((This is a continuation of our series of posts about why content is your best investment as a business. To view the entire guide in reverse chronological order, click here))
Previously we looked at pseudoscience in content marketing as one of the weaknesses of content. Another weakness to content is that there are no guarantees when it comes to how well your any individual piece of content will work or how quickly it will take effect. The best written content will occasionally fall flat; while content that has a few errors, isn’t as interesting, or has poor keyword placement does extremely well a lot of the time.
There are numerous theories for this and most of them are probably wrong. The most likely reasons that some content does better than others include:
- Competition – Most people forget that competition plays an incredible role in where your articles and pages rank. That is why you need to keep developing content and articles, so that you outdo your competition over time. This is the most likely reason an article struggles, because other articles and other websites have created the content better before you.
- Originality – You can write a 100% original article and search engines may not feel it is original enough. Why? Because there are billions and billions of pages already online, and while your article may use words that are 100% your own, it may still resemble just a little too much an article that already exists.
- Incoming Links – Some articles are referenced often online, and even though references may not show up as “incoming links,” they may still affect its page rank. If your competitor’s pages have many of these incoming links, your article may be left behind.
- Algorithms Are Computers – Your content is not being read by a person. It’s being read by a machine. That machine decides where your article places, its importance, its relevance, and so on. Because it’s a machine, it can easily be wrong.
- Websites With More Targeted Keywords – Imagine you’re a landscape installation company that also does landscape design. You have created one of the best websites online for landscape installation, showing up for almost every keyword. You decide to write about landscape design on one of your pages, only to find that it shows up below a terrible website. Why did it show up below? Possibly because that website wrote exclusively about landscape design, and much less about installation. Their content was better targeted towards the design field. Over time you can overcome this, but if someone optimized their site better for “design” you may not be able to simply displace them just because you want to – at least not right away.
All of these are reasons that quantity is as important as quality. The more content you invest in, the more likely your content ranks well in search engines.
But it’s also important to remember that there is no such thing as wasted content. If you write a keyword laden article, post it to an article directory, and it gets zero hits, that article was still useful.
Why? Because a search engine spider will still read the article and notice the incoming links to your website. It will then pay more attention to your website in the future for those types of keywords, and thanks to that article and others, your page rank will improve incrementally. You can add 100 pages that never get a single hit, and you will still benefit because the keywords you DO rank for will all improve in search results.
So while it’s possible that even the most perfect article can “fail,” there is no such thing as a true failure when it comes to content marketing. Any and all articles have an effect on your ability to compete in the online world, so every piece of content you write has a purpose.