Everyone trying to market themselves on the Internet needs content these days, and lots of it. Having great content is still the #1 best way to attract more leads to your website and engage them, and everyone playing the inbound marketing game knows it. The problem comes from finding sources for the unique content creation that's necessary to make inbound marketing work.
There are a lot of options out there for people who need unique content creation, but not all of them will actually solve your problems. In fact, there are some that can be downright harmful, damaging your reputation and endangering your search rankings.
Beware Companies Who Cheat On Unique Content Creation
Unfortunately, a lot of less-reputable SEO firms forget about the "unique" part. You can find them easily enough with a little Google searching, usually bragging about how they can set you up with a website with hundreds of pages of content in a matter of days. Sadly, a lot of newcomers to the scene fall for this without asking the critical question, "Where is all that content coming from?"
Well, they're cheating. The best you can hope for is that they have a team of people - who generally don't speak English natively - throwing words on a page just to get the content made.
Another popular option is to use "autospinning" software to create the articles. This software takes a single article as input - often one already on the web - and then sends it through a series of thesaurus functions that rewrite the exact same information over and over. This produces hundreds of articles that might look unique at a glance, but have entirely the same content.
Or, at worst, they may not even go to that much effort and instead resort to creating "splogs," or spam blogs, which have no actual content at all. They're just machine generated gibberish that looks just realistic enough to fool search spiders into thinking it's an actual article. No human would ever read it, though.
However these companies do it, all of these methods are fundamentally destructive. You might see a boost to your website hits initially, thanks to the tactics they use to trick Google into thinking the content is legitimate, but it will catch up to you and potentially destroy your search rankings. Plus, in the meantime, why would anyone buy anything from a site filled with junk content?
No, there is really only one way to produce truly good, unique content that gets results:
The Only Good, Unique Content Creation Is Hand-Made
No computer can take the place of a skilled human writer. While perhaps one day in the future we'll have artificial intelligence that can create a decent article, that day is still a long way off. Any kind of content that's automatically generated today will be junk that drives away customers, rather than attracting them.
You can't cheat on content. Whether you're writing it yourself or hiring an Internet marketing consultant to assist you with your unique content creation, it has to be done by hand, the old-fashioned way. Good writers who are writing about good ideas are what bring new customers and leads your way.
Walk the Tightrope
When dealing with SEO, you need to remember that you're serving two masters. You have to format your web pages in such a way that search engines like Google will value it, but you also have to provide actual content that people want to read. Any approach which entirely favors one of these over the other will result in bad SEO.
Do you have any good stories about a website getting burned by bad content? Share your tales of horror in the comments!