Lee Odden

18 Questions to Assess Readiness of Content SEO

Lee Odden     Content Marketing, SEO, SEO Tips

digital asset optimizationA big part of helping companies with Search Engine Optimization and content based marketing efforts is to assess the assets available. Digital Asset Optimization (DAO) involving multiple media, file types and distribution/search channels isn’t going to be efficient or effective unless there’s a firm grasp of a company’s available media and content production processes.

When TopRank works with prospective companies that want to take advantage of search and content based marketing, we go through a discovery process with them.

Here are a few of the questions companies should ask themselves to determine readiness for optimizing digital assets:

Resources:

  • Is there a person or committee that “owns” the search marketing or social media marketing initiative?
  • What departments, business units, cost centers and approval entities will be involved with the SEO program?  Social Media?
  • What internal resources are available within your company for support and implementation of search/social media marketing initiatives?  Web strategist, web developer(s), programmer(s), copywriter(s), in-house SEO(s), web analyst(s), etc.

Content:

  • Besides product/service content, what are the primary categories/types of online content produced?
  • How many press releases are distributed each month and through what distribution channels?
  • Is there a blog? If so, what is the URL and what is it’s purpose?
  • Is a podcast or any other type of audio recording published?
  • Is there a print or email newsletter? If so, how often is it published and in what format? Is it archived to the web? Private or public? URL?
  • Does anyone in the company author articles pertaining to your company and/or industry and if so, how often? In what publications?
  • Is there an online newsroom? Is past media coverage archived?
  • Are webinars, PowerPoint, PDF or any MS Word docs published to the web?
  • Are there aggregated resources such as FAQs, Knowledgebase or archived customer support resources posted online?
  • Are there job listings, events, articles, technical specifications, partner or syndicated content published on the company web site?
  • Is there a user generated content component of your web site? Profiles, comments, reviews, content sharing: text, image, video or audio?
  • Are images related to the business, products or services published on a regular basis? Ex: candids, product shots, staff, collateral, direct mail
  • Does the company produce or outsource the creation of video content for online or offline use?
  • Are there marketing partners or coop marketing resources that include media such as images or video that can be re-purposed?
  • Is there an affiliate program?

Understanding what content is currently available for use and repurposing as well as planned content will assist the tactical plan for a proper Search Engine Optimization strategy. Many companies have substantial digital assets to work with and are simply unaware of how to optimize and promote them for search marketing benefit.  Many other companies are not in the “content publishing” business per se, and have little more than their product catalog or service descriptions available online and no plans to produce additional content.

To be successful with marketing online and especially on the social web, companies need to adopt a “publisher” perspective and commit to creating content that will help better connect with and inform both prospects and customers.  Applying keyword optimization to purposeful content will best serve consumers as well as search engines.

The (loaded) question is, “Do companies figure out how to move from limited content production to publisher on their own or should they enlist the help of a consultant that’s “been there, done that” and developed processes?”

What Content Marketing resource questions would you add to this list?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Lee, your Resources and Content breakdown are spot on! You’ve given me a few additional items to add to the Discovery Questionnaire.

    Additional questions? I only have 3:
    * Are there any awards your organization or products have received?
    * Do any key employees have industry-related certifications or industry memberships?
    * Does your legal department require approval of published content?

    I especially like your point that “companies need to adopt a ‘publisher’ perspective.” Thanks for outlining the importance of such a commitment!

  2. This may be jumping the gun on your processes, but I would consider asking about who links/tweets/posts consistently about new content. This will help in identifying “distribution allies…”

    I’ve seen several cases where “skunkworks” blogs spring up by passionate employees. There are often employees who may blog/tweet/participate online in their personal time about issues relating to the industry. Identifying these folks could also help in the content distribution discovery phase as well as measuring the organization’s “hidden” influence in the space.

    And though you mentioned consumer generated content, I wanted to quickly point to a forum-to-blog job well done at MSN Money:
    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/AreYouFrugalOrStingy.aspx

    This forum moderator is also a book author, and regularly engages forum goers with questions that she writes into articles. Nice! I would point to that model/process for companies with active forums that they have not figured out how to extract content value from.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    Garrett

    • Thanks Garrett, Forum to blog or article is a great idea. Crowdsourcing content from social channels works quite well. We’ve used LinkedIn and Twitter for that reason successfully.

  3. Qlovely says:

    As always say content is king.A big factor affecting any business offline or online is the content.How informative it is and how attractive for the customers.

  4. SEO Betty says:

    Great questions, all the way around.

    Lists like these help certain clients clearly understand why their sites are positioned as they are and also helps prepare them for the amount of work required to get the rankings they prefer.

    As far as other questions are concerned … are there employees who mentor business students or help with endeavors like Junior Achievement?

    Writing about their good deeds can serve two purposes, providing useful content for the employer’s website *and* giving generous employees the attention they deserve.