On paper, they have the budget and resource to offer killer content on every page, so why are so many big brands failing miserably when it comes to web content?
Restrictive sign off
Big businesses often have slow and painful sign-off processes for even the smallest of content changes. With Google’s algorithm increasingly rewarding freshness, this means they are their own worst enemies when it comes to SEO.
For many brands, populating pages involves lifting and shifting directly from manufacturer-supplied copy and images. If they are late to the party in being indexed by Google, this content will be seen as duplicate, which will prevent them from ranking. For businesses operating multiple brands under one umbrella, this is a massive headache.
All too often, big brands make the mistake of distinguishing between regular copy and SEO copy.
Many websites allocate a portion of the page (usually just above the footer) to poorly written, keyword stuffed copy, in the misguided belief that this will improve Google rankings.
Argos are one of the worst offenders of this, with a formula-based approach that generates some interesting results…
Most big brands have several stakeholders producing content, each with very different agendas. In many cases, they do so without communicating with each other. This leads to a lack of consistency, not to mention duplication.
In his presentation at the SearchLove 2011 event, Distilled’s Tom Critchlow discussed what he refers to as ‘The Content Gap’, a lack of consistent strategy between teams in the production of content.
To combat this, Tom proposed the introduction of a ‘Chief Content Officer’ position within a business. The idea is that by having someone with top level visibility and responsibility for all content production, you can prevent the above from happening.