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We now live in an era where content is king. Cliché as it may seem, but this is actually the belief of many website owners – and it’s not really wrong. The main reason why people are spending most of their time online is because of the engaging contents that are intensely scattered on the Internet – from social media viral posts to unending lists of blog articles.
When the booming World Wide Web was still starting, people go online to search for solutions and answers for their query. Business owners saw this opportunity as a means of marketing their business and offering their products and services as the solutions. Soon after, the dawn of corporate blogs begins. Through various strategies of search engine optimization, companies started to dominate the Internet with their content stories, video presentations, and graphical representations of information and facts.
As time passes, the power to manipulate the contents online has changed from what the consumer needs to what the businesses want you to need to need. Just like what the Agenda-Setting Theory of Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw suggests: the media sets the public agenda by not exactly telling you what to think but by telling you what to think about. Websites provide content that fuels the needs of the consumers before they actually need it – in the form of blogs and vlogs.
Because this tactic has become effective to many companies, and have increased their conversion rates, many websites follow the same footstep – and that’s where the danger starts. Publishing content has rapidly changed from being a source of solution and information to being a source of business profits. The informative online contents have started to become just another marketing tool that soon become boring, bland, and, well, crappy.
The dawn of clickbait titles and overused keywords
Ever since click through rates and rankings have become a priority, many strategists unknowingly result to abusing Meta titles and keywords. They flood their articles with the most popular keywords and use over crafted titles that are too obviously meant for boosting their site’s search engine optimization, not to mention the use of attention-grabbing titles that do not really summarize the content of the article – you know, those clickbait titles?
Strategic use of keywords is also powerful in terms of staying relevant on SERPs. It’s undeniably the best way to reach your target market. Once the users searched for keywords that are relevant to your product, your website will be on top of the list if the keywords are present on your content. The more keywords used in your content, the more chances of being on top. But Google wasn’t that smart yet back then, that’s why many companies are abusing the use of keywords even if it’s already ruining the flow of the article. Recently, though, Google started to use RankBrain, which separates the good article and the badly-written articles. As a reader, and a human, these overused keywords and clickbait titles can be really annoying even if it’s not too much.
Quantity over quality
Since the target market is always online, it has become imperative to produce as much content as possible to overrule other brands. The days of conceptualizing, researching, and writing articles have been squeezed to a minimum amount of time – because being the first became being the best. Many companies, and even the media, switched from human writers to machine writers.
Suddenly, the search engine results pages (SERPs) have become a battle field for many companies in different industries. Because of this, many content videos or articles that are published online lack beef. It lacks the ability to provide satisfaction to anyone who will read or watch it. The quality of the contents are sacrificed. Have you heard of the famous line from Mr. Han of Karate Kid (the Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith version)? He says that “too much of good stuff is bad stuff”. True enough. Blogs and video contents may have boost the publicity of your company, your products, and your services, but too much of it is not healthy for the business anymore. Once the contents of your website become too many, it will be nothing but a fluff. It will be just another direct-sales, pointless means of advertising.
Why is it bad for business?
Well, basically, if your content sucks, your business will suck too, and it’s something that you may have already know. It’s just that, you would want to follow the trend so you’re sure that your business will not end up being the worst. But, make sure that if you will take advantage of a medium, you’ll do it right. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and your audience’s.
Creating bad, or irrelevant content, tanks your reputation. You have to remember that users are smarter now than they were before. They already know if you are actually helping them or you’re just trying to manipulate them. Publishing or posting contents just for the sake of having one is basically crapping on your own website.
Also, no one will share it and no one will link to it if your contents are nonsense. If all you have is nothing but a list of guidelines and rating the best and the worst in the industry, people will get tired of your contents and your website. They might get tired of you too. Even if your name is shouting proudly on top of any search engine result page, if the people know that you don’t offer them sensible solutions (and you’re just basically yourself) they will not click your link.
And, most importantly, bad contents get punished. With the latest Google algorithm updates, you can be penalized for posting articles that are bombarded with keywords, copied and derived from other websites, and including disruptive and irrelevant ads.
What makes a good content?
Gather your content team and sit in a conference room to brainstorm for fresh and new ideas. List down topics that are relevant to your industry and go beyond tips and guidelines. Offer a story that people would want to read. It will also help to stalk your competitors a little bit to know what to write and what not to write. And, most importantly, dare to be original. The basic foundation of a good content are originality, creativity, and a guided SEO strategy; after that, everything else will follow.
Going against the tide may be risky for a business marketing strategy, we know. Imagine if the whole world is already offering apples, you wouldn’t want to be just another fruit stand that’s offering the same thing, would you? You can go get some apples to sell but still have some courage to include a little bit more like oranges and strawberries. Offer something new because that’s what your target market deserves. And besides, your business is too good to be just producing crap.