How to Stay Creative With an SEO-Driven Content Strategy

Posted by Caroline-Forsey

When I first attached HubSpot’s blogging team in January 2018, I cherished our writing process. Once a month, we all are in conformity with a conference room with a directory of meanings on Google Docs which were pitched one-by-one( intricate, I know ).

The process was extremely creative, iterative, and collaborative. Of trend, it was also often a matter of guess-and-check. Plus, brainstorming can be a bit of a greedy process. The minds I pitched in those meetings, I pitched in part because I wanted to write them and because I was interested in them as a reader. I was only able to hope our audience would be interested as well.

While we developed a pulsation for understanding what our books liked from recalling top viewed announces from the past, our process didn’t enable us to develop content that matched what our potential books wanted to work with us.

So, just a few months into 2018, our crew rotated and created a brand new SEO-driven material strategy to address our inability to move forward. Take a look at the organic expansion we’ve seen as a result of that policy over the past two years:

How did we get it on? To start, the blogging crew partnered with the SEO team. The SEO team now gives a fresh Search Insights Report( what we’ve come to affectionately call the “SIR”) to us every quarter, which are packed with blog topics vetted for probe capability. We diligently move down the listing, appointing individual blog topics to be written or updated by columnists on the team. From the graph above, “youre seeing” the almost immediate growth we expereinced as a result of this new strategy. Within two years, we more than double-dealing the keywords for which we rank on page one.

As Editor of HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, this left me with a bit of a vacant. I was thrilled to see the results of the SIRs and recognized how they helped us reach new gatherings and resurrect our organic freight, but, from a personal perspective, I missed the ability that came with pitching big-risk ideas and watching them pay off.( Believe it or not, articles like “What Is Semi-Structured Data? ” wasn’t exactly what I dreamt about publishing when attaining my English degree .)

However, I’ve learned over the past year that there are ways to remain creative even within a grander, primarily SEO-driven strategy. Here, let’s dive into six tips-off to ensure you don’t have to sacrifice your own imaginative impunity for purposes of organic emergence.

1. Enlist the help of experts to inspire productivity while guaranteeing posts are still keyword-driven.

A few months ago, I undertook matters of first versus third party APIs. While I am confident in writing about our product line, “Force quit” is about the extent of my software insight( alternative+ bidding+ esc, for those wondering ), so I dreaded writing the pole. It was both daunting and not particularly inspiring to me as a columnist.

Of course, I could’ve written this berth the lane I’ve written about plenty of other cool topics — by sludging through it, chugging copious amounts of coffee, and listening to Spotify to make it a little more “fun”.

However, when I began writing the berth, I wasn’t excited with my job. Since I didn’t perfectly comprehend the notions, it was surface-level and doubtful. If a marketer stumbled across it, they wouldn’t learn much.

To solve for this issue, I contacted out to a few IT professionals at HubSpot and intention up speaking to two make support specialists. I even met with one of them via Zoom to further discuss the intricacies of APIs, and recorded the meeting to transcribe later on.

Suddenly, I felt like an investigative reporter. I mustered quotes from experts in the field, drafted up a new announce that realized impression to both myself and the developer support consultants, and publicized it. I was fantastically proud of the patch because I felt I’d wielded as a liaison between the developer world and the marketing world, fixing the whole concept of APIs a little clearer to my crew while ensuring it remained accurate and tactical.

If you’re feeling frustrated by a topic you don’t feel cozy writing about, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals — even within your own company. Their passion for the subject will fuel your desire to write the case from a more human angle. Remember, keyword-driven content still leaves spate of area to tilt the article in a number of interesting directions, as long as the insight you’re providing aligns with the intent of the keyword you’re targeting.

2. Interview captains in many industries and tell their narrations.

Over the past year, I’ve spoken to happiness researcher and loudspeaker Shawn Achor on how delight leads to success, Harvard professor Amy Edmondson on psychological security in the workplace, and lead consultant Simon Hazeldine on using performance psychology to get ahead in the workplace, among many others.

These uprights, which enabled me to synthesize complex psychological issues and translate them into tactical approaches for purveyors, allowed me to activity my creative muscle. I interviewed professionals via email or on the phone, and used their responses to craft meaningful, coherent narratives. Eventually, I never felt more “in the flow” than I did when writing these posts.

Your industry surely has leads that interest you. If you’re a marketer in the cater or cordiality industries, consider speaking to top chefs in the area. Alternatively, if you’re a marketer for an e-commerce website, try reaching out to e-commerce consultants to get mentions about the future of the industry.

It’s not impossible to align your own interests with business impact, even if those interests are outside the scope of traditional market. As someone who’s personally interested in psychology, for example, I was able to find the intersection between psychology and workplace recital, which promotions our books thrive in their own personas.

Including feedback from experts can also give you a competitive advantage in the SERPs. For example, we wrote “HubSpot Marketers Give 6 Tips for Fighting Burnout”, on January 20, 2020, and within 1 month, it once had over 5,000 views. This portion, over go, will likely perform better than a more generic “how to fight burnout” piece without the expert angle.

Ultimately, it’s important to consider who you’re interested in speaking with and how that expert’s experience might are compliant with your audience’s interests, and brainstorm meanings from there.

3. Find the human connection.

As marketers, we’re often tasked with writing about less-than-thrilling topics, specially if these topics are part of a keyword-driven strategy. For pattern, take a quick glimpse at some of the segments we’ve seen on our SIR in the past:

These designations are helpful for our books, but presenting the information in a imaginative acces becomes difficult. I often tell new scribes on the team that you can find an interesting human angle to any topic , no matter how assuming it may seem, which clears writing about the topic more exciting and offers more paths for books to connect with the slouse.

The easiest way to find the human angle is to consider the reader’s point of view when researching a topic on Google. Start by asking yourself, “why would I ever search for this topic? “

Searches don’t happen in silos. Nowadays, Google is increasingly trying to continue a “searcher’s journey” through People Also Ask boxes, People Also Search For committees, and Related Search ties at the bottom of most SERPs. These features enable searchers to rethink their rummage and find same, relevant answers to other questions they might have.

Ultimately, anyone searching for one keyword is searching for that keyword as part of a larger marketing and business approach. As a material creator, it’s critical you find the bigger picture element and use these new SERP facets to tell more creative, holistic legends around the topic at hand.

For instance, recently I wrote a pole on how to embed videos in emails. The torso of the berth itself, I knew, is to enable little imagination — it was essentially a brief step-by-step guide to embedding video. Nonetheless, I could still find infinite for clevernes in my foreword, and I is well aware that wanted developing empathy for my reader.

I started by imagining the motivation behind any purveyor examining “how to embed video in email”. They are likely someone who’s struggling to increase CTR or email subscriptions, so I introduced the topic with a brief, big-picture overview on why email is important for a business’s bottom line( in case you just wanted to know, it’s because 87% of businesses operation video in their market tactics ).

Then, I empathize with the book, acknowledging that sprucing up your emails isn’t ever easy, and neither is embedding videos — specially since major email buyers don’t support video inserts.

Suddenly, a topic I’d initially knew accepting go provoking to me because I could smell the urgency and real-world impact that was published slouse and refuting the reader’s query would have. In essence, what they’re truly expecting is “How can I continue composing engaging material for my audience? ”

That’s a human direction to which I think we can all relate.

4. Use multimedia to freshen up old-fashioned material.

If you’re struggling with a particularly bone-dry topic, you might evoke creativity by adding multimedia components like podcasts, YouTube videos, likeness, or diagrams — all of which open up brand-new commerce openings since you can generate image traffic through the SERPs as well.

These blueprints can help you stay committed when writing the patch, and can also help your post rank on Google, since search engines prefer multimedia components such as images or video.

For instance, we embedded a video in “How to Create An Incredibly Well-Written Executive Summary [+ Example] “. Readers have the option of speak my upright, but instead, they can watch the discussion take place on-screen.

Of track, multimedia depends on your budget. We aren’t able to add a video to every announce we grow. However, “theres plenty” of simpler forms of multimedia that are free, such as embedded personas and graphs.

Additionally, if you’re interested in other aspects of marketing besides writing, this is a good chance to expand your professional portfolio and learn a new science as well.

5. Frame your content from a unique tilt that differentiates it from other search results.

It’s important to note: not all announces need to agree with what’s previously on the SERPs for you to rank.

For instance, my colleague Lestraundra wrote “10 Reasons Why You Don’t Need a CRM“. Such articles currently ranks on sheet one for the search query “you don’t need a CRM” … but the clause actually explains why you do need a CRM, in a playfully disparaging practice.

We managed to rank well while at the same time sacrificing readers something they weren’t expecting. You regarded as same provocative arguings you can perform, as the uniqueness( and sometimes controversy) of your writing will enable you to rise up the grades on the SERPs while providing fresh, interesting material to your audience.

6. Engage with your readers in real life whenever possible.

On one particularly uninspiring day, I set up a 30 -minute chat with a customer to learn more about her personal sell challenges.

As we spoke, I recognise how out-of-touch I’d become with some of our readers’ primary fights. For instance, she was a team of one, which signified while she understood the importance of blogging, she didn’t ever have time to develop an in-depth strategy since she was juggling content creation for social media, email market, and PR for her small business.

When I got back to my desk, I had no problem writing my named pole about free social media analytics tools, because I understood the real-world importance of this post for that reader’s daily life. Ultimately, she didn’t have time to research the pros and cons of various tools, and she didn’t have a budget for anything fancy. The muse and creativity I felt that day derived from my in-person interaction with my reader.

Of course, it’s not ever possible to set up a scold with a customer, but there are plenty of other options for engaging with readers. For example, you might consider creating a poll for your social media audience, locking with books in a Twitter chat, or sending a survey to your readers in an email newsletter to learn more about what they want from your label.


Ultimately, it can be difficult to stay imaginative when your department is primarily focused on using technical SEO to achieve major goals. And, of course, you’d never want to entirely forgo SEO for the sake of creativity, since that forecloses you from reaching a larger audience and ensuring your content is useful and actionable for your books.

Nonetheless, if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past two years as a result of our brand-new policy, it’s that analytics and imagination can, definitely, creation hand-in-hand. Ideally, with these six tips-off, you’ll be able to inspire some ability in your daily process. Feel free to comment below with your own judgments — I’d love to hear them!

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