We recently sat down for an awesome Q&A session on SEO Writing (search engine optimization) and SMO (social media optimization) writing with the team behind the SEO powerhouse company Bruce Clay, Inc. Virginia, Kristi, and Mindy are all super savvy when it comes to the latest and greatest tips and trends for SEO writing and SMO writing. (Can we also just say that they’re the definition of girl power?)
Check out our interview here!
- Virginia Nussey, Content and Media Manager (@VirginiaNussey)
- Kristi Kellogg, Content Writer (@KristiKellogg)
- Mindy Weinstein, SEO Manager and Trainer (@MindyDWeinstein)
Pourin’ a fresh mug before #SEOChat starts. Topic: The life of an SEO? We’re all rock stars.
— Virginia Nussey (@VirginiaNussey) April 16, 2015
— Mindy Weinstein (@mindydweinstein) April 28, 2015
Tell us a little about what you do on a day-to-day SEO basis, as well as a little about yourself?
@KristiKellogg: “Sure! I was a journalist and I am still a journalist at Bruce Clay, Inc. I write articles on SEO best practices and social media best practices. I also write content for clients with SEO in mind. We have a lot of great clients and we get to write about a lot of interesting things. Then all the writers work on the social media initiative and we work and manage our campaigns across platforms and we always just try to get people involved. It’s really awesome!”
@MindyDWeinstein: “I’m the SEO Manager at Bruce Clay, Inc., so I actually manage the technical team. So, while I do some content here and there like blogs, my focus is really on the SEO technical side. Before joining Bruce Clay, Inc., I was heavily into content for many years and managed a team of about 40 writers and taught a lot about SEO copywriting because it’s a tricky subject, though a great one. I’m grateful to have a lot of experience in it.”
@VirginaNussey: “As the content manager for Bruce Clay, Inc., I’m keeping a lot of hats on, making sure my bosses’ content projects for internal content get done. We have a bunch of publications like a blog, a monthly newsletter, etc., and I manage the company voice across social media and make sure that the client content we provide meets our SEO standards. Lisa Buyer and I work together on some strategy pieces to make sure the brand is getting visibility, as well as both mainstream and industry press.
Can you explain the basics of SEO Writing optimization and how it relates to blog writing optimization?
@MindyDWeinstein: “I think SEO is one of those things where we throw that term out there a lot, but most people don’t really understand what it is. They don’t understand why you see certain websites when you do a Google search. A lot of the time, this has to do with SEO. When you write a blog or a page of content for a website, you have to do certain things to “optimize” it. For example, if you do a page about surfboards, then you want search engines to know that page is about surfboards because you want it to show up if someone goes to Google and searches for “surfboards.” To do this, you do certain things such as meta tags, title, descriptions, keywords tag, and mention that word in there in a way that’s natural for someone reading it, as well as understandable to search engines. Obviously, this is a pretty simplistic definition, but it’s a start.
So, if you’re writing about a certain topic and there can be competitors writing about that same topic, how do you really stand out against the competition? How about using surfboards as an example?
@MindyDWeinstein: “That’s a really good question. The way you’d want to tackle that is by first seeing who’s already showing up when you search for “surfboards.” You might take a look at the first five pages in the search results and say, “How did they structure their content? What is the take that they had?” Learning a little bit more about your competition is essential because you want to know what they’re doing because you want to do it better. You want to write better than they are and you want to make sure you’re seen as the expert.”
If you’re an expert in SEO Writing, how easy is it to also optimize?
@VirginiaNussey: “I think you’re at an advantage. The quality of your writing is a big factor now since Google is able to (somehow, with its magic robots!) figure out if writing is correct and how advanced the language is. These are both actually ranking factors now. Here’s an easy way to remember the type of content that Google values: EAT (expertise, authority, and trust). So, high-quality writing conveys these three things because the better the writing, the better their understanding of the topic.”
@MindyDWeinstein: “You also have to remember the people visiting your blog are real people, so you want to make sure that they get high-quality content that speaks to them directly. If you have a programmer doing titles or descriptions or tweaking content, you’ll lose some of that high-quality feel because as a writer you know your audience, you take time to do that research, you think about them as you’re writing, and that comes through whether you’re reading on your phone or your desktop. One more thing: meta tags, titles, and descriptions are what show up on search results, so when you do a Google search and see that blue underlined line and that description underneath it, that’s generally where it comes from. But, that’s your first chance to convert someone and get them to read your content. So, it has to be very well written, catchy, and get them to actually click on you.”
Kristi, people aren’t just searching in Google anymore; they’re searching within social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. So, how important is it that your social media content is optimized? Can you give us some examples of that optimization?
@KristiKellogg: “Sure! It’s 100% important. I see a lot of brands tweeting things and they’re good tweets, but they don’t have hashtags or utilize people’s Twitter handles very well. Every time you fail to use a hashtag or tag someone, you’re missing valuable opportunities to get your message seen by more people. Also, it’s important to keep in mind what people are actually using in a hashtag.
Social PR Secret: Optimize your Twitter content with links, keyword phrases, and appropriate hashtags to gain more reach (use this keyword suggestion tool from Bruce Clay’s SEOToolSet®).
For example, with SMX, people started using #SMXadvanced, but no one was actually searching for it. What people are using is hashtag SMX. You have to be aware what people are actually searching for instead of just going and making up your own hashtag that people won’t see.”
Mindy, can you give us some examples of having a social media profile for your brand, whether it’s a personal business or business brand, and how using the right keywords can help influence the search results for that brand name?
@MindyDWeinstein: “You want to make sure you have a business profile set up on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. because if you’re searching on Google, those pages will show up. So, if someone searches your name or brand, you want them to find your website because you own that first page on search results.” To stay updated with the latest and greatest SEO and SMO writing tips and tricks, make sure to check out Bruce Clay, Inc.’s blog post and newsletter. Also, these three ladies recommend sites such as Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Watch, as well as joining various LinkedIn groups. Follow these tips and you’ll be Google’s number one search in no time!
You may find this hard to believe, but this is the short version of this awesome informative interview. If you want to learn even more about SMO and SEO writing, target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>click here to watch the full interview on YouTube.
If you like free SEO tools, try Bruce Clay’s SEOToolSet® Lite for free or check out the paid version for happy optimizing!
Want more? Read Social PR Secrets by Lisa Buyer!