I wish bloggers would stop listening to their SEO guy so much about how daily, constant posts, full of keywords is the only way to get to the top of Google.
For the last few weeks I have been really busy and not had the time to write, so you know what I have been doing? Not writing.
Despite what my SEO guy constantly is telling me about how I need to post more often. I haven’t had the time to write decent articles. For me it takes time to get an article to the point I want to let others read it. But I have been reading and some of the stuff I am reading is simply awful.
Maybe Google loves lots of daily new content, splattered with the keywords, but I have news for you guys that repeatedly write your city and company name in articles about how you are the best painting company out there. Google, as much as it is the main train to the party, is not your customer. Let me repeat that. Google is not your customer. And those crappy posts you are writing are signed with your name. Your customer doesn’t care that your online mission is to be first ranked on Google.
I think the only thing worse than no content is bad content. And there seems to be a bunch of bloggers forget that most of their articles and posts are being read by their existing customers and followers.
I promise you this. If you keep posting badly written articles and then keep putting them in front of your customer’s face, your existing customers will turn you off. They will file your emails in the junk folder, turn off your feed on Facebook and ignore your tweets. So much for your social network.
Part of the problem is that too many blogs are started for the sole reason of increasing SEO rankings. That boggles my blogging mind. Writing and blogging takes an enormous time commitment and has a big impact in the branding of your company. If you are going to invest that kind of effort, why would you not make sure you are getting more value than just a Google ranking?
Every article I write for my company blog, I write with the purpose of building our brand, educating my customer or providing information that will in some way help my customer. SEO ranking is ALWAYS a secondary thought for me. My logic is that quality content trumps quantity content. It’s my name and my company’s name on that article and if I am going to represent Warline as a quality first painting company, my blog and writing better reflect that same level of quality.
So I don’t push out badly written, pointless articles that are littered with keywords, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. I am not saying my articles are by any means perfect or that everything I write is earth shattering but you will never read one of my articles that reads keyword after keyword, that does nothing for the benefit of the reader and is obviously written for solely for Google.
Does it matter? As long as your Google ranking is good, why should you care? Because first and foremost you are a painting company that has real people working in it and real customers reading what you write.
What kind of impression are you giving your existing customers and potential customers if your articles are full of typos? Think of each typo as a paint drop on the floor. Get the connection? The same goes for writing keyword articles. Do you pay attention to commercials during your favourite show or is that when you get up and go get a snack? Your customer knows when they are being sold too.
So how to you get away from bad writing?
First, write with purpose that is more than just SEO. Think about how you want to be perceived by your audience. Is it as an expert in your area in restorations? Maybe it is as an equipment and product expert that provides reviews on the latest tools. Find something you can write informatively on and go with that. Not every article needs to be directly related to that topic, but definitely build an inventory of quality articles that establish yourself as an authority on a subject.
Also, take your time writing and editing before you post. Fresh eyes have an amazing ability to see things you missed so don’t ever post your first draft and if you have the chance to have someone else read your pre-published articles, definitely do that too. I find a huge number of mistakes that spell check misses by reading my articles aloud.
And lastly, slow down. You do not need to post daily or weekly. Yes, I just said that. Look, unless you are building a company that you only plan to have around for a year or two, your blog is a long term investment in your business.
Focus more on writing less, but better articles and eventually you will have a collection. Write when you are inspired. Write when you have the time. And write when you have something to say.
That way you can ensure someone always wants to listen.
25 thoughts on “If You Haven’t Got Anything Good to Say, Please Shut Up”
Hala-freakin-lujah. Quality over Quantity everday of the week. Thanks for the rant. SEO people spend to much time worrying about ranking, and end up ruining blogs.
Fabulous article, Heidi! You are so right, it’s so easy to get bogged down in the WRONG things – what (or who) are we writing for anyway? Thanks for the powerful reminder 🙂
Thank you, Heidi, for putting your foot down on the throat of this one!
YAY! Fabulous words! I don’t even know my Google ranking and where to look! I have been blogging for over 18 months and still don’t care about all that stuff. A blogger I admire also said the same thing as you Heidi, if you have nothing to say then don’t blog!
Thanks for the encouragement. One of the reasons I don’t blog much cause in my mind good content is hard to come by and well written content is more of a challenge. My last blog (posted here on BP) was rather easy considering it came from my current experience on a job at the time. And the fact I had run into it in the past helped me nail down a few ideas on the subject. I felt like I had a case to write about. Since then, nothing has come to mind. I like the blogging experience to come natural, not something I have to conjure up. No hurry here!
Heidi, I enjoy your blog. You are on Topic answering questions your customers may have (or didn’t even know they have.) You are doing it right. The most important readers of your Blog are your customers and potential customers. My favorite Blog post was your May 22 about sending leads elsewhere..Bravo..that lady reminds me of the majority of people that find us on Yelp, looking for deals; those are not your customers.
I wonder when the general consensus became you must have a blog for SEO? SEO is still quality of incoming links to relevant content vs. your competition.
Excellent advice Heidi! Love your point about getting fresh eyes on a draft and reading it aloud, thanks!
Thanks for all the positive feedback everyone. I’m glad I don’t stand alone on this topic. John, the idea that you need a blog for SEO is the lazy SEO expert’s way of getting his client to all his work for him. He doesn’t care about how badly written a blog is only that it is splattered with keywords.
What I wonder, is how long it will be before Google recognizes bad keyword writing and punishing for it? 🙂
Everything I’ve seen blogged has already been said. I was going to give it a go but gonna stick to my local round table of fellow contractors with over 150 yrs of painting and business experience. My customers aren’t concerned about my blogg and 99% of the ones being read are being read by fellow contractors. My SEO is fine without blogging.
That’s an excellent point Nick. Networking in the real world will always trump the internet.
Heidi, Great post. I totally agree with everything you work..hence my lack of posting a blog since the end of Nov. I don’t have time to even reads posts these days but somehow I found time for yours. I have a half written post that I hope to get up before Christmas but who knows?
Its the single most aggravating thing I find when people write for SEO. I get why they do it, but I don’t like it.
I must admit, my SEO guy trained me and I in return trained my secretary to blog for SEO. Good point on how Googles not our customer. I’m gonna have to rethink how we blog now.
Darrell, thanks for stopping by, subscribe to BP for more great articles, all written by members in the industry with the same goal!
“Google is not your customer.” Definitely the line that stuck out most for me in this post. Google is constantly changing what they use to rank pages making it impossible to keep up with them. Focusing on providing quality content to your customer should always be first and foremost.
Great post Heidi. I have been thinking of the same things lately and am getting tired of being stressed out to get the next blog out. I do still always write for my readers, which is a good thing. Good points to ponder.
Nothing wrong with blogging but what I’m learning here is that it’s all about how you go about it. I think it’s necessary to have fresh content on the website because that keeps the Google bots happy and keeps your web site within your SEO goals. But what is blogged and how it’s blogged is really the crux of it all. Blogging life’s hurdles vs blogging about business practices/products or techniques are two different ways and styles. Blogging for the purpose of educating someone is written differently (much more constructed) than someone blogging about their pet dog or family or plane trip to Hawaii (I’m still waiting for the experience to blog about this…) I think there is a balance and for each business the balance can way differently.
BTW… too bad there isn’t some kind of “thanks” button for each post like there is on PT. Thanks Heidi for this blog, and thank you to the rest of you for your insights that elaborate more on the subject. Good stuff!
Thanks Jason. That is a great compliment.
I couldn’t have said it better myself, Heidi. Thanks for having the guts to tell it like it is!
Thank you Heidi! Our SEO company writes basic generic blogs for us (at least until January they do). When I write, I only do quality through articles. I hate when I see a generic update by our SEO company just to try and bump our ranking… It drives me nuts and I hate that our clients are getting hammered this way. Thank you for a quality article and I look forward to more in the future!
Thanks for stopping by Patrick. If your site is set up properly for good SEO and you keep adding quality content, I bet your SEO rankings will improve without the keyword updates. Keep us posted and good luck.