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How to blend SEO and creativity for content marketing success

The SEO kills creativity mantra isn’t uncommon among content writers. Likewise, SEO experts often voice complaints that creative writing should take a back seat to SEO perfection.

The reality is that the best types of content marketing combine creativity with SEO value. Here’s a guide on the best ways to merge creativity and SEO for content marketing success.

How SEO got a bad rap – and why it’s stuck

Content marketing is still a new and shifting industry, and content creators who have been around for more than five years will remember its ugly early days. Many writers were first introduced to the world of SEO during the dreaded “content farm” years, when nothing mattered except how many keywords you could cram into a 300-word article.

Fortunately, this practice has pretty much died (because Google’s algorithm makes it a very risky practice). But for writers who worked on these content farms, the scars are deep and ugly. Sadly, a lot of strong writers turned their back on the digital marketing world during these days and never looked back.

If you’re in charge of recruiting or training writers to assist with your SEO goals, then make it a point to let them know you aren’t looking for keyword stuffing, and that you value creativity and writing talent.

The SEO tricks all writers need to know

Writers don’t need to be trained in every single aspect of SEO. If you’re hiring someone for their creative talent, odds are their interest in phrases like “robot.txt” and “sitemaps” is going to be pretty low.

Rather than trying to teach a writer how to be an SEO expert, instead, teach them the quick tricks they can use to optimize their content on their own. There are three key skills that all writers who want to work in digital need to know:

  • How to find relevant keywords
  • How to format articles for SEO (using the appropriate headers, bullet points and charts for position 0 opportunities, etc.)
  • How to create well-optimized metadata.

If you can teach writers these skills and why they matter, then you won’t overwhelm them with SEO techniques that don’t apply directly to their writing. Writers may grit their teeth, but equipping them with simple tools (like Ubersuggest or Keywords Everywhere), you’ll be able to get them to focus on SEO without having to hold their hand through every piece of content they create.

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SEO – Search Engine Watch

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