What is great and what is noise? Best practices for content creation from our experts [Podcast]

No more information overload: Expert insights on content selection and stress-free news consumption
In today’s world, we are bombarded with information from all sides. As a result, it can be difficult to know what is and isn’t newsworthy.

SEJ Newswriters Matt Southern and Roger Montti discussed with SEJ Editor-in-Chief Amanda Zantal-Wiener how to determine what’s worth following and how to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the information overload.

These experts talk about information overload, marketing, and data science to share tips on staying informed without getting overwhelmed. Matt and Roger share their experiences of information overload and how they learned to deal with it.

If you’re overwhelmed by information, this podcast is for you. We help you to find your way in the information jungle and to stay up to date without stress.

I filter the information based on what I find interesting professionally and personally and what I think the audience would be interested in. I’m particularly interested in things that are new or underrated but matter to people. That’s one of the reasons I started getting more involved with WordPress and Wix. –Roger Montti, 3:14

Covering John Mueller it’s always interesting to decipher what he’s trying to say, what he’s trying to say… he’s addressing people with the understanding that they have a high level of SEO knowledge, and that’s only sometimes the case for people who can benefit from the information he needs to share. So I like to take the data he shares, which is usually communicated at a high level, and distill it into smaller pieces and try to break it down into a language everyone can understand. – Matt Southern, 18:01

I see breaking news as two things. The first is the fact, “That happened.” The second part is, “What does that mean and how is it affecting people?” … So you have to balance the speed and be out there with the news and say, “That happened.” But then we can also come back to what happened, write an article about what it means, and involve other people who might have interesting insights from it. –Roger Montti, 7:38

[00:00] – Meet Matt & Roger.
[01:26] – Understand information overload.
[05:34] – Keep content fresh and relevant amidst the fast flow of news.
[09:18] – How to find a balance between reader retention and SEO rankings.
[15:24] – Best practices for dealing with inaccurate information.
[17:31] – Tips and insights for covering statements from authority figures.
[19:56] – Providing the right historical context: A key to effective writing.
[23:41] – Should you always mention who dealt with a topic first?
[27:15] – How to avoid falling down a rabbit hole when researching a topic.
[33:52] – How to create compelling personas for better writing.
[40:57] – Nerdy Talks: How nerdy is to nerdy?
[44:55] – How to keep repetitive topics interesting when writing.
[49:35] – The experts’ views on the legal drama surrounding generative AI and innovation.
[56:24] – How authors use generative AI: Matt & Rogers perspectives.
[58:10] – What our experts are writing about right now.

There are three main factors I focus on when choosing a topic. First are the interests of the audience. Then industrial relevance. And then I find out where there are gaps in content. To prioritize this information, I considered its overall impact on readers and the timeliness in which it aligns with our editorial goals. So putting all of that together and understanding everyone’s needs, what we want to communicate and what readers want to make of it, and keep me informed along the way. – Matt Southern, 6:04

Roger and I have a similar philosophy. We both like short, concise titles with no click bait. This philosophy fulfills both sides of what we are trying to balance: ranking and audience. When ranking, you want to mention the most important keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible. When you do that, you also achieve the goal of catching the audience’s attention. – Matt Southern, 11:59

When I write something, I focus on what is useful to the reader and what information is useful. Sometimes you have to ask how that affects me. Put yourself in their seat… What do I do as a content writer or as an SEO? How is this affecting them? … When you’re writing about something complicated, you need to slow it down and explain the jargon so people can understand why it’s important. –Roger Montti, 28:38

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Connect with Roger Montti:

Roger Montti is a seasoned search marketer with over 20 years of experience in the field. He has built a solid reputation for expertise and effectiveness by providing website audits, telephone consultations and assistance with content and link strategy.

In addition to being the Head Judge for the 2020 and 2021 US Search Awards, Roger is also the publisher of award-winning websites that showcase his diverse talents in the industry.

As a prominent figure in search engine marketing, Roger has shared his insights at various conferences including SES, SMX East, SMX West, SMX Advanced Seattle, Affiliate Summit NYC, Affiliate Summit West and several PubCon events. Additionally, his writing covers various topics such as WordPress, Facebook, Google, SEO, and search engine marketing, further establishing him as a thought leader.

Connect with Roger on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/martinibuster/
Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/martinibuster

Connect with Matt Southern:

Matt G. Southern, a highly respected Senior News Writer, has been an integral part of the Search Engine Journal team since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, he excels at distilling complex issues into clear, engaging content.

In addition to writing, Matt is responsible for overseeing strategy development in SEJ’s news department, ensuring the organization remains at the forefront of the digital marketing and search engine optimization landscape.

A trusted source of information, Matt’s work at SEJ combines accuracy, quality and relevance. His dedication to reporting excellence and dedication to helping others better understand search engines and digital marketing make him an indispensable asset to SEJ and the industry at large.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattgsouthern/
Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MattGSouthern

Connect with Amanda Zantal-Wiener, Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal:

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Amanda_ZW
Connect with her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amandazantalwiener/