Lee Odden

How SEO Can Work With Content Strategy

Content Marketing OptimizationRecently I spoke with Content Strategist, Margot Bloomstein, who was conducting research for an upcoming publication about Content Strategy intended for a variety of audiences. In particular, we discussed productive interactions and exchanges between Search Engine Optimization professionals and Content Strategists.

Organizations advance their reach and engagement goals through content and Strategists work to audit, develop strategy, plan, create and maintain that content. Ahava Leibtag provides an excellent and practical approach at CMI in her post, “Creating Valuable Content” which outlines how content should be: Findable, Readable, Understandable, Actionable and Shareable.

SEO and content strategy intersect in more ways than optimizing web pages with keywords. My take on Margot’s question, “How does SEO and content strategy interact?” starts with understanding customer segments, behaviors and preferences for information discovery, consumption and sharing. Knowing what customers care about and how those concerns and interests manifest as search keywords and social topics folds very well into the keyword research practiced by professional SEOs.

Keyword Glossaries and Editorial Plans aid in planning relevant content that is inherently optimized for customers and target audiences.  Specific keyword optimization is appropriate as well, but the end content product becomes much easier to find, consume and share if there’s empathy with customer needs translated into topics and keywords from the start. Readers of this blog know that I’m a fan of optimizing for customers before search engines and that you can certainly do both.

An Editorial Plan outlines content types, topics and the keywords they’re optimized for. It indicates where and if the content will be re-published and re-purposed. The plan also shares what channels of distribution will be used to promote the content and share it via the social web. There very well may be an augmentation of the search optimization effort for the social web that emphasizes popular and relevant social topics vs. search keywords.

Planning, creating, optimizing, promoting and engaging with content on topics that customers and target audiences care about is where modern SEO has evolved: Content Marketing Optimization.  SEO expertise, which also includes knowledge of how search engines crawl and index websites, content management systems, the impact of how websites are coded and organized, provides a powerful ally to Content Strategists when goals and objectives are in alignment.

I think the publication Margot is researching will provide valuable insight not only for SEO, but any other element involved with an organization’s content from web developers & designers to copywriters and marketing executives. In case Margot reads this post, what tips would you share on how your area of expertise best interacts with Content Strategy?

Note: On August 18th, I’ll be giving a presentation on Content Marketing & SEO at the SES San Francisco conference which will be a deep dive into the topic with 90 minutes allocated. I hope to see you there.


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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 B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Ozio Media says

    Part of my content strategy is to write content that is engaging – sounds simple. This works well because engaging content makes the reader feel as though I am speaking directly to them, it makes them think, and lets them walk away with a new idea, solution, or piece of information. SEO plays a large role in writing engaging content because I study trends and conduct my research around what my target audience is searching for not what I think they are searching for.

  2. Content Strategy = Information Architecture.

  3. Avatar Anonymous says

    It is very wonderful article, thanks. http://www.summer-products.com

  4. Thanks for the reminder to get back to ye old keyword glossary, Lee.

  5. Avatar Break_sln02 says

    I keep hearing about blogs and how good they will be for my company. Please give me some good exmples of companies using blogging as a marketing tool.

    • This blog is your first stop in that regard. In the tech space companies like Micrsoft, Sun, IBM and others have hundreds up to thousands of staff blogging.

  6. I keep hearing about blogs and how good they will be for my company. Please give me some good example of companies using blogging as a marketing tool.

  7. Avatar Kevin Ward says

    I like the idea that even though you are in business and need clients, blogs allow you to educate the masses. This follows the Seven Habits of highly effective people principle of win win. So content pertinent to your business niche is an important part of that. Thanks for the informative information.

  8. Content is major need in SEO. So try to provide fresh and unique information in easy understanding language that is content strategy for me. And if they want more information then always ready to provide it. As all wants something interesting and new that sounds great.
    seo link building services

  9. Very nice article. I have been part of the SEO and Marketing world for a couple of months only and I learned a lot thanks to blogs and sites like this. Yet, I have been writing for quite some time and now I am happy I can because I can deliver fresh and quality content every day. Ever since I started at my position, the company blog doubled its visits because of the content and new design http://www.usaezmovers.com Still it is difficult because our business is highly specific and there is not much that can be said, but the competition is huge. Content is King though right!
    Thanks again!     

  10. This article is spot on, and for our cosmetic surgery practice, we have a content-based strategy.  Our approach is to listen to patients on forums and social networking sites, then compile data from our own practice to produce an answer.  We then publish it.  To see how we do it, you can view our white paper on cosmetic surgery post-operative swelling, bruising, and numbness here.

  11. Hi,Nice post, Had a doubt relating to my PRs… when I have the new release on my website which is talking about our new product, should we copy paste the same PR which we give to  PR website or tweak it a bit for our users? I am currently writing blog which tells about my new product.
    How can a new release be different from my this blog post??