the SEO Rant to share his thoughts on what you should and should not do when creating a content plan that considers SEO.
Why having an overly rigid content release schedule is not a good idea
Why you should bring an SEO into the content process as early as possible
How to ensure your content is focused
Why visiting the SERP is a must for content creation
How to fix the content creation process for SEO
We go into what it takes to create a content strategy that works for producing organic traffic. Learn what creating a content strategy that considers SEO should and should not look like.
Don't Have a Set Number of Posts to Publish Each Month
When starting off with a content strategy that takes SEO into account the one thing you should not do is force a content calendar on yourself. It's the classic case. When someone internally or a client comes and says, "I want a piece of content published every Monda" push back on it. Instead of having a set release schedule, have a purpose and a goal. Then create and release content in a way that best aligns to that purpose and to that goal.
If you pigeonhole your content strategy with an overly rigid release schedule, you'll kill your efforts before they even get started. If you overly structure your release schedule you'll end up creating content for the sake of the schedule, not for the sake of the user.
Bring SEO Into the Content Production Plan Early On
Producing content and then asking an SEO to produce more traffic and boost the rankings is not how it works. You can't just stuff some keywords in and hope for a ranking and traffic boost. Rather, bring the SEO team in early on in the content strategy process. Leverage the SEO's expertise to see where you should be "fishing" for organic traffic.
Content should be fully integrated into your site and marketing. You shouldn't be creating content solely for "SEO." That's why involving an SEO in the content process early on is important. That way the right content and be created for the right reasons and then adjusted by the SEO as time goes on.
Ensure Your Content Is Focused from the Get-Go
You can't just decide to create content and go after whatever you want. To have an effective content strategy you need to understand what topics your business and site are suited to target. From there you can prioritize the subtopics/keywords that you want to create content for.
Part of creating focused content is giving the copywriter a path towards success. Don't just give them a targeted topic and send them on their way. Create a detailed brief so that when the writer comes back with the content you don't have to ask them to rewrite something that has no chance to rank.
Before Your Write Content Visit the SERP
One of the biggest things people gloss over when creating a content process that considers SEO is actually visiting the SERP. It is the biggest miss. An SEO tool can tell you who is ranking but it can't tell you why they are ranking.
Go to the SERP and see who is ranking and analyze the reason why Google is rewarding them with top rankings. Take it all into account. What tone are these sites employing, what format, what graphics? Think about it all. Then think about what you need to do in order to create content that is better and differentiated from what Google is already ranking.
You can't just replicate what the ranking sites are already doing. What reason does that give Google to swap your page for the competition? This goes back to thinking about your own site and business. To differentiate you need to understand your unique selling point. What makes you different than the competition? Take your content from there.
Fix the Process Not the Content
The lesson of this all is to fix the process not the content. To get your content strategy aligned to SEO you need to make sure the process behind your content creation makes sense from a 'Search' perspective. It's not about optimizing a specific piece of content or getting a specific page to rank. That won't produce real success. To get where you want your site to be you need to make sure the process behind the content creation and the SEO are in sync before you even write a single word.