Content is King, but Bad Content is a Jester

Content, content, content. In the digital marketing realm today it’s all about content. Google made it so.

A couple of years back Google changed its algorithm to move away from using keywords, which clever people had learned to totally game, and toward what was actually on the websites its bots crawled, the content. Suddenly, content became a hot commodity. Everyone wanted more content to help Google find and rank their site.

But that content can’t just be junk, filler. There are so many “content manager,” “content writer,” and the like jobs out there it makes you wonder how there can ever be enough qualified writers to provide it.

Therein lies the problem. Many companies, in our case practices, know they need content to flesh out their websites and make them more searchable by Google and Bing. But they don’t want to pay for it, or they don’t want to pay someone much above subsistence for it.

And you get what you pay for.

If you’re having Advice Media provide content for your webpages and blog posts, you’ve nothing to worry about. We hire professional writers who are constantly providing original, interesting content for your site. But if you’ve opted to provide your content, it’s important that you don’t take shortcuts. Because, while good content helps your patients learn more about you and your practice, bad content is a waste of time…and it could be hurting you in search.

Words. Words. Words.

According to WordPress, the blog-hosting behemoth, its users produce 73.9 million new posts and 49.0 million new comments each month. Do the math, and that equates to 2.4 million daily posts just on WordPress.

Google, in theory, likes all of that content. After all, Google’s search mantra is to deliver the best search results to searchers in the fewest clicks. To achieve that its web crawlers are searching for content that delivers value and matches the user’s search expectations. Content is one of Google’s top three ranking factors.

Good content helps Google understand what a site is about and what it wants to be known for. This makes it easier to match that site with the appropriate searcher.

Bad content = bad search results

So, if Google just wants content, who cares what you put out there, right? Why not just duplicate older stuff? Why not just throw together the practice names and other terms in grammatically flawed, repetitious pieces of drivel? Why not just plagiarize whole sections? Why not use keywords and simply blather on about Dr. this and procedure that in boring harmony? If it’s content Google wants, then content it is.

But that’s where practices miss the content boat, so to speak. Google punishes bad content by lowering the site in search rankings. It penalizes sites with lots of duplicate content. It punishes content stolen and pasted from other sites. It punishes bad grammar. And it punishes empty content that is just a mess of keyword-laden filler.

Good content fills certain needs

If you’re providing your content, it needs to be good content. Anything else is a waste of everyone’s time: yours; Google’s; and most important, your site’s visitors. You can have your receptionist write your blog posts, despite his/her aversion to the rules of grammar and interest in research, but it won’t get you higher in the search. You can hire someone on Odesk and pay them $5 a blog, less than you’d pay someone to make your hamburger at McDonald’s. The quality will no doubt be top notch.

Good content should do certain things:

  • It should answer questions for your site visitors.
  • It should engage them, rather than browbeat them with self-promotion.
  • It should be readable, free of typos and grammatical mistakes.
  • It should identify clearly what a site/doctor wants to be known for.
  • It should make it easy for search engines to understand the content and the site.
  • It should be more interesting than the content of your competitors.
  • It should be updated regularly.

If you’re providing content for your website, don’t be a part of the problem. Bad content reflects poorly on your practice, and it rewards hacks and all of the people willing to take shortcuts. What does that say about your practice to your potential patients?

If we’re not providing your content, we should be. For more information on providing good content for your practice website, contact your Advice Media Representative.

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