There's a lot of content floating around the internet, thanks to the unprecedented voice that the digital medium provides. Everyone can say something, and for companies, it's an opportunity to produce a ton of content in lieu of meaningful content, which is changing the way we interact with content online. It's not surprising, either; ridiculously good content is, well, ridiculously hard to produce. It takes a lot of extra effort and strategic thought, but the benefits are enormous.
1. Anyone (and Everyone) Can Produce Quantity
If I may be frank for a moment, a lot of content on the internet is poor. It's designed specifically to boost SEO ratings (more on that later), pageviews, and ad revenue, and it's making it difficult to find meaningful content. There's a sort of ethical divide between quantity and quality, too, and it's affecting more industries than you might think. I recently had a conversation with Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media, and his insight on quality in the web design world spoke volumes.
"In this industry, where there are so many options, the best question isn’t, 'Can we do it?' The question is, 'Should we do it?' Getting everyone on the team, both clients and internal team members, to have this mentality is one of the most difficult challenges. Once everyone starts thinking strategically and using analytics and data to support decisions, the results are much better."
2. SEO Is More Than Just Keywords
Mass-produced content is so common because of the race to the top of a Google search. Ranking within the top ten search results is monumental, and falling at 11 or below guarantees low pageviews. It's this school of thought that's driving quantity over quality, but SEO is more than sheer numbers. It's a matter of strategic content that uses more than just keywords to boost rankings; it take a number of factors that are achieved through overall quality.
Think of it this way – would you rather produce multiple sub-par and ultimately pointless pieces of content or fewer strategic pieces of content that create powerful results? Ridiculously good content is hard, but it's smart.
3. Quantity Sells
Entire industries have been made thanks to sheer quantity when it comes to content, and for good reason – quantity sells. People are paying a stunning amount of money to outsource their content, which is having a huge impact on the overall quality of their content. However, it tends to damage relationships with their clients, who are being starved of quality content.
As Andy told me, "At a higher level, empathy isn’t just about the client, it’s about the client’s clients and their website visitors. A great designer can put themselves into the hearts and minds of visitors. They see the site through their eyes. So when the client asks for something that would fall flat, they can guide the decision toward something that works. This is the difference between good and great content."