A Rant About Quality Content

How Searching For Information on Hemorrhoids Led me to Think About Quality Content Writing....

A good friend of mine was recently struggling with something that many of us dread, and at least half of us will experience at some point in our lives—hemorrhoids.  This is not a blog post about hemorrhoids.  In an effort to help my friend, we spent the evening researching best at-home remedies and best methods of medical treatment, and what we found was astonishing.

Every single article, blog and YouTube video was a waste of time.

How is it that, in a world of the most advanced technology, medical progression and marketing innovations, finding authentic and helpful advice for overcoming the agonizing abomination that is hemorrhoids is such a daunting task?

The truth is simple.  Content writing has lost its way.  Businesses have identified a market where the pie is large and it’s increasing in size each day.   The adage, “content is king” has bred a seemingly new class of marketing in which everyone is an authority on their respective field.

Everyone has the Top Five Answers to your Google Search, or even better – The Top SIX Answers to your google search!  Wow!  And so, we click through, adding to their SEO credibility, spending that time-tested average of 15 seconds per page reading shit content, and hopelessly and perpetually searching for the REAL and HONEST answers to our questions.

When was the last time you knew where your content was coming from? 

When you are searching for “The Best Cure for Hemorrhoids” or whatever it may be, did you do your due diligence in determining the credibility of the source?  Probably not, because ultimately, you are searching for a sufficient answer in the quickest amount of time, and SEO marketers know that.

SEO marketers are using your desire to maximize your time against you. 

This may or may not be intentional, but the truth is this:  Much of the time, the content you’re reading is aimed at selling you what you don’t need, linking you to a page with information you don’t need, and not caring one bit to help you find the answer.

So, the person searching for a cure to hemorrhoids is ultimately left with unsatisfactory solutions and an aching booty.  This is a problem for Google and here’s why:  Google is a MASSIVE company, and arguably the largest marketing and advertising platform the world has ever seen.  This was not by accident. 

Google reached the top of the mountain by harnessing a deep understanding of the human psyche.  They have analyzed and re-analyzed the user experience and then did it all over again.  They want you to search on their platform and find exactly what you’re looking for in seconds, and in turn, find  satisfaction with their product.

I know that, when I’m searching for something, I will go out of my way to avoid Bing or any other search engine because I know Google offers me the very best user experience.  The problem is that they are continually having to revamp their systems and strengthen their algorithms because content writers keep finding ways to cheat the system.

This was my argument when someone introduced me to Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress.  Yes, it’s amazing to be able to look at the words you use and determine which of them will help you get in front of your desired audience.  BUT, at the heart of your business, your main focus should be ADDING VALUE to the market and to your clients.

Is your content currently doing this? Because I can tell you right now, several businesses are continually putting content out there on their social media, in their blogs and on their websites that does not add any value.

I think it’s time to get back to the heart of content generation.  It’s time to return to caring about the quality of our messages.  If you are selling a product that serves a certain purpose, mold your messaging around why your product is the best.

If you run a service-based business, focus on your connections and the innovations in your field.  Write about what matters in terms of your scope of authority.  Use keywords because they organically attach to the purpose of your content.

Use three sentences per paragraph with purpose,  rather than shortening your number of sentences merely because SEO experts say to do so; ask yourself WHY.  Ask yourself:  Do these three sentences in this paragraph serve my purpose? 

Then, once you’ve written your content, take a step back.  Don’t read it again for a day or two, then come back and determine whether or not your piece would ultimately resonate with your desired audience.  If, from a new perspective, you notice that you are throwing in “keywords” for the sake of SEO and not because it makes sense to do so, then adjust!

Once again, my blog post has evolved into a condescending rant… but this is important.  For many of us writers, this is our livelihood.  Every piece of content I put out into the world matters to me.  My goal is to provide value to my clients by providing value to THEIR clients.

It ultimately comes back to that idea of adding value.  All of us, myself included, need to take a look at what we put out into the world and try, each day, to put out more value and less nonsense for the betterment of our businesses and of our clients.