Search engine optimisation (SEO) is widely known as a tactical discipline focused on optimising for Google and ensuring that at least some of your content gets found.
At recent J. Boye group meetings, I’ve noticed that SEO has become a much more strategic topic and even a driving force when it comes to content strategy. In other words, SEO informs content creation and curation including the decisions on what goes on the website.
Might SEO help us towards more relevant digital experiences?
Many content strategies have failed
Lack of cross-team collaboration is mentioned at almost every J. Boye peer-to-peer group meeting. Communication not talking to marketing, IT flying solo, business developers finding their own paths and so on.
This silo approach coupled with the weak mandate given to most content strategists tend to make matters worse instead of better.
In an ideal world, content strategy in its current form makes much sense, but as many organisations are reorganising their digital efforts, they are also realising that it is not content nor strategies which they are missing. And we are not in an ideal world, but rather in a world with constantly changing business needs.
Finally, one of the key problems with content strategy as I’ve seen it implemented, is the need for speed, or rather the lack of speed by which most organisations move. This makes the strategies outdated by the time they are approved.
SEO will make your content better and more relevant
For nearly 2 decades many agencies have earned their living trying with various tactics to drive search traffic to their customers. Today the leading agencies advice their customers to consider SEO not only after content is published, but also before.
Speed and the ability to move quickly is an integral part of SEO, with the constant inflow of analytics and changing trends.
At its core, I see SEO as a way to really take a customers-first approach to digital communications. Is your content written for internal needs or rather for the real terms and needs by your customers? Is it really relevant?
There’s also an important branding perspective to SEO, where both paid and unpaid SEO can help you and your brand get found for key industry terms.
SEO best practices tends to be unevenly established in most organisations with marketing in the lead. Perhaps someone in your organisation already knows the key elements of a proper SEO strategy and you simply need to connect the dots internally?
I recommend everyone working with digital communications, to further study search engine optimisation as a source of radical improvements.
Learn more about better digital communications
For a case study, I’ve shared how Shell in London has rethinked the content creation process. I’ve also interviewed one of the leading SEO minds on how to deal with SEO in multinational organisations. For a broader view on strategy in general, read The problem with strategy.
You can also expand your network and get peer input on your problems, by attending a local J. Boye group. Digital communication best practices and recent trends is a key topic in most countries.