You know that SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand. But, you might ask yourself, to what extent should SEO, or search engine optimization, drive your content decisions? We face this decision in a lot of different ways when we create blog posts for Spring Insight or for our clients. One common question is whether SEO should drive content decisions, or whether the content decision comes first and SEO follows. In other words, in terms of content decisions and SEO, which is the chicken and which is the egg?
The answer? The least satisfying one of all times… it depends.
Here is the thing, anyone worth listening to has a point of view. They have ideas that interest them and thoughts they want to share that live outside of what SEO might suggest. Honestly, the fact that I have a thing for homemade soap (LINK) or that I had to pay overage charges for a time because a website celebrating the Bob Marley legacy was hotlinking to an image on a client site (Link) isn’t great fodder for the SEO dreams I have for Spring Insight. I shared those stories not to help with SEO, but because they were interesting to me and gave me an opportunity to share thoughts about certain topics.
Did we optimize the blogs for SEO? Yes, of course we did. We went in and did what we could with the content that was already created.
That said, do we make content decisions that are driven just for the sake of SEO? Yes. We absolutely do. We have a list of words that we want to use to drive traffic, and we will brainstorm interesting ideas for writing about those topics. As an example, Spring Insight is located in the DC area. We are always thinking about how we can create content that helps us rank better when people search terms that are relevant to our services. That was the idea behind our recent blog post about whether SEO matters in 2021. In that article, optimization drove a lot of that article’s content.
One thing that needs to be absolutely, 100% clear. Whether you are writing on something that is meaningful to you and not driven by SEO (then optimized later) or writing about a topic that is suggested by the keywords for which you hope to rank, the most important thing is the writing itself. If what you are writing isn’t interesting or well written or if you aren’t providing content worth reading, the direction doesn’t matter. You can have all the SEO and content marketing strategy you want, it won’t help you.
So, this is a case where you can lead chicken or you can lead egg. You just need to make sure that people will want to read whatever it is. How about it?