Copywriters! I love all you mofos. You listen to us SEOs far better than other professionals. Lowkey, you’re my favourite mofos.
From fren to fren, colleague to colleague, please, please, please, get to the bloody point with your articles.
There’s been a sort of a trend that’s been brewing for a while now.
You see it with content-led sites, and by content, in this case, I mean Copy-led sites.
Sites like The Guardian, Deadline, The Sun – sites where news reporting and response is prevalent.
The Copy on these types of sites tend to go on and on around the title of content before actually getting to the point of the content.
For example, Disney recently decided to move the Black Widow release by a few months.
This piece of news was then jumped on by shitloads of websites that decided to have their own spin on the news.
Now, ordinarily, there’s nothing wrong with doing this. Using a piece of news as material to create content is great!
However, when a piece of news is bolstered by many related news, in the same article, and sometimes, before the main point of the article, it becomes annoying to the reader.
The Black Widow release date, having been pushed back, is a piece of new that’s also material for writers to use. Great!
Having several paragraphs – about who the director is, about the stars, where they currently live, last time they were on-screen – all interesting, yet irrelevant to the actual news of the movie being delayed are not necessary in a piece about the movie release being delayed!
Now, I get it!
We, SEOs, have typically suggested a word count for articles.
Quick background to this –
There was a time when SEOs battled to get businesses to create content, which would benefit SEO.
Now, this was a time where creating content to a business meant literally writing only a sentence or two on a page. This, of course, is not enough for SEO.
A page needs Copy that’s substantial to the page.
Businesses have always been visually-led. The leaders who approve budgets have a marketing background that uses more of a traditional marketing approach. More visual, less Copy.
This mindset was influenced on what we had on websites, years ago.
Bear in mind, this was waaay before the ‘Content is King’ saying that everyone now knows and agrees with.
Back then, SEOs had to fight to get more Copy on pages, had to justify, and be specific with the request to have more Copy.
This led to the 400-word article recommendations we’re all now familiar with – which, of course, has gone up to 750 and even 1,000+ word article, for ‘long form’ content.
Folks, Copywriters, my frens, we’re focusing too much on the metrics and have gotten away from the point of having Copy on pages.
The Copy on pages need to be substantial to the page.
So. whilst you shouldn’t create a page with just one or two sentences of Copy, you don’t always have 1,000 words of Copy when you publish an article.
Sticking to a word count length is why we have a lot of articles that now dance around a point before, during and after the point of the article is made.
Copywriters, and again, I love you mofos, but you tend to have fillers in your articles.
Fillers that are used to meet the word count you adhere to.
Fillers intended to keep a users on a page for longer.
Fillers that make the point of your articles convoluted.
This is not serving users.
You know what fillers remind me of…?
It reminds me of the days of article spinning!
The intent is kinda similar, isn’t it…?
An article is written, less for users, and actually, mainly to cater to search engines – using the metric of word count.
An article about any given topic can be written unlimited amount of times.
Why? Because there is always an angle of the topic that can be taken. An unlimited amount.
The result of this is that Copy ends up being rehashed on several pages.
This does not serve users.
And if you believe you’re giving search engines keyword synonyms, you’re actually not.
Remember, search engines aim to serve users with the information they seek, and they aim to do this quickly.
Speed is of the essence.
Now, when we think of speed, we tend to associate this with page speed.
Another form of speed is how quickly a user can find the information they seek when they click on a site.
The more precise you are, with your article, the better engaged a user will be.
The more fillers you have, the more distracted a user becomes.
And in the age where attention is currency, distractions are not welcomed.
I know this may seem counter-intuitive.
The more content you can provide a user, the better, right?
You see, by providing too much content when the users does not ask for it will turn the user to another source who can provide precisely what they seek when they seek it.
Now, the option to explore with a source will always be welcomed.
The ‘read more’ option with related articles, for example, will always be something a users appreciates.
But, when you have an article with related content within the article itself, it’s a turn off.
Now, this isn’t something that’s shown in metrics, yet.
However, my read of what search engines are doing, tells me that precision of content, is going to quickly become a factor that we, as marketers, take into consideration.
When I think of passage indexing, I think of a search engine who’s trying to find a better way to show its users precisely what they seek.
When I think of mobile-first, and even, mobile-only indexing, I think of an era where the speed of access to information is key.
I also think of an era where the speed of access of information is key – i.e. the ability to find the answer to a query, quickly.
And, also, when I think of Gen Z, I see an entire generation, a new generation that will quickly get hip to marketing BS and become intolerant of it faster than even the most agile business can cultivate change.
So, Copywriters. My dear, Copywriters. Get to the point with your articles.