Recently, a coworker shared this really interesting video by Marcus Sheridan in which he discusses “Why Most SEO Companies Are a Waste of Money.” Let’s face it, the title is a bit outrageous. And I frequently roll my eyes at these types of videos because they don’t offer useful information. BUT this time, Sheridan makes a case that SEO companies that aren’t also producing “great content” for your website are ignoring one of the most important aspects of SEO. He’s right! SEO needs to be as much about content as it is about search. Let me explain.
My background is in creating content. I began working on the WebMD (Atlanta) editorial team, so I have a passion for creating good, helpful content, and working to be sure it ranks well and engages readers. It’s a multi-step process that takes significant time, effort, and communication between the client and the agency. Did I mention it takes LOTS of communication? What are your goals? What is the call-to-action? Who is your audience? Where in the sales funnel do you expect the user to engage with this content? Where will it live on the site? How will we link to it? When, where, and how will we promote it and on which social media account? How will we measure its effectiveness?
Writing thorough, authoritative, and compelling content isn’t cheap or quick. You need expert writers who follow the brand’s content style guide and know how to do high-quality research for the topic. You need someone who can do smart SEO research; it’s not about finding magic search terms but discovering what online users really want to know about the topic and determining the actions they want to take and you need them to take. You need to compare your content to other content ranking for your chosen phrases to ensure your content is different and better.
If your SEO or marketing agency isn’t addressing all of this, then I agree with Mr. Sheridan. You need to talk to them about it and/or find a different agency. You need someone who cares about the content on your site in the same way you do. It’s not about delivering words and phrases and walking away. It’s really all about the actual content.
At the risk of tooting our horn, the approach I’ve outlined is EVG’s bread and butter. We are an international marketing agency that writes trusted and authoritative content in-language for distinct audiences around the world. We start with the user (your audience) and we do our research in order to write the right content for your audience. And then we follow this with tracking key metrics (rankings, on-site behavior, and conversions) in order to see how well it performs. When we spot an opportunity or an issue, we’re prepared to adjust to meet it. If you want to know more about how we work and how we can make your content work harder for you, please email us! We’d love to take a few minutes to talk about your goals.
Laura Lee – SEO Director, Account Manager