Suck it up! Content is never perfect

Here’s one of the basic truths of Content Marketing: The only content that works for you is the stuff in public on your site.

I believe the most important functions of website content are:

  1. SEO leverage – bringing the right people to your site
  2. Conversion – sales; other kinds of interaction such as signing up for a newsletter, moving the prospect through your sales funnel, and so on
  3. Growing and leveraging your brand – building the relationship with your audience or customers

Not all content does all of these. But, whatever its function, it can only do what you want it to if people and the search engines can read it on your site. Hiding bashfully on your side of your firewall, it’s just wasted resources.

Don’t let content get stuck

Often, content is not seeing the light of day because it’s not quite right. It doesn’t fit somehow. Or it has triggered a chain of thinking that illuminates your business in a way you hadn’t thought of before.

The words need changing, but you need to think the implications through.

If this happens, you’re trapped. The content you commissioned or wrote is frozen as if in amber. It looks pretty, but it’s definitely not doing anything useful.

Or maybe it’s print-era thinking. That it’s going to be impossible to change once you give the go-ahead. Plainly, that’s rubbish. 

You can change content any time you want to. And, assuming you have a CMS (content management system) like the vast majority of websites, the cost is minimal, or probably zero. No second or third print runs at great expense today.

Don’t let the perfectionist in you win out

You must do the best you can now. Don’t worry about the ideas that are floating around in your brain, not quite in focus. That’s for tomorrow. Or, realistically, the day after ;-). Those ideas make for another piece for your website.

As you think and tweak, your research and strategy ages. Leave it too long, and your hard-won data and strategy may no longer be as on-point as they were when the first draft was made. Write – or otherwise generate (video, record) – the content. Edit. Publish. And move on.

And here’s another gotcha. Commissioning or updating the research and strategy because it’s months since you received the content is just another rabbit hole of delay.

Have the courage of commitment and put the material up on your website as soon as it’s realistically as good as it will be. I’ll say again, you can always tweak it later (my betting is you won’t; few of us do).

This blog post appeared in David Rosam’s Digital Marketing Thing

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Photo by Sigmund from Unsplash.

David Rosam, photographed by the River Arun in Littlehampton.

David Rosam has been working online for more than 25 years, after a career in direct marketing copywriting for the tech and financial services industries.

Today, he specialises in Content-Leveraged Search Engine Optimisation—from audits, through research and strategy to implementation.

He was probably the UK’s first SEO Copywriter.