Who should optimize content: SEOs or content writers?

Who should optimize content: SEOs or content writers? pixelwork

Who should optimize content: SEOs or content writers?


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing have a lot in common, but they are still separate disciplines.

Content marketers and SEOs are very closely related in digital marketing, but they can also be miles away. There are certainly some common areas between the two, but is there enough common ground to allow your SEO professional to also be your content writer, or vice versa?

In my (almost) 20 years of running and overseeing successful digital marketing campaigns, I have come across a lot of different campaigns. I've argued over the years that having one person do everything is not a solid model for a high-performing web marketing campaign. After all, the skills needed to, say, optimize a PPC campaign are very different from those required for organic SEO.

Let's go back to content and SEO. On-page optimization is a key piece of the optimization process, and that means that working with content is part of an SEO's job. But does that mean that the best person to optimize your content is the SEO specialist? Or should it be the content writer? and if so, to what extent?


Technical vs creative

SEO is more than the art of achieving top Search Engine rankings. In fact, most of what comprises being a true SEO has very little to do with art – or even creativity. Most of an SEO's time is spent analyzing and fixing site architectural problems.

Most websites – even those built on WordPress – come packed with layers upon layers of problems. I'd guess that 50-80% of them are structural in nature, having little to do with the actual content of the page.

But that does not minimize the importance of content with respect to SEO. In fact, there is somewhat of a circular relationship between the two: Content has difficulty gaining traction in search if search engines have trouble accessing or parsing it correctly, But fixing a site's architectural problems is rarely enough to rank well in search results. The content must be optimized and valuable.



Is this interdependence between good content and technical SEO Something that makes it difficult for sites with limited budgets to succeed? If you can only choose one, where do you spend your time? Or do you do a little of both and hope for the best result?

It is a difficult decision. To get results, you need a sufficient amount of creative and technical aspects of SEO.


The role of SEO in content



At this point in time, I would say very little of SEO is creative. That does not mean that creativity is not used to find and implement solutions to technical problems. I'm just saying that the only creative aspect of SEO is working keywords into the content. And I'm not convinced that that should be SEO's job.

When it comes to the content part of the optimization process, SEO should be in charge of keyword research and selection. It's not the writer's job to do keyword research. spending hours and hours on this, or necessarily being responsible for selecting which keywords to target for any given page.

The writer's job is to integrate the keywords provided by SEO into the content. The SEO hands the list of keywords to the writer, and the writer edits, tweaks, rewrites, and adjusts the content accordingly.

A good writer knows how to take a list of keywords and naturally shape them into a well-written piece of content that covers the topic effectively.

After the keyword research process, the main role of SEO when it comes to content is to make sure it is accessible. This means that all pages have a title, a description, unique content, and that search engine spiders can find and analyze it correctly.


The role of the writer in SEO



Today, I would say that The content writer needs to know more about SEO than the SEO needs to know about content writing. This is because writing and optimized content requires some understanding of how search engines work and what they search for.

The writer should always start focusing on the visitor. Meet his needs first. But he cannot neglect search engine preferences. Content must be created to serve simultaneously.

Without this knowledge, the content will likely undergo rewriting after the SEO review. You could also save time and have your writer do a little SEO so they can cover most of what the search engines want in the first step. The SEO must still review and send suggestions to the writer if necessary, and in very rare cases can adjust the content themselves. But this is a place where I would let the writer do the SEO work!


Everyone has a role


Is it a good idea for your SEO to have some understanding of what makes good content? Absolutely. But very few people are technical and creative at the same time. My recommendation would be to let your SEO focus on the technical and your writer on the creativity. But it's not a bad idea for any writer to have a technical understanding of what makes content great in the eyes of search engines.

Nobody expects the writer to be an SEO. Your SEO shouldn't be a writer either. Each one has its place. Where the two roles overlap, they must work together to create a product.

When you allow each persona to stay focused on their primary function, you'll get search engine optimized content, bring targeted traffic, provide your visitors with the information they need, and help move them through the sales process.