This is an excerpt from the fourteenth edition of The Write Fit, a fortnightly newsletter about writing, editing and proofreading, content marketing and good editorial practices for business, from Sarah Mitchell and Dan Hatch at Typeset.
When I was a kid, y’know what scared the bejesus out of me?
Also, one Christmas, my much-older cousins made me watch all the Chucky films back-to-back, leaving me catatonic that entire summer. But mostly it was Daleks.
Daleks are tentacled, one-eyed, organic blobs encased in what looks like a big metal pepper pot. They are violent, merciless, and hell-bent on conquering the universe. What kid wouldn’t be scared of that?
You want to know what scares me these days, as an adult?
Still the Chucky films, of course, but mostly it’s this data from the State of Writing 2020 report Typeset co-produced with Mantis Research and released a couple of weeks ago.
Sixty-four per cent of survey respondents said three-quarters of all their business writing is published online. That’s content like blog posts, white papers, and so on. So far, so good.
Only 10 per cent of marketers who said they were “moderately effective” routinely edit their content to ensure it is optimised for search engines. Even among the “most effective” marketers, just 23 per cent are editing for search engine optimisation (SEO).
And that’s just editing. What about considering SEO throughout the publication process?
Overall, attention to search was very low. Here’s what the research discovered about our SEO-related priorities when creating online content for our brands:
Folks, we have to change this.
If 75 per cent of your content is being published online, then writing and editing for SEO is absolutely vital to ensuring your content is as successful as possible. It’s the thing that helps Google, and your customers, find you. It’s the single best way to supercharge your content.
Look at it this way.
Your content is like that Dalek. It’s kind of a blob. It might be a blob with a big angry message, but it’s not terribly powerful. It’s just a blob.
SEO is like the Dalek’s metallic shell. It’s the pepper pot. It’s the high-tech bit that allows you to spread your message as powerfully as possible.
SEO is the armour we put on our content so we can send it out in the battlefield of the internet.
And both parts, working together, are essential if you want to conquer all.
So if SEO isn’t your strong suit, or it’s something you ignore, avoid, or hide behind the couch to get away from, make 2020 the year you change that.
Honestly, once you get the hang of it, it’s child’s play!
5 March 2020
2021 global survey into writing effectiveness is now open: If you’d like to contribute to our State of Writing research for next year, please take the State of Writing 2021 survey. All participants will receive an early copy of the report (before publication).
The above is just one small part of our fortnightly newsletter. It’s jam-packed with excellent advice, tips and news for anyone who writes for their business. Get your own copy here: