Ever since SEO agencies were finally forced to stop buying links there’s been a steady stream of very dubious content being put out there by brands that have no idea why they’re doing so.
With paid links effectively dead, SEOs turned to the next easy win – piggybacking on to anything that is in the public eye. It’s much easier to get your content noticed, and subsequently linked to if you’re hijacking an already popular theme or event. If you work in SEO, how many times have you heard Game Of Thrones mentioned in an ideas meeting?
Loans, Dinosaurs and Interior Design
It’s a very definite shortcut, but it’s also being heavily misused. Brands are now putting out content, expensive content at that – content that takes a lot of time to put together that has absolutely no benefit or interest to their customers whatsoever.
Over the past year or so I’ve seen low end rental companies building websites about dinosaurs, water softener manufacturers creating guides about interior design from years gone by, and double glazing businesses making content about footballers.
Ask The Right Questions
If you find yourself getting dragged into creating content that doesn’t really seem to fit with your business (or the business you’re trying to promote) there are questions to ask yourself at this point…
- Is the content that you’re creating relevant to your audience?
- Is it useful?
- Does it help them?
If the answer to these questions is no, that’s a pretty good indicator that you shouldn’t be doing it.
There are obvious reasons why content with no relevance isn’t a good idea. First and foremost it bypasses the customer. You’re not even trying to cater to the people that have or may have an interest in the product.
Content marketing when done badly has a very short term approach. It looks for quick wins and links from wherever they may come. If the initial outreach misses the mark, the project bombs – there’s no contingency and you’re left with an irrelevant piece of content that has no business being on your website. For all intents and purposes it might as well just be removed. It’s no use to your customers, they didn’t want it in the first place.
Will It Get Links?
I’ve worked with SEO agencies a lot over the past 8 years or so. I’ve worked on projects that fell right into this bracket – at one point pretty much all SEO agencies were guilty of this approach. Unfortunately when agencies are judged on links, doing the right thing doesn’t always make the cut. ‘Will it get links?’ rules supreme and it doesn’t seem to matter where those links are coming from.
For me this is an opportunity for SEO to break into other disciplines. It’s an opportunity to move away from blind link based judgement and strive towards other goals. There are all kinds of wins that SEO can give you and they don’t all need to relate directly to links.
The Right Kind of SEO Content
Neil Patel famously spends tens of thousands of dollars on his marketing guides. He doesn’t need to jump on the back of whatever is in the news right now – he doesn’t need to somehow attach himself to Game Of Thrones to achieve his goal. Instead he invests in high quality content that is directly aimed at his target audience. He doesn’t desert his audience for a short term link strategy. A quick search for online marketing will tell you that he’s doing it exactly right too.
If your business is producing content, whether through an SEO agency or directly and that content seems to be completely irrelevant then it just might be time for a rethink.