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Common Sense Alert: Entertaining Content is King

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Matt Gardner

Copywriting Team Leader

I'm tired of the many conversations regarding the need for content to work in a certain way, achieve particular goals, or partner with notable or chosen websites to achieve the best results for clients. It's hogwash; tommy rot; nonsensical. If you want to provide the best results for your clients, I'll let you into a secret. It'll blow your mind. You see, the content "issue" is all too simple to remedy, even if it means harder work now for a more comfortable future. Prevention is better than the cure, and if you don't agree with the following argument, I think I may be going insane.

Learn the Eleventh Commandment: "Thou shalt write content as if it's going to be read, enjoyed and shared" [Gardner 1:1]. It sounds simple, doesn't it? Sadly, too many people do the absolute opposite and, despite early website and web content-based ranking casualties that highlighted this exact issue of terrible content, it seems that many agencies, freelancers and SEO-based afterthought maestros do not learn simple lessons. The truth is that, deep down, every user of the internet has always known what they want from content. With every Google update - Panda, Penguin, and the all-new Disavow Tool - it's becoming even more clear, too: solid, readable and entertaining content is the only thing that's relevant in SEO campaigns. The aforementioned casualties - EzineArticles.com, to name one of the many awful websites in particular - have dropped from page one to the doldrums of Google's rankings because of rehashed, if not outright stolen pieces that keyword-stuff the likes of "Dallas condos" or "cheap jerseys", to name just a few. Even if I did want an apartment in Texas, or simply demand a shiny and inexpensive Pittsburgh Steelers shirt, I'd never click those links. I'd be more inclined to follow an email link on penis enlargement - not that I need to, etc etc making a point etc honestly etc - but it was clearly not the way forward in content. And remember: this website was ranking for many search terms just two years ago. Making slight reactive adjustments to this utterly basic content-based SEO theory - or masking it with superficial changes so they look like they patch up the problem - is ridiculous. It's called content for two reasons: it needs to be something that fills a page, and needs to keep people content. Yeah, I went there. I know this sounds simple, but I'm going to explain exactly what you need to start a strong, conscientious and ultimately successful content department in part two of this post. Honestly, it'll be worth the wait, I hope. Either way, I leave you on a simple, truthful and undemanding parting shot: whatever your role is in digital campaigning, you need to see SEO, marketing, PR and the wider notion of marketing as an afterthought when it comes to content. Whether you're overseeing a copywriting department, or you're in charge of creative content producers that operate through more artistic and visually-stunning means, the words are what people want. They need to be entertaining, otherwise your campaign is dead in the water. In the words of the BBC, ESPN et al: more to follow.