The time has come for the SEO to emerge as a visible and viable voice in the content production process. Gone are the days of post-publish optimization. No more should painstaking hours be spent inserting relevant keywords into an already complete piece of content.
No more should SEO be an afterthought.
The Dawning Of The Age
At Conductor, we’ve been talking about the importance of getting SEO involved earlier in the content conversation for a while now—particularly in regard to sculpting the customer journey.
Entrepreneur magazine recently featured Conductor’s concept of holistic, early stage SEO involvement (what we call Web Presence Management) in an article about how this approach has heavily influenced content production for Cesar Millan’s e-commerce website, cesarsway.com. Dave Rogers, the company’s VP of Digital, told the magazine, “We’re now thinking more about the buyer’s journey as we develop and tag our content, and we have a much better idea of the kinds of information people are searching for, and the answers we can provide them.”
“We have a much better idea of the kinds of information people are searching for, and the answers we can provide them.”
As opposed to “The Reactive SEO”—who gets involved in content very close to the end of the publishing cycle, sometimes only having a chance to optimize after the content has been published and a diagnostic has been run—”The Proactive SEO” is involved in the content creation process, from the earliest stages to all the way to reporting.
We asked our own Web Presence Manager, Surya Ram, to put together an ideal timeline and a checklist of search optimization tips for any SEO interested in taking their career to the next level in proactivity.
1. Go Beyond Ideation
Work with the content team! Create a topic out of the goal you are trying to complete based on the buyer’s journey (i.e. selling a product, educating a customer around your service, etc). Think about:
- How will your users convert? Get creative.
- Look at search marketing trends around your topic.
2. Have a Content Calendar
Base your calendar on last year’s metrics or even sales cycles, in order to make research and optimization easier.
- How did the posts around the same time last year perform?
- What kind of content do we need at this point in time to drive sales?
- Was there something lacking last year we can improve on this year?
3. Create a Keyword Matrix
Choose main keywords and its supplemental keywords. What are some alternative keywords that the page could rank for?
Check out our updated keyword research page for a little inspiration.
4. Look at the Competition
This is an important part of staying ahead of the curve. Competitive analysis is a key pillar. Figure out:
- What is your SEO competition for the topic?
- What is your competition doing to address this topic?
5. Apply SEO Best Practices During Layout
- Make sure you have proper page optimization.
- Does your content educate the user about something?
- Does the content flow so that the user will be hooked enough to complete the conversion?
6. Submit to Search Engines
After writing content, submit immediately. Proper submissions can index pages really quickly.