If you work in SEO it’s likely lots of your time will be spent thinking up content strategies for clients. Content is beneficial in all kinds of ways – for keywording, for helping sites gain authority by attracting links and for demonstrating that a firm is a leading source of knowledge in its sector.
As a copywriter it’s safe to say I love content. It’s my significant other and I love the variety of writing I get to do for SEO, from blog posts to PRs and pages for websites. Unfortunately I’m not the only one who loves content, and every now and then I’ll come across a piece of totally misguided writing which has obviously been churned out with no thought behind it.
Not all content is good content, and it’s easy for SEO teams to just blindly churn out blogs, PRs, articles and other pages without thinking – is this valuable? Is this going to benefit my client’s site? What is this saying about this brand?
So, here are a few content dos and don’ts which you might want to keep in mind.
DON'T add content for the sake of it
Don’t put out a PR unless you have something relevant to say, or there has been a development in your industry on which you want to voice an opinion. Similarly, while having a business blog is a great idea, don’t fill it with meaningless content – I once saw a blog post written by an e-commerce firm detailing how inclement the weather was that day. Irrelevant, dull to read – and you’re telling clients that the most interesting thing about your sector is that it’s raining.
Business blogs are great for long tail keyword traffic and should always have a clear hook for your sector or business, so make sure this is the case.
Another point – don’t change content for the sake of it either. Some pages are static by nature, so channel your energy elsewhere.
DO build relationships
If you post on Facebook or Twitter, or have a blog on your company page, reach out to other web users and bloggers. Strike up conversations, run guest blogs written by others, and always reply to any comments on your content - even if they are bad. Ignoring negative comments isn’t the way to deal with them.
DON'T only view content from a sales perspective
Yes, you want people who come to your website to spend money, but bombarding them with unsubtle marketing messages isn’t the way to do it. If you never take the time to update a blog or tweet from your business account, then start spamming the minute you’re running a special offer or have new products, your customers will see it a mile off – and then run a mile in the opposite direction.
DO consider your audience
Plenty of online businesses operate in their home country as well as overseas, and this needs to be kept in mind when posting. Don’t be too UK-centric if you have a large European client base, and if you want to post content in another language, never take the easy way out with online translation tools. These might have been good enough when struggling through your GCSE French coursework but they are nowhere near accurate enough, and will make your company look unprofessional.
There are a million and one other points about content which could be made, but breaking it down simply – when you create and distribute content make sure you’re saying something worthwhile, think about whether your audience wants to read it and ensure you respond to any engagement, good or bad.