You Ask, I Answer: Which Comes First, SEO or Content?

Maciej asks, “In your opinion, is it a viable strategy to start creating content and invest in SEO later?”

All content inherently has some kind of search value. The question is, is SEO the primary intended goal of the content? If not, then you can always optimize it later. If yes, then optimize as you create.

That said, organic search traffic is a nice bonus, so it doesn’t hurt to optimize as you create. You don’t necessarily need to commission a huge project to see some benefit.

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In today’s episode, mochi, hope asks, in your opinion, is it a viable strategy to start creating content and invest in SEO later? Well, all content inherently has some kind of search value, some kind of SEO value, right? It’s very existence as long as it’s published on the web, and it’s publicly accessible, will in some way, be seen by the various search bots for the most part, and will be given some level of index ability, find stability, whether it is for the things you want it to be found for, whether it is highly competitive or not with other pages, or separate questions, but all content that’s publicly accessible, and visible on the web does have some inherent kind of search value.

So the question is not necessarily whether you’re going to create content first and invest in SEO later, so much as it is understanding the primary value.

And the purpose of a piece of content.

If you put up a piece of content that is, say intended for customer service, or is intended for lead conversion through non search means, then you don’t necessarily need to optimize that content in order to have it fulfill its purpose, right? You put it up, and you direct traffic to it, and it does its thing.

And in its instances like that, then yes, it’s perfectly fine to create the content first and then invest in SEO later or potentially Not at all, if it’s simply not a relevant thing to do for that piece of content.

There are plenty of things that you can create on the web that you don’t necessarily want search engines to find.

There are things that you will intentionally no index.

Now, if the purpose of the content is to attract organic search traffic, then yes, you have to optimize as you create it, right? You You can’t, it is not a viable strategy to create content and then optimize it Wait, you should be creating it in an optimized fashion to begin with, it should come out of the gate, as good as it gets.

Now, that said, even for the content that is not intended for search, organic search traffic isn’t is a nice bonus, as long as your search efforts don’t materially change the content away from its intended purpose, right? If you’re putting up a frequently asked questions post, about, say, your product and services.

And you optimize it to the point where the question is no longer written in a way that somebody would ask it, somebody would naturally want to hear that language, then yeah, it’s not serving its purpose at that point.

So you don’t want to over optimize something to the point where it becomes unreadable.

That’s less of a concern these days than it used to be, say 10 years ago, when people would create content that was so stilted, just optimized for these keywords now that search engines like Google have the ability to do a lot better natural language processing, much more in depth, understanding of topics and semantics, you don’t necessarily need to optimize quite so awkwardly in your language.

Instead, you use the language that people would naturally search for, particularly when you’re dealing with these little guys, right, these voice interfaces.

When you’re addressing them, your the way that you ask questions to them is so different than the way you type it in on a keyboard, right? You might type in a keyboard, say, you know, best restaurants near Boston, for example.

Whereas when you’re talking just naturally gonna say, you know, what are the best restaurants in in Boston, and very different query.

So give that some thought.

It does not hurt to optimize for the stuff that you’re creating.

in general.

The question is the level of optimization for a customer service page where it’s a frequently asked questions thing, and you’re not expecting to attract a ton of traffic to it, nor do you intend to, it’s not the intended purpose.

You could do a bit of like keyword research, maybe go take a look at some social media stuff, check out your customer service inbox and just get a sense of what are the ways that people would ask a question like how do I reboot my, my AirPods, for example, that is enough optimization.

For pillar content where organic search traffic is, is the fully intended purpose.

That’s something where you want to invest much more heavily in the search.

You’re gonna want to do a lot of keywords research, do some topic research, do language research, check out the competition, build an outline or brief and you know, right Out 1000 2000 3000 words and with graphics and videos and all this stuff, all the things that you would normally do for a piece of pillar content whose sole purpose or its primary purpose is to get searched traffic to it, you know, that’s the one that you send to your PR team are your PR agency and a pitch the heck out of this thing? We need eyeballs on him.

So is it a viable strategy to create content and invest in SEO later? In most situations? No.

In most situations, you want to create with some level of optimization, is a viable strategy to create content and not you know, invest $100,000 in it, yes, absolutely.

You can certainly create content that has a light amount of optimization that is just part of your workflow, and is easy to do.

That’s the best way to tackle app.

optimization of content really is just about aligning it with the user intent.

Right? So what is it? What do you want the user to do with a piece of content? So when you set your intended purpose, give some thought to that.

When the user finds the customer service page, what do you want them to? Do? You want them to get the answer to their question, you want to solve their problem and give them a good customer experience.

You do not want them calling your call center.

Right? You want them to self serve.

So design with that intent in mind when you have a piece of filler content.

What do you want the user to? Do? You want them to fill out the form or buy the thing or pick up the phone or something? Again, design with that intent in mind that will, that level of optimization is probably more important than SEO itself is is designing the user experience to fulfill the user intent and that, believe it or not the way that Google works now, in particular, is of greater SEO benefit than sometimes the SEO optimization itself because you’re fulfilling the user intent, you’re going to change a lot of the behavioral metrics that Google keeps an eye on.

So really good question.

A follow up questions, leave in the comments box below.

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