Friday, February 3, 2017

Think Content More Than SEO

Some SEO purists suggest that website content be optimized at all times. It's inevitable that someone, or a team, will follow an internal process and think about the content with an everything - SEO mentality.  But there are situations when you don't need to sweat SEO - or can at least scale back the effort.  A few examples follow.

The desired keywords are too competitive.  You may want to rank on the first page for "CRM tool," which is searched an estimated 2,900 times a month according to Google.  But, typically, your site ranks on the first page of Google for keywords searched 300 to 500 times a month.  Are you really going to build your SEO strategy around the phrase "CRM tool"?  If the keyword phrase is beyond your reach, you may want to accept your competitive position and weigh alternative keyword phrases.  Here are some questions to consider when selecting a different phrase:

  • Will the keyword phrase work in the headline?
  • Will the search volume be high enough?
  • Will the keyword phrase be relevant?
  • What are the odds that the optional phrase in your content will rank?
Visitors arrive from various sources.  SEO doesn't need to be the top dog in your content.  Your website content should engage and satisfy prospects when they arrive through:
  • Website navigation that highlights the content.
  • E-mail marketing.
  • Shared links.
  • Media relations.
  • Social media.
Who cares about keywords for which you can't rank well or phrases that  people hardly use if most of your traffic doesn't come from search?  Analyze where your overall traffic comes from and identify key performance indicators targeting your ideal mix of channels to drive traffic.

You're writing about a new trend.  Sometimes, you want to be out front with a new industry phrase long before it's widely used.  The phrase may not even have any or much detectable search volume. Writing about an emerging technology or trend will highlight your expertise and vision.  SEO may not be top of mind when shaping the content, but you'll be rewarded later on search engines for having a content-first approach.  As your content ages and attracts inbound links and interest, you'll be a in a good position to rank well as the keyword phrase gains momentum.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.