Having a company website is just the first step toward having a larger virtual presence. Those pages need content to fill them. Like any other commodity, content costs money, and you have options ranging from bargain-basement prices to top-of-the-line services. Your budget, expected traffic and company size shape your choices to a large extent, but it’s natural to look for the best bid on content services. For unwary site owners, though, choosing inexpensive copy options could be a false economy.
Article Spinning – How Machines Can Ruin Your Content More Efficiently
One way cut-rate content providers give their clients such good rates is that they recycle content. Duplicate content gets harshly penalized by search engines, but copy can also be repurposed so it appears original to Google, Bing and Yahoo even if it’s substantively the same as the original. These content creators often use article spinning software to produce articles, blog posts and site copy that passes for original work, but the results aren’t always ready for publication.
If you ever played a game of Mad Libs, you know a bit about how article spinning works. Typically, the spinner takes the original article and feeds it through the automated spinning system that strips out some words and phrases to replace them with common synonyms. For example, “She put on her coat and went to the office” might become “She wore her jacket and traveled to work.” That seems fairly close, but automated article spinners can’t tell if the language used makes sense, especially for idiomatic phrases and common expressions.
Take this sentence: “We write original content for our customers.” One actual result from an article spinner came up with “We compose unique substance for our clients.” Another spit out “We publish authentic desire for our people” – a phrase that is not only miles away from the original but could give a very different impression of a company’s line of work.
Writing Like a Native
Even with human oversight, article spinning isn’t usually a good deal if it’s significantly under-priced. Most of these offers come from writers who didn’t grow up speaking English and use article spinning software to produce the incredible volume needed to make work that pays pennies per assignment pay. A native speaker can read awkward machine-generated phrases and manually correct them to produce some semblance of sense, but for non-native writers of the language who don’t know idiomatic English, that may be a tall order.
Grammar and spelling mistakes aren’t a big deal in a language class; people are there to learn. When you’re paying for content, though, it needs to be flawless. You can’t expect visitors to your site to care what you tell them when they notice the writer didn’t care enough to correct obvious mistakes. While it’s unlikely that people will flee your site at the site of a single misplaced modifier, visitors will look askance at visibly sub-par content.
Developing Your Brand
A brand is more than just a name; it’s something your customers see as part of their lives. Everything you do contributes to brand-building, and that includes your site copy and email creative. Spun content has no personality of its own; how could it? It’s taken from another source, diced finely, reheated and served as a new dish. Rehashed, spun content does nothing for brand development and can even hinder your other branding efforts by associating your name with generic, lackluster or poorly constructed work.
What’s written on your site is your company’s virtual storefront. Great content makes it clean, attractive and inviting to your visitors. When your competitors’ shops are only a click away, that’s vital. Investing in quality content may cost a bit more up front, but it pays off in lower bounce rates and increased traffic.
Contact our SEO experts today at 855.867.3224 to learn more about how our copywriters can provide you with content marketing that will improve your rankings and site traffic.