You might have noticed that a lot of corporate blogs are terrible. Frequently they’re full of bland articles that don’t say anything meaningful and, even if they’re grammatically correct, they’re written in a very clumsy, unreadable style.
How can this happen? Why do some quite impressive businesses allow such utter garbage to be published on their blogs? Whenever you see a blog like this on a corporate website, it’s a pretty safe bet that an SEO person is behind it. I’ve spoken to a few companies recently where they know their blog content is awful, but they put up with it because their SEO consultant has told them that this is what Google likes.
Plenty of SEO people are great at what they do and I don’t want to tar the entire discipline with the same brush. But there are some SEO ‘experts’ who think that the best way to get your website ranked highly in Google is to stuff the blog full of spammy copy that’s been heavily keyword optimised, with absolutely no regard for how it might appear to a human reader.
There are at least two simple reasons why this approach is not just wrong, but highly damaging to the brand:
1) Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that this approach does have some merit and brings potential customers to your corporate blog. Instead of finding something useful or interesting (which, let’s not forget, is what they were actually searching for) they’re confronted with a wall of badly written SEO copy. How do you think that affects their opinion of your organisation?
2) It probably doesn’t even work very well as an SEO tactic. The more recent updates to Google’s algorithms (i.e. the software that decides which pages are listed at the top of the search results) have been heavily focused on promoting good quality content and downgrading poor quality content that’s been designed specifically for SEO purposes.
Most serious SEO professionals these days agree that consistently posting great content that your audience will find interesting enough to share with others is the best way to improve your site’s performance in search engines. So what’s good for SEO is also what’s good for the brand.
Your blog should be a place for helpful articles, thought leadership, interesting infographics, engaging video and anything which lets your customers know that you understand their needs. If your SEO guy still thinks presenting your site’s visitors with spammy, meaningless garbage is a good idea, maybe it’s time to fire him.