A client recently brought to my attention the newest plug-in from Word Press called Yoast SEO. Intrigued by the idea of a robot offering the same skill set I’ve come to pride myself on, I checked it out. After combing the website and reading about the product offerings and services, I was relieved to determine that this plug-in deserved nothing more than an exaggerated SHOULDER SHRUG, and here’s why:
YOU STILL NEED TO DO THE WRITING
This plug-in is incapable of writing search engine optimized marketing content. Most importantly, this plug-in is incapable of writing user optimized content. You still have to come up with the content. What a relief for everyone in my profession!
This addition to the Word Press family only serves to analyze content that you’ve already written. Sure, it offers the ability to determine the probability of success for your keywords, tags and meta descriptions, but who has to come up with those in the first place? You.
So what does this mean for a small business owner who is currently writing their own copy?
It means that you will spend hours writing your website, blog and online marketing copy, adding it all to your Word Press site, only to have it critically judged, highlighted, crossed out and manipulated.
THEN, you have to go in and redo all of the copy it probably took you hours to write (because writing isn’t your MAIN skill) in attempt to fit the “optimal” guidelines offered by Yoast… only to repeat the process over and over again with all your copy until some algorithm tells you that your content is what your future clients are looking for.
At this point it’s taken you hours, if not days, to write copy you think is perfect. Then it takes you hours, if not days, to implement Yoast’s suggestions while still trying to end up with somewhat legible content that is TRUE TO YOUR BRAND.
I posit this:
How does a plug-in (not designed by google) know exactly what YOUR specific target market wants at a given time? How can you be sure that a Word Press plug-in knows precisely how to win at Google rankings, when the world’s most powerful search engine/marketing platform does not share their processes outright?
The answer: It doesn’t, and it cant. Well, not really...
It definitely can let you know how your keywords are performing. This is a good thing. Optimizing your content to appear on the first page or dare I say , top of the first page of Google search results is the goal.
What happens if/when someone lands on your page and your content is not what they were actually looking for? What if someone organically finds your site only to be dissuaded by your run-on sentences and less than acceptable grammar?
The reason to invest in a GOOD copywriter is the same reason you would initially consider investing in a plug-in to analyze your content. You want to reach your ideal customer, you want to create value and you want to grow your business.
Why not invest in a copywriter who understands this, and goes above and beyond to eliminate the need for such a plug-in. The sole purpose of using an expert copywriter or online marketing professional trained in SEO is eliminate YOUR need to write content, analyze it, re-analyze it and re-write it. The point is that it’s already done for you.
In theory, your experience with a good copywriter would go something like this:
You provide the writer with a one-liner that epitomizes your MAIN goal for a particular piece of content. An example would be: “I want to highlight that my product is the fastest and most efficient on the market, and I want to do so by updating my ‘About’ page on my website."
The writer gets to work doing the following:
Researching every primary and secondary keyword for what drives the most traffic
Skimming every article found on the first page of Google for a concept of what’s working for your competitors
Constructing an introduction (1-3 paragraphs) that sprinkles in the successful keywords just enough to find favor with Google Bots.
Generating a body of content that ADDS VALUE to your future customer by introducing them to your product and why it’s the BEST.
Then, the writer works with you to revise and revise until you feel proud to add the copy to your website.
Lastly, for fun… you upload this copy to Yoast to find that no changes need to be made.
I’m aware that I’m sounding a bit rant-ish in my commentary of this new Word Press plug-in. Honestly, I am a big fan of technologies that serve to make our lives easier and to make our business practices more efficient and better for our clients.
I do, however, take issue with attempts to cheat the system. The sole reason that plug-ins like Yoast are seemingly a necessity, is because scammers have gone about generating low-quality content that is unappealing to the reader.
Google wants everyone to have a good experience on their platform; after all, they are a business too. So, they keep making their algorithms more complex in an effort to reward quality content written by businesses who actually care about what they’re saying.
That being said, if you prefer for a bot to suggest ways to optimize your content to be found attractive by yet another bot, by all means, please just write your own content and subscribe to Yoast. If you want quality content that resonates with your future client or purchaser, and you want to add value to your profession and your business, give me a call.