Last week, an SEO agency called me. They represented a B2B company that was in need of content – OK, that’s fine.
And then, the prospect started talking about the gig…
“The client needs three blog posts a week, all an average of 500 words. That’s what Google wants, you know”
“The pages should have a keyphrase density of 6.7 percent.”
“We don’t want to spend much for this content – our budget is around $30/article.”
That was strike one, strike two, and strike three for me.
The client pointed me to an example page, and here’s what I found:
- The content was filled with grammatical errors
- There was no call-to-action anywhere. So, it was a content “dead-end” page that wasn’t helping with conversion rates.
- The post didn’t dovetail with anything that the client offered.
- The post drifted off and stopped making sense at about the 300 word mark. Obviously, the writer tried to “fluff it up” and added an additional 200 words because they were “supposed to.”
And who only knows how much the agency charged the B2B end client. I’m willing to bet that the $30 content “investment” turned into a $250-$300 content charge to the client.
I had a little fun with the agency person and started asking hard questions like, “So, tell me how X post is converting for the client? What’s the call to action here? Is this the right voice that works with the target audience?”
Sure, I was letting my inner bitch come out and play – but I asked nicely. And they were highly valid questions.
The agency person didn’t know what to say. He stammered and hemmed and hawed and finally said…and I bet you can say it with me…
“Well, the content is good for Google – so that’s all we care about.”
Here’s the deal: Google doesn’t give a shit about your word count. Nor does it care how many blog posts you upload a week. And it really doesn’t care about keyword density.
What your site needs are the right freakin’ words. Not necessarily MORE words – the right ones. The ones that connect with your prospects, build trust and encourages a conversion.
Sadly, this attitude is extremely common with SEOs and agencies (not all of them – there are “good guys” out there. But the crappy ones outweigh the good ones.) They may talk a good game and say that “content is king.” And then they turn around and order cheap content that has nothing to do with the site’s conversion goals and pass it off as SEO gold.
What’s worse – the poor B2B client doesn’t know. They think that the SEO is looking after their best interests.
So, here are a few reality checks:
- If your SEO/agency is recommending daily blog posts (or any other kind of content,) ask them how that content ties into your conversion goals. If they say the content is “for Google,” – and that’s the only benefit – don’t do it. The world doesn’t need more crappy content.
- If your first concern is the content price – you’re having the wrong conversation. Good content makes you money, period. It’s like paying a higher salary to a sizzling-hot salesperson who closes big deals. That doesn’t mean that you have to pay $500 a page every time. But it means that you have to weigh the cost of the content against return on investment. The best writing firm (or writer) isn’t the cheapest writer. The best writer is the person who will make you more money.
- If your SEO/agency is pushing “more content” when your sales copy sucks, run away. You need to pay attention to where your money comes from – and that means taking a hard look at your sales and lead generation pages. I’m sure that your CEO didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Our new mission statement is to have our content +1′ed all over the place.” The name of the game is to make more freakin’ money. Shore up your sales pages first. Make sure that they are connecting with your customers and converting like crazy. THEN look at your other marketing collateral.
Sheesh…rant over. But the situation did give me an idea…
I’m working on an weekly mentoring class for B2B companies that want to take back their content, see what’s really working and find proven ways to connect with their prospects. There’s no reason to pay an SEO to do this for you when you’re perfectly capable of taking care of it yourself. Ping me if you’re struggling in-house (or struggling with your outsourced provider) and need help – I’d love your feedback and ideas. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Thanks!
Do you work in-house for a B2B company? Can you please help me by answering a few short survey questions? I promise that it won’t take more than 2-3 minutes of your time. Thank you so much!