From launching to maintaining a website, very few disciplines interact across the board with every other department. SEO is one that does. SEO shares a lot of common ground with UX, design, development, conversion rate optimisation, and content.
This post talks about the relationship between SEO Specialists and Content Creators. If you are in either camp, you know it is a delicate relationship. But, both can not only live in harmony, but thrive. The key word being “relationship”.
SEO Specialists: The Mad Scientist
These are the competitive folks. SEO could well be a competitive sport. It is about competing and winning – taking first spot and claiming gold. SEO is also about accomplishing business objectives. A gold medal for position alone is worth almost nothing.
SEO specialists are analytical & scientific – armed with formulas, keywords, and an armful of strategy on how to make the next blog a winning one. You can see it in their eyes. They are unstoppable. We need all of this.
Writers: The Artist
They are the story tellers – they take a topic, form a thought and an opinion, and communicate that to the masses. They have developed a writing style of their own from years of doing it. Apart from basic writing principles, they don’t need anyone else telling them how to write the next big hit.
Writers sometimes find creative ways to talk about Mr. Fluffypants – their cat, for 95% of the blog and then, BAM! Tie it all in to the point of the blog in the last paragraph. We need all of this.
SEO Specialist, Meet Writer. It’s Love at First Sight
SEO specialist finally meets someone who gets him. He has found part of him that has been missing. The writer, is gushing over the SEO specialist. Finally someone she can talk with and learn from.
The honeymoon is over and collaboration walks in like a wedge and it is the age old relationship of producer and creator. This relationship isn’t unique to SEO specialists and writers. You’ll find it in music where there are artists who create and producers who help shape the song. Even novelists have editors and publishers. It is a relationship of trust that needs to be built and nurtured over time.
Producers are the ones who have one hand on the pulse of current trends and market needs and one hand leading the the artist. Artists & creators are the free spirits whose creativity should not be constrained or stifled, rather, gently guided & refined according to the need.
When this relationship works, it is a beautiful thing. There will be compromise. There will be sacrifice. Egos will be crushed. It’s life and it’s messy. It takes a strong relationship of trust & a shared goal to get over these bumps.
When an SEO Specialist communicates with writers they, most times, share blunt and jagged keywords that they recommend the writer “just mix in with the content”. The writer on the other hand, doesn’t feel like they fit. It could be like trying to shove square blocks into circular holes.
How Can Both Thrive: It is a commitment
When you research an article, be clear and communicate with friendly language. When sending a document with just a list keywords, it could be like you are dictating to the writer how to write, how to do their job.
Instead, talk big ideas. Explain why this is the case. Go with research, show what the competitors are doing and make the case for your approach. And the approach can’t be just keywords. It needs to solve intent, ranking, conversion, and business objectives.
Don’t tell the writer you solved the problem and they just need to take your solution. Instead, explain the problem and invite them to be part of the solution – with your research being a great start. Everyone wants to win, to make an impact. Be inclusive.
It is difficult to take feedback on something you created. It is sometimes difficult to see the flaws. Every creative needs an analytical mind to bring balance. Talk with the SEO specialist on why you decided to write about Mr. Fluffypants on a blog about hurricanes in the South East.
Take feedback and make sacrifices. What’s good for the reader and what’s good for the company is good for the SEO specialist and the writer.
A good approach is to first research a topic and then write a draft as opposed to writing a blog and then pushing it through an SEO scrub.
Here’s to happy and successful collaborations. A toast to your relationship.
As a gift, download a content template that SEO specialists and writers can share when creating articles.