I don’t spend a great deal of time trawling through new jobs on Upwork at the moment. It’s my busiest period of the year and I have enough to keep me occupied. That’s not to say that new work is not or would not be welcome though. One thing that has always stuck out for me as being indicative of businesses not knowing what they want when trawling these jobs, is that there is too much focus on the mechanics of SEO and not enough on professional valuable content.
The Importance of SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is important, of course it is. But I do feel that some businesses place too much weight on it in determining their web share. That race for the number one spot in the search rankings is one that some businesses pursue above all others, but it is not everything. Certainly, you want to rank highly to beat your competitors, and SEO can help you do this. But it is not enough. Black Hat methods are universally frowned upon and penalised by search engines now, even though they use SEO strategies.
Search Engines Change Algorithms Regularly
Search Engines such as Google and Bing change their algorithms regularly. What works today may not work in six months. Therefore this unnecessarily intense focus on SEO strategies could be all for nothing in the near future. Of course, there are some things that are universal and unlikely to change – need for keywords, keyword density and placement, good metadata. It’s easy to get carried away with these things though and ignore what is really important. The one overriding factor that will remain important, no matter what changes are made – is good content.
Don’t Undervalue The Importance of Quality Content
Whether your business sells goods and services B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to customer), you need to remember one important thing. The internet is a resource of information. What the customer demands above all else is regular professional valuable content that informs and educates, and persuades them to use your service above all others. It’s all well and good making sure your metadata is succinct, that you use your keyword(s) densely enough, that you put the keyword in the main title and the subheader, that you use relevant images with alt text including the keyword, that you don’t use too much passive voice and so on. Ultimately, if your content is of no value for your audience, your message (such as it is) will fall on deaf ears. That’s a lot of money to spend on something that nobody wants to read.
It Cannot Be Repeated Enough: You Need Valuable Content
If you’re writing a business blog or the occasional article for your website, the only way you can get your audience coming back is presenting yourself as an authoritative source of information. You’ll need advice articles and content on subjects around the periphery of your business. Constant self-praise is not enough and is never likely to be. In short, you need to put yourself in the mind of your customer. What would they like to know about your goods and services, what will they find useful, what sort of advice will they be looking for when visiting your website.
You Need Digital Storytelling
The two worlds of creative writing and business writing are not mutually exclusive and they need never be. As content writers, we understand the importance of conveying your message in a way that is memorable. There are several ways we do this.
- We write your biography, telling your story in an engaging and human manner – customers remember your brand better when it has a human face
- We put the customer first when selling a product or service using methods such as benefit selling or presenting the problem and solution dilemma
- We inform and engage so that they will see your information and services as valuable
Ultimately, you want your customers to return to your service over and over again and they will only do that if you make them want to come back. And that is the key to building an audience. All the SEO in the world is no substitute for professional valuable content.