The Old Indian Joke (& Few Minor Issues In Content Writing)

In Content Writing

Let’s get on with the joke first. There was this boy who meticulously memorised an essay on cow. Days in and days out he worked on it because he ‘knew’ that question is a certainty in the exam. Sadly, the essay which they were asked to write was aeroplane. The indomitable protagonist sighed and then started writing “an aeroplane was flying. Due to mechanical problems it had to land under emergency. The aeroplane fortunately landed safely on a meadow. In that meadow there were lots of cows grazing. A cow is a domestic animal which has four legs, a tail and gives us milk……

Somehow, when I read SEO write ups, I can’t stop remembering this joke. No matter how and which topic the writer starts with, he she eventually will find a way to do things like

  • Insert anchor texts and back links.
  • Go back to the essay on cow, i.e. go back to the same old and perhaps rotten from overuse seo tips and tricks.

It may sound good at the first go. Oh, what a gifted writer he must be who can connect anything to SEO and create anchor texts from nowhere. Frankly, till 2012 I also somehow praised these tireless people who can churn out pages after pages on the very same topic and that too creating exact backlinks and finding new bottles for the same old wine.

But, ENOUGH! Please stop. While praising them one important factor I overlooked. How much value are they delivering to the actual reader? Do we want to open a page seeking something and end up getting something else; this “something else” being the very same old wine? Probably no. No wonder, there is such a high bounce rate present in most of the cases.

I always maintained, useless traffic is really useless. The traffic which will never convert, why spend time, effort and money in bringing them to the site? From the bounce rate definition, we know that those customers didn’t convert into potential leads. And why they bounced? Because they came home expecting something else and the moment they saw you baited and lured them, they took 3/4th of a second to close the tab of the browser.

My history teacher, once when asked if he would like to make a speech on communal harmony in India, told me a gem, “it is very easy to point out problems, it is very difficult to suggest the solutions. The former is abundant, the later rare”. When I started writing this piece, I remembered his advice. And Yes, I, with all my sincerity and earnestness, will share what to do to avoid this.

  1. Don’t write for keywords. Write with the desire to truly guide someone or suggest someone or to impart knowledge. If you don’t know, don’t write.
  2. Headings (and yes, keywords, I can feel you are dying to insert it) should truly reflect the content of the piece. If this is about “whales in the pacific”, it should not be a write up selling a pacific holiday. That line might come at last, in a suggestive note but should not form the main body or the flow in the article.
  3. Did your father represent a brand to you? But still whenever he suggested something (at least till you were young) you trusted him. Building that trust takes a huge effort. Build that trust, be a name, else none is going to accept whatever you say. Be a father to your readers, not a salesman.

Until you are ready to these, suffer from high bounce rates, zero conversions and high exit rates. You can bait people to come but not so easy it is when it comes to selling. Best of luck mate (and apologies if the somewhat nerdy joke was blahh).

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