Now, today, I want to talk about where SEO fits within the content publication process.
Picture this scenario –
You have a service-based website. You’re launching a new service, and have decided to do so on the same domain as your existing website.
You have a website build process, just need the content, or assets, readied to have the pages built.
Where does SEO come in, in this scenario?
Is it at the start of the build? The end? A week or two before launch, perhaps…?
When do SEOs, SEO?
Here is why SEO is so wonderfully complex.
Because the remit of SEO is vast, and because SEO typically sits in the marketing department, there is a tendency to leave it siloed and only engage with it when it’s time to do the ‘marketing’ of the site.
Here’s the thing…
If SEO is engaged at the content publication stage, SEO is engaged too late!
Because the content iteration process needs to have SEO incorporated in it.
If SEO is engaged when the content is up on the staging site, you know what this creates?
It creates frustration with SEO.
It creates pushbacks with SEO.
It creates a climate where SEO is less likely to be implemented.
Tell me, how do you expect to perform the best in the SERPs and grow your traffic when you’re not able to fully optimise your site?
Taking shortcuts, creating hacks, workarounds and partial implementation doesn’t do justice to your content.
Yes, SEO is a marketing channel.
But to truly get the most out of it, it needs to be engaged before the marketing of content.
It needs to be engaged before the production of content.
When the Content team is being briefed, that initial briefing stage requires SEO engagement.
The preliminary research SEO carries out influences what the content team creates, and vice versa.
When SEO is briefed from the very beginning, there is enough time for the channel to work with the content team, iterating the content as the journey progresses.
You’ll have a much better working relationship.
You’ll have both departments integrated and streamlined for future projects.
You’ll have your optimisation starting from within your organisation, rather than just merely website level.
This, unfortunately, is where many organisations find themselves with SEO – a state where SEO reacts.
We’re often ‘after the fact’! Often brought in late. Often in a state of reaction, or worse – firefighting.
You know, when you get to a point where you’re proactive with SEO, you get to do some really sexy stuff.
Stuff that will have you loving this SEO shit.
Stuff that will have you investing shit-loads in SEO.
Stuff that will have you proud to say you have an ‘SEO-first’ website.
All you have to do is engage SEO earlier.
That’s it! Just involve SEO earlier.
Give SEO a longer lead-time to make improvements – to make improvements before something goes wrong.
You see, the common approach to content optimisation is to do so after the fact.
This inevitably, leads to changes.
And here’s why…
In order to optimise content, i.e. improve it, SEOs need to identify the weaknesses in it.
This leads to a recommendation of change.
Now, imagine you’re a Copywriter, and have spent weeks or months on a new site.
You’ve delivered all the Copy for the site, which has been signed off.
The site is due live in a week. You’ve moved on to another project.
Enter SEO – making suggested changes on every single page.
How likely are you to be keen on the changes?
How likely are you to be compliant with the recommendations?
How likely are you to want to collaborate with SEO – a practice that seems to allude what you do?
Why will you care…?
Not long ago the Copy was perfect. Now there are suggestions on it? Some of which don’t even make much sense – grammatically.
Now you’ve got to re-defend your work. And re-justify why you made certain choices.
You can imagine how frustrating this can be, right?
And I’m sure, you can see the temptation to push back on the recommendations, can’t you?
Now imagine working with the SEO whilst writing the Copy in the first place.
Imagine, going back and forth with SEO, understanding why certain keywords are being targeted, making iterations together, reshaping, reorganising, restructuring, and delivering the Copy that you both are happy with –
You see the difference, right?
You see how one approach is collaborative, whilst the other…
…whilst the other fosters a climate where there is a power play in the working relationship.
This is the reality, folks!
This is one of the major blockages that prevents a site from being adequately optimised with content.
The fix to this is simple. Integrate SEO earlier.
Rather than considering SEO as a bolt-on right before the content publication, think of it more as a channel that works in conjunction with other channels right through, and beyond, publication.
So, when you’re researching the content to create, SEO is present.
When you’re developing the content, SEO is present.
When you’re planning the pages where the content will sit, SEO is present.
When you’re developing the web pages for the content, SEO is present.
SEO is present for all of these, and more, because it impacts the success of the content.
Now, you may think this will change the already established process we have.
Yes, it should! It improves it. Operational changes in your business that incorporates SEO shows on your site. And it shows in revenue growth.
Content is king. It’s king because it plays a lead role in attaining and growing your revenue.
Why, then, wouldn’t optimisation be streamlined to improve your content?
In my humble opinion, it should!