Eli Schwartz is an SEO expert and the author of the new book, Product-Led SEO. Eli has more than a decade of experience driving successful SEO and growth programs for leading B2B and B2C companies.
He helps clients like WordPress, Shutterstock, BlueNile, Quora, Getaround, Mixpanel, and Zendesk build and execute Global SEO strategies that dramatically increase their organic visibility at scale.
In this interview with Communicate Influence, we discuss SEO from a content writer's perspective, as well as some of the important questions around SEO.
Eli wrote his book to create a conversation around SEO for for executives and leaders on how to understand SEO, how to fund SEO, how to plan for SEO and how to strategize SEO. It's also for the SEO managers and the content managers in terms of how to think about SEO from a strategic and holistic standpoint, rather than just from a tactical standpoint.
Eli addresses of issue of high expectations with SEO and also it's lack of business visibility.
"The problem—and something I've been hoping to address with my — book, is that SEO doesn't have enough business visibility.
"They're focused sometimes on these myopic metrics around here's my ranking or here's the traffic I've gotten, instead of this perspective of I'm here operating a channel to grow more business or to grow more revenue in total for this business."
The question businesses need to answer when it comes to SEO is: What can I do to help grow business, rather than what can I do immediately to create just traffic on this page.
"It's important to have that perspective and do your best within that environment," explains Eli, encouraging SEO professionals to be a part of the holistic view in the holistic strategy of the entire business, rather than just this is what I'm going to do that's good for SEO, and that's it.
What is product-led SEO?
To understand product-led SEO, you really need to understand what product-led SEO is not, says Eli.
"Product-led SEO is not content-led SEO," says Eli. "The way most people are going to do SEO is they're going to look at their core business product, and core business, and go to a keyword search tool to discover what the keyword is that they should put around for their core product offering. The next step most businesses take is to write some content that will be their SEO."
However, for Eli, product-led SEO is much more holistic than content-based SEO. With product-led SEO, a business creates a product—or an asset—for the search users. And when you're creating that asset for the search user, it's not just a blog post that you intend to rank on one keyword.
Eli explains that product-led SEO involves the creation of an online product or asset that a business uses to rank according to the needs of prospective clients or audience.
"I'm now thinking of who is the user, because when you create products, you want to think about who the user is, and the roadmap to launch that product."
Examples of products include directories with content, or proprietary content. For some organizations such as consultancies, key issues that require questions and answers can serve as the product around which to build SEO.
The next questions to ask are what resources are required to launch the product. "It's no longer just needing content because that is SEO. It's: 'Will I need a designer? An engineer to help launch that product? A content writer to write the right amount of content for that. Maybe I need some digital and visual assets'."
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