When it comes to making sure your site ranks, one of the most crucial factors is on-page textual content (i.e. copy). An abundance of original content is an absolute must in terms of efforts to rank a page/site for particular topic. Yet, writing excellent, homespun content is typically the last thing anyone actually gets excited about doing. It is also one of the activities Clients are generally loathe to pay to have done professionally.
It is understandable. For example, this post was conceived some months ago and we have been procrastinating in terms of actually sitting down and writing it!
What Do Search Engines Want?
But… we are also beholden to the Search Engines’ desire for more and more robust, original content.
In this case, we are seeking to continue to build the case to Google and Bing, etc., that we are experts as it relates to Search Engine Optimization. Specifically, we look to have Google, Bing, etc. continue to consider ranking us well as it relates to Optimized On-Page Content.
Oh, wait, and we are looking to concurrently help keep our Clients and Prospects informed as to the crucial nature of optimized web copy.
See what we did there? Right. So there are two distinct audiences that you must cater to online: the Human audience, and the Search Algorithms. Spooky stuff to be sure. However, we don’t make the rules (Google does). We simply do our best to play within the rules outlined to our best advantage.
When we say “rules”, in this case, what we really mean is that Google has certain preferences. Google has certain expectations. It is our job as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals to make sure our Clients’ respective sites fulfill Google’s expectations. As previously stated, original content (i.e. copy, text, words, sentences, paragraphs) is really a must-have these days… specifically because Google prefers and expects it.
When a client asks, “how long will this new website project take?”, our response is typically that it will take as long as the client needs to produce worthwhile, original content. We say this because 99% of all project delays have 100% to do with the Client creating and providing original and robust copy with which to populate their new site.
Producing Great Content
So how on Earth can you produce the proper amount of robust, original web copy for your new or existing website?
1) Internal Development – The best source of robust and original web copy is to have someone within your organization produce it. Why? Because no one knows your business, your products, and your services quite like you do. And no one can communicate in your “voice” as well as someone who works within the organization. This assumes, however, that you have such a person within your organization that has the writing chops and time to devote to writing excellent content.
2) External Development – If it turns out that you neither have the time or someone with the writing chops to bring excellent web copy to the party, you will need to seriously consider having a professional write your copy. In some cases, this is a fairly straight-forward thing. In other cases (for instance in the case of highly-technical products and services), it can be a substantial undertaking.
If neither of the above options work for you, you may be mighty tempted to “borrow” from other sources who already have a great deal of robust content available. Do not do it. It is better to be lacking in content than to plagiarize from someone else. Spooky as it may seem, the Search Engines can determine the origin of copy and can determine and penalize those who “borrow” from other sources. And, before you ask, swapping out nouns and adjectives to “make the copy your own” is also not going to cut it. Unless you are a statistical guru who knows the probabilities that flag the search engines to plagiarism (which you are not), you will fail in your attempt. As an interesting aside; we have found attorneys to be the most prolific plagiarizers of all.
There is no easy way about it. As it relates to original and robust on-site content, you will either have to produce it, or pay a professional to produce it. That is, if you want your site to remain competitive in terms of its search profile.