EVG is an international agency that specializes in content marketing, so it goes without saying that we rely on a vetted team of specialized writers (we call them SMEs: subject matter experts) across the world! Our team’s specialties vary from legal and medical writers to experts in travel and hospitality. It makes sense that when you want really in-depth content on a topic, you need someone who can speak that industry’s language effortlessly.
But what about SEO? Some clients care most about ranking well and getting organic traffic (non-ad clicks from Google). Do you really need to pay a higher price for a specialized writer in that case?
The answer is: It depends. (P.S. that is almost always the answer in the SEO world!) But I lean toward “yes,” and here’s why.
The recent Google update BERT was a big step in improving how the search engine processes natural language. BERT basically looks at semantics in various languages and attempts to determine what content best matches the query as well as the intent of the user. As Google gets better at this, it is also improving the results that it returns for queries. If you search for “coffee,” chances are you’re looking into the history of the product. But if you search for “coffee shops near me,” you’re ready to order a cup of deliciousness. Your intent is different; thus, your query is different.
So how does this translate back into SME writers? Well, let’s say you wanted in-depth content on visiting Atlanta. You could try to DIY or hire a cheaper freelance writer who had never been to Atlanta. And you’d get a piece of content that hit the highlights, but it wouldn’t have that insider info that’s so helpful when you’re traveling. Also, you’d probably find it blends in with all the other hundreds (if not more) of “traveling to Atlanta” blogs out there. And last, and perhaps most egregiously, you might make the rookie mistake of calling it “Hotlanta” (we Atlantans never do that).
To avoid that surface-level content, you could seek out a travel writer from Atlanta who specializes in local writing. This person would be able to speak the vernacular, provide insider tips on where to go and where to avoid, and lend authority to the topic that others couldn’t. This would set your content apart, making it more likely to be the content that gets shared online and seen as a better result for users.
To take it to a more industrial side, you and I probably can’t write a compelling article on safety issues and regulations related to pressure gauges in the oil and gas industry. But a specialized writer can. And Google is going to see that their article is much more detailed, answers more questions thoroughly, and speaks the natural language of that industry than my article would. So, Google is going to pick their article over mine in the search results.
You can pick an industry and topic and have this same scenario repeated over and over again. Now, does every topic require a specialist? No, of course not. But when it does, it really makes a big difference who you choose! And if you’re not connected to the specialized writers you need, let us know. We have a trusted team and would be happy to help you!
Laura Lee – SEO Director and Account Manager