Is learned helplessness screwing over your SEO content?

Last week, I wrote a rant-filled post about an SEO firm filling up their client’s site with crappy blog posts because “that’s what Google wants.”

It was one of my most popular posts ever.

I started thinking about this from the client’s perspective. The content obviously sucked, so it’s not like the SEO could pass this off as “quality.” And I couldn’t figure out why the hell the client wouldn’t fire the SEO – or at least say that they were no longer in charge of sourcing the content.

And then, while I was doing pushups during my morning bootcamp class, it hit me.

Learned helplessless has way too many companies by the balls.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard…

…We want to write more content, but we’re afraid that we’ll do something wrong.

…We’re not sure if this is the right content, but our SEO company says it’s working – so it must be OK.

…I don’t have time to measure content effectiveness. I’d rather just pay $20 or so per page. That way, if it sucks, I’m not out a lot of money.

…We want to create more content in-house. But we don’t know what to write about or how to set up a workflow. And who has time to figure it out?

Sound familiar?

I understand. I really do. With the 1,000 other things on your plate, it’s easier to “set it and forget it” than really dig in to your SEO content plans.

But here’s the thing:  You are  leaving money on the table by NOT having a content plan in place. And if your writing doesn’t connect with your reader, it’s not doing you any good.

Unless you want things to stay where they are, you need to take action. Now. Right now. Quit screwing around and get yourself the help you need.

…If you have the capabilities to bring your content in-house, get your writers trained in SEO copy development best practices.

Yes, this has an upfront cost. But over the long run, it will literally save you thousands of dollars. Hell, even over the short run. Plus, you’ll learn how to create content that positions well and gets more social shares. You won’t piss Google off if you learn exactly what you should do.

…You should never have to settle for stinky content. If your SEO company (or SEO copywriter) is writing crap content, find someone else to write it.

There are many firms that specialize in SEO content development (mine included.) An excellent writer will ask you questions about your customer persona, your benefits, your brand “voice” and your competition – and craft what your readers want to read. Here are some questions to ask – and some red flags to avoid – if you want to hire a Google-savvy SEO copywriter.

…If you plan to dominate the world with your so-so  $20/page for 1000 words of content, get over yourself.

As I mentioned last week, your site doesn’t need more words – it needs the right words. If you need someone to write a kick-ass sales page – or research and write a blog post – that’s going to cost you more money. The good news is that it will also make you more money too. Again, if you find a firm that you love and trust, the additional fee you’ll be charge will be way worth the ROi.

…If you want to create content in house, but you’re not sure what to write about – hire a consultant.

I’m working with more companies in this capacity. I may not write a word of copy, but I do make content recommendations, set up an editorial calendar, teach the marketing team how to find topics and help measure effectiveness. With a good plan in place, those content marketing initiatives start screaming along.

It’s time for you to take control of your SEO content. You wouldn’t settle for a so-so salesperson. Or a customer service rep who didn’t perform. The same goes for your content.

The moment you stop settling is the moment that you’ll start seeing the results you really want. It will take some work and effort on your part, sure.

But it will be worth it. And you’ll be able to break free of the learned helplessness trap.

Need help setting up a workflow and editorial calendar? I can train your team in best practices, set up your editorial calendar and make sure that you’re set up for SEO content success. Contact me for details.