SEO and content marketing play a significant role in the success of businesses of all sizes.
According to research conducted by HubSpot on B2B marketers, 60% of them confirmed that organic traffic helps them generate more qualified leads than any other channel.
In this article, let’s discover how Yvie Ansari from yva media helped her clients succeed with effective SEO and content marketing strategies.
Guide to Article
- Guide to Article
- Q: Can You Introduce Yourself And Share Your Motivation With The Audience? What Inspired You To Get Into SEO and Content Marketing?
- Q: Can You Also Share What Services You Are Helping Clients With Your Agency?
- Q: Can You Also Share Your Best Practices For Bringing More Value To Your Clients? What Is The Very First Thing You Do With Your Clients?
- Q: How Long Do You Create A Content Strategy For Your Clients? Is It 6 Months Or One Year Long?
- Q: What Sort Of Industry Are You Currently Working With Right Now?
- Q: For Your Agency, are you choosing a niche or specific industry? Or Do You Plan To Keep It Wider?
- Q: What Do You See That Some Writers Or Some Marketers Miss In Creating an Effective SEO and Content Marketing Strategy?
- Q: What Are Some Advice For Businesses In Terms Of Hiring Freelance Writers And Doing An Effective Job?
Q: Can You Introduce Yourself And Share Your Motivation With The Audience? What Inspired You To Get Into SEO and Content Marketing?
My name is Yvie Ansari, and I have been in digital marketing for the last ten years. My primary background is SEO and content, and social media. I fell into SEO out of uni, or I should say I had done smaller jobs here and there in terms of media planning and buying and stuff like that, and I just never felt like it was the right thing for me.
Then I discovered SEO as part of one of my jobs as a digital marketing executive. I was working in the house at the time, and I just got quite intrigued by that. I started working in SEO from technical content and influenced marketing, so I was exposed to everything. I got intrigued by the content side of things because of its strategic part.
I liked understanding your target audience, understanding the marketing funnel, and working out what stage of the funnel the audience is at and how you create content for that specific funnel stage to give your target audience.
What it needs and the right time, so that’s where I guess my passion comes from is helping clients do effective marketing and get web traffic organically.
Q: Can You Also Share What Services You Are Helping Clients With Your Agency?
The agency idea was born out of a lack of experience with the client-agency experience I’ve seen while working in other agencies. I’ve worked for some small agencies and certain very big agencies during my career, and I noticed three huge things.
So one thing is that many businesses don’t know how to translate their business objectives into marketing objectives. So when you’re kind of talking to a business owner or an MD, they often don’t necessarily have the content marketing expertise and a content marketing plan.
They’re much more focused on brand marketing, the business’s sales process, and how to drive revenue in that sense. So helping them in creating content and understanding how to take their broader business objectives and translate them into marketing objectives is something that many agencies/content marketers don’t do.
They come in, give you a plan, say we’re going to drive all this growth, but it’s unclear how that growth will be measured. So that’s one thing. What are you trying to achieve? Where are you trying to get to?
The second thing is the agency-client relationship. I have seen a lot of surface-level relationships, but part of my agency ethos is to get immersed in the client’s business and build strong relationships. So that it’s almost like we’re an extension of the client team rather than sit out there and do some dark magic and just make things happen.
It should be like ‘we understand your objectives, we know your customer, or we talk to you about what you’re trying to achieve, and we work very closely with you as part of your team to achieve those goals with creative content ideas.
The third thing is a piece around integration regarding what services the agency provides. By digital agency, I mean digital marketing specifically. So essentially, we are a full-service digital agency. We don’t touch things like development or creativity or that sort of thing.
Still, we are very much focused on SEO and content marketing, paid search, paid social, and digital PR like influencer marketing, email marketing, SEO content strategy, organic traffic, etc.
The third thing that I mentioned comes in around channel integration. Many agencies don’t understand how to integrate all channels into one holistic strategy, and the medium tends to fall to the wayside. Many agencies use SEO funnily enough, and that’s because it’s such a complicated channel, and there are so many facets to it.
But, if you look at the channel, it forms a baseline for everything else that you do. Because if your website’s not performing, you’re not going to maximize your ROI from paid channels. You’re not going to maximize your content performance; you’re not going to be able to do any of that without an effective SEO strategy.
Q: Can You Also Share Your Best Practices For Bringing More Value To Your Clients? What Is The Very First Thing You Do With Your Clients?
I tend to approach new businesses to understand the customer personas, how the brand is currently performing, what the brand is trying to achieve, or their content marketing goals?. Interestingly, this starts before we even onboard a client or sign off a client project. What are the KPIs and all of that sort of thing?
Then I look at their website to see what the content currently looks like. What does the website look like from a broader and technical perspective? Then it’s a case of giving them a quiet top-level overview of what I think is happening. This is what I think needs to happen, and this is the strategic approach, and it’s always very tailored to each business.
I mean, many other businesses go and take a very templated approach with SEO tools to new businesses, whereas mine is quite tailored.
So that also means that once the client is on board, you already have a solid foundation and understanding of where we’re currently and how the brand is currently performing. So once the client is sent on board, it’s a case of picking up from where that proposal left off and just starting with the basics almost.
I always take a technical first approach to my clients; look at the baseline of website performance. Because, as I mentioned earlier, without the technical baseline, the content doesn’t perform. So it’s essential to make sure that the technical baseline is in place first. Then it’s a case of doing broader research and creating an SEO content marketing strategy.
So, understanding search behavior, search engine, what questions are people asking, and how they currently answer those questions with content on the site, social media, and other channels?
Then it’s a case of understanding where the gaps are. Do they currently not provide answers to those questions, and what do we need to do to create that content to ensure that the entire landscape is covered from a content perspective on the website? It’s kind of also looking at channels of if.
Q: How Long Do You Create A Content Strategy For Your Clients? Is It 6 Months Or One Year Long?
I would say it’s an ongoing process because, ultimately, there will never be an end to your content creation. There will always be new questions and new topic areas, and as a business grows, you tend to expand into other areas.
So there are new areas for you to look at, and my approach is usually to start on a strategy that spans; It’s not a time limit. To be completely honest with you, it spans several topic areas, and however long it takes you to cover those topic areas, that’s kind of how I go about it.
For example, some clients need to spend some time creating one content piece a week. At the same time, others look at one content piece a day. So depending on the size of the business, it just kind of almost depends on that, and then it’s a case of going right.
We’ve created all of this content, and now we need to replan and look at what other areas we need to expand into and create content for. So it’s not really like a time limit but more of a like topic area limit.
Q: What Sort Of Industry Are You Currently Working With Right Now?
Right now, it’s very much e-commerce-focused, and more specifically, it’s like health and events and those kinds of areas. I have worked with lots of different industries throughout my career, including pharmaceuticals, automotive, travel, FMCG, fashion, retail, etc.
Q: For Your Agency, are you choosing a niche or specific industry? Or Do You Plan To Keep It Wider?
I’ve thought about the meeting, and I think, for now, I’m keeping it quite broad because it’s more for me about the client-agency relationship and making sure that I work with the right people and that they feel like they’re working with the right agency. Then sort of look at which market I want to work in.
Q: What Do You See That Some Writers Or Some Marketers Miss In Creating an Effective SEO and Content Marketing Strategy?
I think it’s almost two things, and there are a lot of content writers out there who are trying to sell their services and go quite broad. They’ll essentially apply to the right content for any niche source, which I think is not the right way to go about it.
I think they should be looking at picking a couple of niches to write about because it’s so important, especially for effective content, to get immersed in the subject area they’re writing about to understand it.
Because what ends up happening is that they’ll write content, they’ll give it to the client, and the client will look at it and say, okay, I’ll have to edit quite a lot with this. Then it ends up wasted. The client’s time was having to edit it, and over time, the client will go and find a niche-specific writer.
We just spoke about niches but in more of a niche as a writer, and I think the other thing that’s quite important is education around how to incorporate SEO into writing. I say this because search engine optimization and marketing have become such a big topic area and have become a big part of content writing.
But I don’t think many content writers understand how it works for content marketing results. For example, you’ll get a brief from a client, and they will say incorporate these terms in the copy, and the constant writer will just go and incorporate the terms without making it natural.
Over optimizing content and making it unreadable because I think the other thing to also sort of bear in mind is that it’s great to write content for SEO with an effective SEO strategy. So it’s crucial to make sure that the content is always written for the user first. Don’t just add many keywords into a content piece just because the client said.
If all you’re trying to do is drop traffic to your website, doing that is counterproductive to work from an actual conversion perspective. Because you’ll drive a load of traffic which will then bounce off of your website, and you won’t get any conversions from it even if you appear in search results with organic search.
So that’s why I always say to people, don’t write content for SEO or search results; stay away from that and just do content work for the user.
Q: What Are Some Advice For Businesses In Terms Of Hiring Freelance Writers And Doing An Effective Job?
What I’ve started doing with my clients is doing the hiring process for them because I understand what is needed from my side and from their side to understand who’s the right person to do the job. But in terms of advice, I think it’s really about understanding what is needed?
For example, do they need a content writer in and make sure that you look for someone within that specific niche and just actually have conversations with the content writer before giving out briefs. So try to understand the experience, expertise, and content style and get some samples from them.
It helps them know how to write content for your brand and talk to two, three, or four different people before you decide. So you have options and can understand who might be the best person to do this SEO work with effective processes.
The other thing to remember is that you can test this content marketing work at the end of the day. So try them out, give them a brief and see what they come back with. If it doesn’t fit with your tone of voice or your brand, you can always find someone else because there are so many writers out there, and if you have the budget to do a bit of testing, then don’t shy away from doing that.