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Blog Our Perfected SEO Workflow for Content Scaling at Planable

Our Perfected SEO Workflow for Content Scaling at Planable

Today, I’m going to tell you all about our SEO workflow that fueled our content scaling efforts and helped us get to 80,000 organic traffic per month.

After much trial and error, we’ve nailed an SEO process that enables us to keep track of our content operations, from keyword research and brief creation to feedback and approval.

In my eight years of working as an SEO (both in-agency and client-side), I’ve learned that SEO is not just about pleasing search engines. This is why I’ve advocated for a holistic approach to SEO and empowering content creation with the user in mind since my copywriting days.

In 2023, we scaled organic traffic to 80,000 monthly visits and brought over 1,000 keywords in top 3 ranking positions

Now, as an SEO manager, I focus on the user first and use SEO as a tool to reach them. And that’s how we’ve achieved sustainable organic traffic growth, leading to increased ARR and a growing customer base.

Read on to learn about the essence of our successful SEO workflows at Planable. Or enjoy the same info in webinar format👇

How we decided to revamp our SEO workflows

Before we started scaling content, I was reading Tom Critchlow’s article on problem-solving vs capacity-building. And this takeaway really stood out to me: work on the system, not in the system.

It was the “aha!” moment that I needed to realize that, at the time, we were solving problems and not building a scalable system.

Long story short, our old SEO workflow process was problem-solving oriented: we needed to write something, we would do keyword research, write an article brief, send that to the writer, and go through multiple rounds of feedback before optimizing and publishing the new content.

With capacity-building in mind, we took a step back and looked at our SEO efforts through the lens of scaling: we set out to optimize each step of the workflow process, build documentation, streamline feedback, and speed-up content creation.

Brainstorming session on our SEO workflow process, questioning every step of the way

So we started building our system, our well-oiled machine, and our SEO workflow went through multiple iterations.

The 4 pillars of our new SEO strategy

The traditional 4 pillars of SEO are content, on-page optimization, link building, and technical SEO.

But we didn’t want to work in the system anymore. So, we custom-tailored our own successful SEO strategy that fits us like a glove.

Our new SEO workflows would revolve around quality content, a team of freelance writers, effortless onboarding, and smooth content collaboration.

Planable’s new SEO workflow comprises 4 pillars

1. Define quality SEO content

How do we define quality content?

I wanted to clearly define SEO content to ensure the team was on the same page. We started by aligning it with our overarching business goals to figure out how to support them better.

We focused on existing content, auditing all blog posts and landing pages to identify content gaps and find improvement opportunities. From revising and updating landing pages to ensuring they were optimized for search engines and user experience, we didn’t leave any stone unturned.

Creating content was not just about writing articles on new keywords but about publishing valuable resources that would enhance our visibility in search results and engage our relevant audience.

I encouraged the team to write informative, engaging, and optimized content for search engines to ensure each piece plays a part in our overall SEO strategy. Most importantly, we wanted to create relevant content for our audience.

At Planable, quality = relevance, value, and expertise

For us at Planable, quality content comprises three key elements:

1. Relevance

Relevant keyword research is the cornerstone of our content strategy, and we began with a deep understanding of our audience’s pain points. We didn’t want only to chase high search volume target keywords but rather focus on phrases that resonate with our target audience at different stages of their journey.

Our aim was and remains to uncover keyword ideas that reflect the needs and questions of our users. This involves analyzing search volume, competition, and relevance to ensure we’re targeting keywords that can drive traffic and engagement.

2. Value

We thought high and low about injecting value into each blog post.

The solution that worked for us was integrating expert content creation into our SEO workflow. We uncovered and understood what our audience truly cares about through deep content research and leveraging both SEO tools and market insights.

Quality content must be something new to the conversation. So, we went beyond what dozens of other sites were already covering by bringing unique perspectives and deep expertise to our content.

We tapped into our network to find subject matter experts open to collaborating with us, adding another layer to our SEO process. Who better to help with topic ideation, brief creation, and ultra-relevant quotes?

3. Expertise

Our defined SEO workflows are empathy-led. It’s the key to unlocking your customers’ pain points. We encourage our writers to dive deep, get first-hand experience by testing tools, and walk a mile in our readers’ shoes. It’s about speaking from experience, not just regurgitating information.

Along the way, I’ve tuned into the frequency of our potential customers’ needs to learn how to speak their language fluently. We dabbled with platforms like Help a Reporter Out, seeking to add diverse voices (and keywords) to our content. But we changed our tack when we realized the waters were muddied with less-than-stellar sources.

Now, we reach out to trusted subject matter experts we’ve collaborated with before, inviting them to contribute their two cents on topics.

But often, the richest resource is right under our nose: the Planable marketing crew. Each team member has a different background, from our Performance Lead to our CMO. Tapping into their well of wisdom is like striking oil. They share the secrets of their trade, the insider details that add weight to our blogs and boost our search engine rankings.

This inside scoop is what sets our content apart, making it not just informative but genuinely insightful.

2. Freelance writers to collaborate with long-term

In our quest to create an SEO workflow to produce great content, we partnered up with social media managers and digital marketers – who better to articulate the trials and tribulations of our audience than those who walk the walk every day?

I love a bad pun, and I cannot lie

Learning through trial and error has been a rite of passage in perfecting our SEO workflow. We’ve learned that being choosy is a necessity, especially when scaling our content workflow. In the early days, we cast our net wide, only to find that we poured time and effort into collaborations that didn’t pan out.

In our new workflow process, we set clear expectations, and we’re not shy about putting potential collaborators through their paces. It’s all part of our project management strategy – sifting through the chaff to find that golden needle in the haystack. We’ve defined workflows that include rigorous testing, ensuring that it’s a match made in content heaven when we find that one-in-a-million writer.

3. Easy onboarding with minimal headaches

Remember, we wanted to work on the system (think SEO processes, standard operating procedures, checklists), not in the system (solving problems and coming up with short-term fixes).

This also meant streamlining all our SEO tasks from common projects that we needed to share internally to the assigned tasks for our collaborators.

Our SEO workflow in Planable includes a workspace for each writer, article briefs, blog templates and shared resources

We started building out what we called the writer self-service hub. Because we had SEO scaling in mind from the very beginning, we wanted to be able to onboard freelancers and SMEs fast and have them find the answers to everything they’re looking for.

So, we recorded tutorials, made comprehensive checklists, and documented each SEO task step by step.

An SEO brief written in Planable, waiting for suggestions and approval

This didn’t happen overnight. And we didn’t have the complete versions from day one. In fact, we’re still tinkering with our checklists because we always keep an eye on the root cause, which helps us in the long term.

4. Foolproof workflow for every SEO campaign

We’ve come a long way from the days when we juggled our SEO workflow using a patchwork of emails to dish out instructions, assign tasks, set deadlines, and sprinkle feedback. But we’ve turned the page and brought everything under one roof with Planable’s Universal Content. It helps us streamline our collaboration with freelance SEO writers and keep a tight rein on tasks.

No more endless back-and-forths, feedback getting lost in the digital shuffle, or twiddling thumbs waiting for approvals. With Universal Content we get a bird’s eye view to ensure that every task, whether link building, keyword research, or content creation, fits perfectly into our overall SEO strategy.

This foolproof SEO workflow is our magic formula. It’s streamlined our process, cut down on confusion, and turned what used to be a wild goose chase into a smooth journey. We can now focus on the finer details, ensuring each SEO campaign is firing on all cylinders.

Freelance proofreader’s feedback on a blog post in the Planable app

The results of our SEO workflow

Our revamped SEO workflow at Planable is the North Star that guided us from defining what quality content really means to crafting a smooth onboarding process for our collaborators.

Each step of the SEO process – whether it’s our long-term collaboration with freelancers, our empathetic approach to content creation, or our foolproof workflow for managing SEO campaigns – fits together to create the larger picture.

And the numbers speak for themselves.

In 2023, Planable’s organic traffic brought an 160% increase in customers, and a 250% ARR increase from more than 40 converting blog post

Andreea Stefan

Andreea Stefan

Relentless advocate and practitioner of putting users before Google algorithms since 2016. Geeks out over everything tech SEO. Dabbles in photography and is a natural-born reader.

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