They’ll help them find you

Optimising for the search engines can help you stand out

Often, one of the goals of a web content strategy is to help nurture, or sustain, a marked presence in the public search arena. The challenge then, is immediate: how do you balance the need for clear conveyance of a brand’s message and services but, at the same time, floating enough buoys in the sea of content to encourage high search engine visibility and traffic?

This is when an expert in search engine optimisation and marketing can be a great asset to both the Content Strategist and the project team as a whole. Among their responsibilities will be to:

  • Hunt for linkworthy content by contributing to the content gathering process. Collections of offline and print content, in particular, are often a treasure trove of unique and potentially useful content. Internal reports and studies, presentations, or even photos and videos may only need a light spruce up before they’re ready for public scrutiny.
  • Select, or refine, target keywords and phrases and, with reasonable repetition, insert them in strategic places with the support of copywriters and developers.
  • Assist in the CMS selection process by ensuring the required features and functions are present to provide search engine friendly outputs such as clean code, URL’s and tagging capabilities.
  • Optimise the main site entry points for improved access before setting up A/B and multivaritate tests to discover the content that the audience responds to.
  • Develop relationships with third-party websites with a similar voice and audience profile for linking opportunities.
  • Keep the content lifecycle turning by ensuring any outdated content, such as expired promotions or press releases for discontinued products, doesn’t end up listed within search engine results and risk creating a negative perception of a brand. They’ll also continue to question all outbound links to other sites to ensure they’re still relevant and helpful for the audience.
  • Monitor the audience by providing data on their changing needs and tastes, analysing how and why they’re finding/ignoring you and tracking their on-site journeys. The patterns that emerge can help determine whether you and your audience are getting the most out of the content.
  • Analyse social media trends by studying user-generated content related to the brand and industry from other sources, such as reviews and comments.

Admittedly, I’m as guilty as anyone of undervaluing their importance; it’s often tempting to ask copywriters, marketers and developers to step out of their comfort zone to perform certain tasks. But in the split-second decision world of search results we all want to stand out like a beacon, emitting the confidence and credibility that’ll resonate with the right audience and at the right time.

After all, in order to engage, inform or entertain, we first have to be found – they’ll help us achieve that.

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