Ex-Head Of Search Engine Optimization at Resident
Beyond Keywords: The Future of SEO-Driven Content Creation With Sid Tiwatne
As the digital landscape continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, one thing remains constant: the indispensable role of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Far from being a fleeting trend, SEO has solidified its position as a cornerstone of online visibility and success. Yet, with advancements in technology, changes in search engine algorithms, and shifts in user behavior, the future of SEO is poised to embark on an exciting journey of transformation.
Gone are the days when SEO merely involved stuffing articles with keywords or acquiring as many backlinks as possible. Today, the intricacies of SEO encompass a complex interplay of user intent, content quality, technical optimization, and holistic user experiences. As search engines become smarter and more attuned to delivering accurate, relevant results, the landscape demands a strategic approach that anticipates not only what users search for but also why they search for it.
Join Aditi Ramnath, Supply Acquisition Charter at Pepper Content, and Sid Tiwatne, Ex-Head Of Search Engine Optimization at Resident as they discuss this and more in this insightful conversation.
From the symbiotic relationship between content marketing and SEO to the influence of AI, this conversation explores the factors that will define SEO's relevance in the years to come.
Here are some excerpts.
1. Tell us about your journey so far.
I started my journey building my startup named GoBiggie, which focused entirely on SEO solutions. We aimed to assist small businesses in achieving higher rankings without the need for elaborate websites. Since these businesses were primarily focused on generating leads, we designed a product centered around SEO. This involved creating quick landing pages and utilizing automation to secure rankings on Google for relevant keywords, particularly for local businesses.
This venture introduced me to the world of SEO. After departing from GoBiggie, I joined Resident at its nascent stage in 2017. Here, my expertise in SEO and content marketing flourished. The appeal of content marketing, driven by high search intent and inbound strategies, captivated me. I recognized its potential to connect with users seeking specific information, leading to higher product purchases compared to conventional social media pushes. This approach allows buyers to engage in genuine research, enabling us to present our products in a meaningful manner during their decision-making process.
2. How do you perceive the evolution of content marketing and SEO over the past five years?
Understanding the evolution of content marketing and SEO over the last five years is indeed a crucial question. Half a decade ago, it seemed anyone could write content and achieve search engine rankings with ease, regardless of quality. The landscape has since transformed dramatically. Both the audience and search engines have undergone substantial changes, altering the dynamics of the entire process.
Today, precision, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of the audience are paramount.
Merely inserting keywords into an article no longer guarantees rankings. To succeed, one must grasp user intent, comprehend their journey, and navigate the intricate space of content marketing.
Without this holistic approach, achieving content rankings or captivating audiences becomes a daunting task.
3. Could you shed light on how technology, including AI and automation, is changing the marketing landscape?
When discussing the impact of technology on the content creation and content marketing process, it's a two-fold consideration. On one hand, there's the realm of AI and automation, which has seen the emergence of various tools built on platforms like GPT-1, GPT-2, and GPT-3. While these tools claim to generate substantial content, I've personally experimented with a few and found that they work decently for basic or generic content.
However, a crucial element they lack is a deep comprehension of business intricacies. When it comes to crafting content that's precise, aligned with the language of the specific business, and truly meaningful, I find these tools fall short.
Therefore, neither I nor any of my team members rely on the, we employ tools to verify that the content we work with is not machine-generated. Shifting to the intersection of technology, people, and the creative process, I believe that a well-defined process is key. My team has been successfully working remotely since 2017, and it functions seamlessly due to the meticulous setup and process that we've established. When these aspects are in place, the remote dynamic works exceptionally well.
4. Striking the right balance between quality and quantity in content creation is a challenge. How do you manage this balance at Resident Homes, especially in the context of B2B and B2C markets?
Quality should never be compromised, irrespective of the market. At Resident Homes, our focus is on maintaining consistent quality while adapting the volume based on the industry's demands. For B2B, detailed, long-form content is crucial, whereas B2C might require a mix of volume and depth. The core principle remains — to deliver valuable content that aligns with user intent.
5. How do you see India's content marketing landscape in terms of trends and challenges, considering the country's growth potential?
India's content marketing arena offers significant potential. With lower competition compared to other markets, ranking opportunities abound. However, the challenge lies in creating content that resonates and communicates effectively with users. While the US market is more mature, India has room to grow. Balancing quality, relevance, and user intent will be key to success.
6. What is your idea of an ideal tech stack?
Describing an ideal tech stack is a truly intriguing question. I've always perceived content as a deeply human endeavor involving creators and consumers. Strangely enough, I've never really envisioned a tech stack as an integral part of this process. Are we talking about a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product or something that generates content autonomously?
To me, it boils down to the workflow and implementing appropriate checks at the right stages. Reflecting on our experience with freelance writers and agencies, I recall collaborating with various entities, some similar to what Paper Content offers. While I'm uncertain whether we've engaged with your services before, we've certainly partnered with other agencies.
Unfortunately, the output's quality often left much to be desired. This, I believe, stems from a failure to fully understand the product and its intended message. A paramount challenge lies in establishing a well-defined process that ensures precise inputs, rigorous quality control, and thorough briefs. Without these elements, effective content creation remains a formidable obstacle.
7. What tools do you use in your marketing stack?
Certainly, I'd be happy to share insights into the tools we use in our marketing stack. Firstly, when it comes to orchestrating our content creation process, we rely on Asana, a robust task management tool that ensures our content journeys through the necessary stages smoothly. This is essential as content development involves multiple steps and collaboration across different teams. Additionally, we employ a few other tools depending on the specifics of each collaboration. Streamlining workflow is key to maintaining efficiency.
Regarding AI content production, we do make use of Jasper and similar AI-driven tools to facilitate content creation. While these tools can certainly aid in generating ing content, I'm often left pondering an intriguing vision of an ideal content system, akin to an ATM for content. Just imagine, input your requirements, and like withdrawing cash, you receive precisely tailored, expert-level content. However, the challenge lies in bridging the gap between generic AI-generated content and specialized content that truly resonates with specific industries or niches. This necessitates the incorporation of domain expertise, ensuring that the content aligns perfectly with the industry it addresses—a tough puzzle to solve, indeed.
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