Many people into content marketing believe that success depends on the amount of content on their websites. While the amount of material makes a difference, it’s the quality that counts. In fact, inferior or wrong type of content can harm your business instead of helping you get visitors or leads.
Content is central to content marketing:
Most of your first-time visitors are looking for information, and you provide that through content. If you provide useful information, it will pay dividends. Your readers may read more content, share it with others, bookmark your website, subscribe to your mailing list or buy products or services. Content helps you engage visitors, establish authority and improve your reputation. You also need content to get visibility and rank in search engines. As you can see, everything hinges on quality. If you don’t provide useful information, most of your visitors will leave without taking the desired action. What’s worse, poor quality or mismatched content will work against you.
How bad content hurts your website:
Content that does not contain anything meaningful or useful makes you look like a novice instead of an expert and harms your reputation. People judge you by the attention you give to every aspect of your business. When people see poor content on your website, they assume that the same quality standards extend to other areas of your business. If you are a local business or an online store, you may lose customers who would have bought from you.
If there is no synergy between your content and the keywords that you are trying to rank for, you will attract the wrong audience. That may give you visitors, but you won’t get many leads or readers. What’s worse, it will increase your bounce rate. Search engines are very good at judging content quality, and they are improving all the time. The bounce rate is one of the factors that Google uses to determine the suitability of your website for a particular keyword in the SEO Rankings. If visitors land on your site and find that your content is not worth reading, they will leave quickly. A high bounce rate hurts your ranking.
When the only purpose of your content is to convince the reader to take some action, it becomes apparent. People will hesitate to buy from a site where the sole purpose of the material is to railroad them into doing something. When you put your objectives above the visitor’s needs, trust takes a beating. If people don’t trust you, they will not listen to you.
Here are some common mistakes people make while creating content.
- Giving more importance to quantity than quality
It’s better to have 30 pages of high-quality content than 300 pages of mediocre material. You are likely to rank better and keep the interest of your readers.
- Not paying enough attention to the needs of the audience
Before creating content, think about how it is going to be useful for your audience. If you can’t figure that out, it’s probably not worth writing. You are better off looking for another subject.
- Trying to duplicate the content of a successful competitor
Although it looks like a good strategy, what works for another site need not work for you. You can duplicate the content, but you can’t copy everything that the competitor is doing. You may not be able to match the quality of their products and services. You also may not be able to promote your website like your competitor. Moreover, copycat sites rarely keep their secret for long. Your audience will soon know the origin of the content.
Why people end up creating poor content:
1. Not understanding the audience
Many website owners don’t have a good idea about their audience or what interests them. If you are unsure about the needs of your audience, visit places where they hang out. Visit blogs, review sites, forums related to your products and social media pages of your competitors. Go through the discussion and identify the problems, concerns, and priorities of your audience. You will then know the type of content required and the places where you can promote your content.
2. Hiring the wrong writers
Poor content is often the result of poor writing skills or hiring the wrong writers. It takes at least four to five hours to research a topic and write a good article. Professional writers won’t spend that kind of time if you offer peanuts. If you buy pieces for $5 each, you are likely to get a typist posing as a writer, and you can’t expect much. The articles they turn in will usually be lacking in research, factual accuracy and engagement. After a couple of paragraphs, readers will know that the author lacks the knowledge to provide anything useful.
It may take just three minutes to read your article, but that’s too much to ask from busy web surfers. Most of your visitors will just skim the section headings or read the first paragraph. That’s your only chance to engage them to stay on your website and read your work. If you want content to work for you, then you need to ensure that it’s engaging and useful to your audience. Without the right content, your content marketing is unlikely to take off.