If you have a team of stellar data analysts who can pull insights in their sleep, as well as a group of content writers who live and breathe the written word, you’ve got some killer assets in developing your content marketing strategy. The problem is, technical and creative teams speak different languages, so it’s up to managers to translate.
Having a team of people who are masters in their fields, rather than a bunch of Jacks-of-all-Trades, means that you’ve chosen expertise over ease. This is the type of team you want, but it doesn’t come without hurdles. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to help your content team execute on technical and data-focused findings to best leverage the skills of every team member.
This entails talking about analytics and metrics in plain English, as well as helping your writers understand what’s important in technical SEO and what their responsibilities are in optimizing content. Often, it’s simply a matter of re-framing the way you talk about metrics and requirements.
Also, be cognizant of the fact that Google’s Hummingbird algorithm rewards the type of high-quality content your writers want to create, and that creativity doesn’t need to be a casualty of SEO.
Here are a few tips on streamlining the process and bridging the gap between your technical content marketing needs and what your writers produce:
Focus on Topics, Not Keywords
Talking to your writers in terms of topics instead of keywords will be immensely helpful in giving them a framework on which to build each piece of content. Rather than handing them a list of keywords, give them a content brief that clearly defines the topic and subtopics to be mentioned within the post.
Additionally, provide your writers with a list of term variants to use when writing, which will help them both avoid repetition of phrases (writers hate that) and ensure that your content contains all the keywords that Google looks for when determining rankings.
In addition to creating individual briefs for each piece of content, you should map out your strategy with topic clusters. These can help your writers see your strategy holistically, and further informs their writing as they see how each piece of content relates to other pages on your site.
Empower Your Writers With Knowledge
If your writers are not well-versed in SEO metrics like bounce rate, CTR, backlinks, and session duration, you’ll be doing them a favor by giving a simple explainer on what they mean and how they determine the performance of your content. These metrics could well be of great interest to them, and will be a big help in allowing them to understand – if they don’t already – how the content they write contributes to your site’s traffic and conversions.
When possible, provide your content team with access to your Google Analytics account so that they can dig around, learn the platform, and see how many visitors are reading their content. This kind of information sharing makes your teams understand each other better and, before you know it, they’ll be speaking the same language.
The other take-away here is that you should never underestimate your writers’ – or any of your team members’ – ability to learn new skills. You want them to be happy doing what they love to do, but don’t keep them in a silo and always look for new ways to share information and make your operation as transparent as possible.
Great Content is Always Better Than Shortcuts
All of Google’s algorithm updates mean one thing: There are no shortcuts to creating good content. As a marketer, it is important to trust your creators to write content that answers questions and engages readers. If they’re good writers, they’ll naturally do this, so just provide them with the right tools – clear guidelines and SEO knowledge.
It may be a quick-and-easy fix to hire cheap writers and tweak their content to fit your keywords in, but that strategy just doesn’t work today. It’s worth it to hire writers who may cost a little more, but who have the skill to create high-quality, meaningful content for your audience.
Taking it a step further to provide them with the tools to optimize that well-written content for search engines gives you the best of both worlds, not to mention strengthens your team as a whole.