Content is not always equal. But you’ve probably already discovered that.
Ever pulled up an article based on a title you thought looked interesting, only to discover after reading a couple of paragraphs that you have no idea what they are talking about? The grammar is off. The spelling is atrocious. It’s as if a non-English speaking writer wrote the words.
Turns out that might not be far from the truth.
Content mills have been around for years. Content is produced solely for the purpose of search engine optimization. They write the article perfectly keyworded to boost their placement on search engine results.
The problem comes from who they hire to do the writing. Content mills hire a high volume of writers with questionable skill levels. They are paid very low wages for creating each article. They are more concerned with the density of the article then the quality. And that can quickly show up as you read it.
Still, some online marketers value this approach. If you’re looking at driving traffic to a page to get people to click on an ad, for instance, the content might not matter. They create the landing page in such a way that the focus is on the ad, not the content. (You’ve seen this kind of page. Lots of graphics; very difficult to finish the story.)
That might work for some business models. But not if you actually care about customer service. Not if you’re building a business where your goal is retention and making your customers feel valuable and safe when they do business with you.
A survey performed by Social Media Examiner reported that 58 percent of marketers said “original written content” is the most important type of content to attract the right business.
Over 60 percent of the most effective B2C marketers have a documented content strategy in place.
Creating good, reliable, high-quality content is the best strategy to have if you want to move forward in a positive light.
But what does that mean?
There are five qualities all online content should have in place.
When businesses write content for the online world, it’s important to write it with two strategies in mind:
- Readability for viewers
- Searchability for search engines
With millions of new pieces of content being circulated online every day, the average reader might not know if a piece of content is being used somewhere else online. But Google knows.
Google strives to reward websites that provide high-quality information to their readers. And as such, highly frown upon duplicate content. If you want to rank high in Google, you’d better be focusing on writing original online content.
And that, of course, leads us back to the discussion earlier about content mills. Yes, you can hire content writers in many different ways. Content mills? Yep, they are a dime a dozen. You can search them out quite easily online. But while it’s not difficult finding someone who’s willing to write content for you for pennies on the dollar, what they can’t guarantee is that it will be written with high standards in mind.
This is your business. Shouldn’t the content reflect your mission and your goals? Your integrity?
Good content tells a story. Good content draws the reader in. Good content makes people move from one paragraph to the next. Good content leads people to the next step.
Good content teaches people how to do something. Good content solves a problem. Good content helps people decide what to do next.
That’s why you’ll see the best content on a business website doing a variety of things. Teaching is key. Hand-holding is mandatory. Pushing isn’t the way of the Internet.
People are smart and can tell when you’re pushing a little too hard. They value when you treat them like the well-educated people we’ve all come to be. We know how to click. We know how to read. We know when we find something we enjoy.
And that always leads to the next step.
Is your online content doing all that? Do people want to keep reading when they get to your site?
Even toilets can be an exciting thing to talk about to the homeowners who are remodeling their homes.
We’re the smartest, most educated consumers of all time. We have more power in our hands today than people twenty, thirty years ago could have ever imagined.
Today, if we have a question, we simply say “Hey, Siri” and our questions are answered. If we’re price checking, we can check fifteen different stores in seconds.
And if you lie, stretch the truth, or simply ignore the facts, you’ll pay the price.
When creating informative content, it’s important to keep the content interesting. There are many ways you can make even the dullest topics a little more exciting. It comes down to knowing your audience well.
You’ll write differently for a site for a plumber than you will for a site that showcases a vineyard. Yet both still have distinct ways they can reach out to their collective audiences. Personality can shine in many different ways.
This is why it’s so important to have a content writer that has mastery of the English language, and one that understands how to get inside your target markets heads.
In the online world, it’s easy to fact check just about anything. We a couple of searches, you can test whatever information you are reading.
If something doesn’t make sense to your readers, they’ll look for an answer. And if they find you’re wildly off in one area, it won’t sit well when it comes to continuing a relationship with you.
Don’t make up statistics. Don’t change quotes. Don’t misrepresent the facts.
Prove things whenever you can. That’s what makes web pages with case studies and testimonials so believable. The more information you can use with your case studies and reviews, the better.
People want to be entertained. People want to come away with something to think about. They want to walk away feeling better than when they entered.
And when your online content leads the way, that brings your business to light.
Being an expert in the industry is a great way to attract new clients. When your content is flowing through the social world and is used by others, that’s saying you can be relied upon in many ways.
Are You Ready To Outsource Your Content?
When deciding how to hire for your online content, it is important to consider how they view their own online content.
Do you like what their websites have to say?
Do you enjoy reading their blog posts?
Do you follow them on social media?
Do they have what it takes to make you successful too?
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level online, maybe it’s time to discuss an online content strategy.