Sick of buzzwords? Yeah, me too. If you’ve spent long content writing for SEO
Yeah, me too.
Unfortunately, they’re rather difficult to avoid in the weird world of Internet marketing.
I’m here to argue why “quality” is anything but a buzzword when it comes to content writing for SEO.
Trying to drive traffic? Want to convert? Good.
Drop the spammy tactics and start giving readers what they want.
Content Writing for SEO: the “Quality vs. Quantity” Debate
When discussing content, we often encounter the debate of “quality versus quantity.”
The question is rather simple: should I focus my efforts on longer, more in-depth pieces or churn out as much content as I possibly can in an effort to get in front of more eyes and rank for more keywords?
The answer is ambiguous, although the benefits of consistent content creation are difficult to deny. In short, the more you write, the more chances you have to get in front of an audience and boost your rankings in the SERPs.
Here’s the thing, though: asking “quality vs. quantity” implies that’s you’re sacrificing one aspect of your content for another. In other words, you’re writing more while neglecting attention to detail, style and message.
Regardless of your content strategy and post frequency, you should never let quality fall to the wayside in an attempt to chase keywords or readers. Why?
Quality is Not a Content Marketing Buzzword
Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Rework regarding the need for businesses to actually care about what they put out there:
“Writing is today’s currency for good ideas.”
It doesn’t matter if you’re coming up with site copy or writing the next great American novel: writing is a craft.
Trying to sway someone’s point of view? Trying to get readers to care? Trying to sell something?
The ability to get your audience to do anything is an art in and of itself.
Think about it.
If your argument is weak, people will ignore it.
If your pitch is poor, nobody’s going to buy what you’re selling.
If your story sucks, nobody’s going to bother sharing it.
All these rules apply to content writing for SEO, too.
The modern content writer has a world of responsibility on their shoulders in order to make sure their stories sell; meanwhile, the seasoned writer relishes the challenge.
Look, just about anyone can be a writer; however, can anyone be an effective, compelling writer with the ability to make readers act?
Why Are So Many Businesses Sabotaging Their Own Content?
Just like any other profession, it takes time, experience and skill to perfect one’s craft.
This begs the question: why do businesses skimp on their content and hand over the most important aspect of their marketing to the lowest bidder in an attempt to save a few bucks? Why bother hiring freelance bloggers willing to “write” for a fraction of a cent per word?
The short answer? They don’t care or understand the value of quality content; likewise, sometimes it’s easier to cut corners. Right?
Believe me, I get it: sometimes it’s difficult to see the ROI of content marketing, especially if you’re just getting started.
However, consider how businesses are sabotaging themselves by not investing in quality content:
Cheap Content = Poor Quality
When it comes to content, you very often get what you pay for.
Listen: if you’re only willing to spend twenty bucks for a painting, you shouldn’t expect Picasso. Likewise, you shouldn’t expect much more than a jumbled, keyword-stuffed mess when you pay $5 for a 500-word blog post. Think about it: is that what anyone, let alone yourself or your target audience, really wants? Is that what they deserve?
But Time is Money, Right? RIGHT?
Today’s marketers can’t afford to waste time, especially given the millions of moving pieces of the modern business. Consider the amount of time you could potentially spend scouring the web for the lowest bidder for your content. Then, consider the time you have to spend editing and revising the garbage they submit to you. An hour here, an hour there, right?
Given the staggering amount of time that businesses waste due to inefficiency, chances are you’d benefit more from a reliable writer capable of turning in presentable work and understanding the needs of your business.
Proper writers take pride in their work; like it or not, writers working for bottom-dollar could care less. Honestly, though, who can blame them when they’re making less than minimum wage for their “work?”
Scraping the bottom of the barrel can raise red flags for visitors who encounter your content, be it spammy or simply unreadable. When your writers have no investment or interest in your goals, you run the risk of plagiarized or poorly-crafted work. Is poor content worth playing damage control down the road when low-quality content comes back to bite you?
There are no shortcuts when it comes to quality content; instead, companies should focus their energy on finding skilled writers who are excited about their craft and meeting the needs of their clients.
Listen: content writing for SEO can be tricky. Just like any other skill, it’s something that’s learned over time and not overnight.
What Does Quality Content Look Like?
Quality content is clear, compelling and concise.
Such content gets the message across without fluff.
It causes us to act.
To click, respond, do something.
It evokes emotions. Humor, fear, intrigue.
It makes sense the first time.
Look, your content doesn’t have to be “fancy” or cost a fortune.
However, as we enter an era where humans’ attention spans are shorter than ever and users are hungry for meaningful information and education, ask yourself whether or not your current content is legitimately valuable to your readership.
If the answer is “no,” you may have a problem.
If you’re still not sure, fear not.
Who Wants Quality Content? (Spoiler Alert: Everyone)
Listen: everyone wants to provide quality to their audience. But why?
It’s What Readers Want – Users should seek you out because they are interested in solving a problem, either through your content or product. From educating readers to compelling them to click, or buy, your content matters.
It’s What Search Engines Want – Google is constantly on the warpath to bring down sites with low-quality or spun content. There have been numerous cases in recent years of Google punishing sites for low-quality or duplicate content. Chances are, you can’t afford for your traffic to tank. On the flipside, Google stresses the need for original copy: perhaps in the end it’s actually a game of quality OVER quantity.
It’s What You Want – You should be proud of what you put out there, even if you’re content writing for SEO and SEO alone. Shortcuts don’t cut it anymore. If you really want to stand out, you need compelling copy for your business.
Before long, businesses will live and die by their content more-so than they already do.
If you aren’t providing quality to your users, ask yourself: where do you see yourself in the future?
Credit for icons goes to the radical designers at The Noun Project. Thanks!