Now that search consultants are now getting round to regular content publishing as the gateway to search riches (or is that ranking riches?). Inevitably there will be many that get it oh so wrong. You see they focus on keywords and their neat spreadsheets with their conversions, CPAs and ecommerce revenue per visit if they’re really on it. But here in lies the problem – keywords. Very limiting isn’t it? I came across an organic search proposal that promised top rankings on five keyphrases provided by the client – are you serious? They’ll pay £xxxx per month to just rank top on 5 keywords?
The trouble with keywords and keyword research is that you don’t know the search intent – how can you? Some of the better firms will offer a content writing service recommending (with our refutations):
1. Short and snappy
Having articles of short length are not recommended as it makes the blog content look thin – something Google Panda was brought in to combat. Certainly from a web search point of view, you certainly don’t insert any hyperlinks unless there are at least 250 words (this isn’t set in stone). Also it would look consistently suspicious if all we did was link every single post to the product or category pages.
2. Writing based on keywords
This is isn’t natural and doesn’t work anywhere near as well as it used to in 2007 – yes this tactic is old! Now that we have more data on the Google Penguin update which punished keyword rich hyper links as shown in [agency] example, sending a list of keywords and optimising landing pages in the way the agency is suggesting is not the right way of working. There are plenty of articles to explain this in more detail:
Another problem with the numbers that these God awful keyword discovery tools spit out is that they (to reiterate) the search intent. How do you know if the person making the search is a pupil researching for their homework or pet project? Or some competitor just checking their rankings because the same agency recommended the same keywords to them? Those numbers mean nothing.
Here’s what we would do as mentioned earlier:
The business owner and journalists are far more likely to be able to identify the core issues, questions, relevant current affairs and topics the
target audience and customers are looking for answers to. All it takes is a meeting of enquiring intelligent minds, a flipchart or white board, a pen and your content brainstorming is up and away. None of this keyword data nonsense that is designed to sell ppc advertising.
Several editorial pieces a week otherwise you’ll lose your audience. Nothing worse than publishing like once a week only to stop visitors coming back to your website for more. Your website is like a book, so write it. You know what you’re talking about because you do it day in , day out. Don’t attempt to become another wikipedia in you industry – that’s a crazy and dumb idea. Be your own expert, have your own authoritative voice. If you don’t have the time, hire someone capable who does to write a column.
I say this with quotes as there is an element of secret sauce here. As Baltasar Gracian once said “He that communicates his secret to another makes himself that other’s slave”. Not half. It’s not too hard to get content indexed these days or into social media. You simply make tweaks to your web platform and the various content channels to give your or our writings a genuine chance of being seen and shared.