Getting original content right
One of the common threads in the notoriously fickle world of online marketing is that publishing original content will help your site to rank better and give you a better chance of winning, retaining and converting traffic.
But publishing original content doesn't come easily. If you decide you want something unique and relevant on your site each day you have to find someone within your organisation with the writing skills, the SEO knowledge, the ideas for new articles and the ability to formulate a content marketing strategy – not to mention the time – to take the job on.
The challenge of finding or hiring such a person often encourages organisations to look for a partner to provide the content and the expertise to keep their site looking fresh and working hard for them in search and social media.
Using a third party provider also limits an organisation's liability. A business or a charity with limited or no publishing experience can get themselves into a lot of trouble very quickly if they don't know what they're doing.
The libel laws in Australia are among the strictest in the world. Defaming someone can lead to a hefty legal bill and a ruined reputation, even if the matter never goes to court.
Similarly, copyright infringement can lead to potentially fatal legal action. These rules apply to corporate blogs, websites and social media profiles just as they apply to traditional publishers, such as magazines and newspapers.
By using a third party, an organisation is buying in legal expertise, reducing the risk of problems occurring. The third party provider will also deal with any legal issues that do come up, which means the organisation is protected from potentially significant hassle and expense.
Whether you decide to take it on yourself or buy in original content from a third party, we recommend following our five steps to getting original content right:
Step 1 – Quality writing: make sure whoever provides your content can write to a high enough standard and provide copy with the appropriate tone and style for your site.
Step 2 – Fresh ideas: a big challenge for many sites is coming up with enough new ideas to publish content regularly. Be sure that your content provider has a sustainable strategy for delivering on an ongoing basis.
Step 3 – SEO basics: your content provider must know their SEO. Following a few basic rules will give your original content a much better chance of ranking for your target keywords. Without some basic SEO knowledge, your efforts will go to waste.
Step 4 – Legal know-how: your content provider must know their media law, particularly libel and copyright. Falling foul of the law is the biggest risk for organisations that decide to go it alone.
Step 5 – Content strategy: a good content strategy will tie the original content you're investing in to your wider marketing objectives. Don't just fire articles out into cyberspace. You need a clear, well-thought-out masterplan with realistic objectives.