SEO Content Strategy
May 13th 2020

Adapting Content Intelligence for COVID-19

5 min read

Lionbridge is a content company with several different content offerings – translation, localization, transcreation, data-driven content ideation, and copywriting.

Lisa Deignan works on the SEO team in Lionbridge in Dublin, where they have two main responsibilities. The first is to ensure that their language resources have the skills to produce and to optimize content that will resonate in-market. The second is to help their clients to get it right from a globalization perspective. 

One part of her role is to work with external clients on many different aspects of SEO projects. The second is that she collaborates closely with the US content team. Within that, she works a great deal on optimizing content and proving the success of that content via reporting!

For their content team, she has put together the SEO Content Training for writers. Regarding their international language resources, as a team, they train them up in in-market keyword research and optimization.

Lionbridge US Blog Strategy to Date

The strategy of Lionbridge’s US blog has been very much data-driven when it comes to content ideation and copywriting. They are continually optimizing existing content and repurposing old material, with a primary focus on voice search. As Lisa explains in the video, voice is becoming an increasingly important part of how we interact with Search in general.

Let’s Consider MarketMuse

Lionbridge wanted to investigate if MarketMuse AI could help them with:

  • Optimizing existing content
  • Adopting a topic cluster approach

What Lionbridge Wanted to Test With The Pilot

Lisa wanted to test if MarketMuse could help them increase the topic comprehensiveness of their blog posts in a scalable way. The manual process was cumbersome and required a lot more oversight to ensure quality results. Also, she wanted to incorporate the hub and spoke methodology into their content strategy.

Pilot Objectives & Tactics

Before MarketMuse, the SEO team would use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and SEMRush to monitor published content. They would manually create instructions on how to re-work that content; it usually took a couple of iterations to achieve success.

From the content editor’s perspective, they consider it a job well-done if they completed all steps of the instructions, whether or not those led to success in Search.

The introduction of MarketMuse enabled Lionbridge to eliminate manual instructions regarding topic comprehensiveness. Lisa added a step where the content strategist runs an analysis in MarketMuse. After that, the content editor uses the Marketmuse Optimize tool to optimize the content for the core topic.

Now with MarketMuse, we can quantify topic coverage. The writer has a score to aim for, and by reaching this score, they can be sure they’ve done a great job. The ability to quantify success has been much more satisfying for everyone involved.

Process – Key Steps

For the pilot, Lisa identified 20 blog posts focused mainly on two of their core services – translation and localization and interpretation. The posts were over two months old with high traffic, which had recently dropped. The selection of posts was narrowed down to focus on ones with the most significant featured snippet opportunities.

They presented each URL to a writer, accompanied by additional elements. These elements included the target keyword and its monthly search volume, any other important keywords, the featured snippet opportunity, and the Marketmuse topic.

Their content editor is outstanding and knows precisely what to do with these elements from an on-page SEO perspective, and also in MarketMuse. In the notes column, they provided insight on how to achieve the featured snippet.

After the content editor handed off the optimized content, the SEO team would:

  • QA the work
  • Add internal links
  • Ensure images were properly optimized

Marketmuse substantially reduced the quality assurance effort the SEO team had to undertake, post-publication. Regarding topic comprehensiveness, the content did not need to be sent back to the writer for changes.

Results & Conclusion

Their site had a 75% immediate hit-rate. For the posts that did not do as well, they documented clearly what went wrong and the lessons learned.

In the end, the 20 posts in their test pilot:

  • Increased organic traffic by 132%
  • Received 31 new Featured Snippets
  • Captured 70 new keywords in the top three results

The overall site doubled its daily conversion in the last two months. Keyword coverage tripled as did traffic for blogs optimized with MarketMuse AI vs. manual optimization.

Getting The Best Value From MarketMuse AI – Content Optimizations

Here are some lessons Lisa learned from optimizing content:

  • Pages should have proven themselves to have value in the past. A A couple of URLs were added as a special request. These had not shown themselves to be good content in the past. They did not perform well.
  • Get search intent right. If the topic you choose to optimize does not align with the key message of the content, this will not do well. Even if that is just a slight misalignment in topic choice for MarketMuse (or on your target keyword), optimizing for that will not bring you great results.
  • The URL to be optimized should be strategically planned with the entire cluster in mind. Leverage MarketMuse to gain insights on the whole cluster before starting on instructions for the writer. Without understanding the whole group, you can’t grasp what is required for the optimization of the page. Ultimately, you may not get the results that you want, as you could be competing with another URL ranking for that same topic. Also, it profoundly affects your internal linking instruction.
  • QA checks are vitally important. Put a lot of thought and preparation should into how this is conducted and the steps involved.

How Lionbridge are Adapting Content Approach With Respect to COVID 19

Changes happen quickly in a disrupted market. You need to generate content to help clients in a new way. Artificial intelligence is helping to evolve content strategy in real-time. Plus, AI helps reach a wider audience with regards to topic comprehensiveness.

Stephen Jeske

Written by Stephen Jeske stephenjeske