A new client recently asked me why they should hire me when they could probably get three content farmers from a freelance-for-hire site for the fee I was asking for.
Good question. Here’s the answer. And yes, they hired me.
Content is a question of quality AND quantity. That is not to say that you can’t do well in searches with a LOT of fairly average content. It’s probably a good idea if you don’t have a lot to spend, or a lot to say. But sub-standard or dull copy won’t do a lot to enhance your brand once those Google users reach your website. And it won’t help you when Google shifts the goal posts, again. In fact, it could well work against you.
In explaining, I cited a previous client who had a fantastic amount of fairly dreadful content. This was packed with keywords, links, relevant information and even useful pages. The problem was that it looked like it had been delivered by a dumper truck. It was dull, it was jumbled and it was not something you could enjoyably read. This was content as landfill.
But Google decided it was even worse than that. They de-listed the entire site.
This was when the client came to me.
Building a brand with content
We slowly began to build quality content, with blogs, news and quality content in long form. We went back to the pre-web basics of creating something that people wanted to read. After all, that is the point of creating communications. Too many content managers worry more about their search engine readers than their human ones and that is a mistake.
With a new content plan in place, and with readable copy on the site, we started to attract readers via a press campaign, giving away content and creating more that was enjoyable and informative. Before long, Google was re-listing the website, the national press were picking up on stories we created and the CEO was appearing as a commentator on the industry on news programmes.
This had not happened before. But then the CEO did not have an authoritative voice and a platform for it before. All a journalist would see would be a whole lot of listings, noise and babble. So, for an outlay that was being made anyway, I added the bonus of a media profile. He was an easy sell, as he knew all about the business. You could see it in his (my) words.
With this all in place, the platform grew and the content kept coming. Some from me, some from other quality contributors. We could have added some lesser quality content at this point (and it may have helped with SEO), but the CEO wanted to keep his strong voice across the site with good content.
This was a good call, as the offers for the business started to come in, which was what the CEO wanted all along. Now people could see the quality and the potential. Previously, they couldn’t even Google it.
Before too long, the business was sold.