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So Effing Ordinary: I Am Begging You to Create More Interesting SEO Content

Brett McGrath

Aug 2, 2021

So Effing Ordinary: I Am Begging You to Create More Interesting SEO Content

When I first started the 3C Podcast I was on the hunt from great guests in content marketing. I was researching B2B marketing teams who were creating amazing content and I came across Guru. Everything they created had purpose and was pointed at adding value for their audience. I started researching who was behind their content and came across Leah Friedman. It took one email outreach for her to respond and the rest is history. I've learned a ton from Leah's approach to content marketing and am pumped to have her as a contributor to our B2B Marketing Sucks: Stories from the People Fixing it Series. If you want to hear more from her you can check out our conversation. Make sure you check out Leah out on Twitter and LinkedIn.

So Effing Ordinary: I Am Begging You to Create More Interesting SEO Content

Leah E. Friedman

Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Guru

B2B marketing tends to follow one of two tracks: intensely boring but helpful or quirkily aggressive but useless. Many companies do both simultaneously — the former for algorithmic positioning and the latter to catch the attention of actual humans. 

I find no real value in that bifurcation and am, in fact, actively irritated by it, despite being guilty of practicing it. After all, it’s easy enough to write technical and effective SEO content while putting one’s creative juices into something like an ad campaign challenging an audience to be better but like for real this time by using our amazing product.

After all, a SaaS offering is a SaaS offering, and branded positioning is a meaningful way to differentiate yourself from a competitor with a near-identical feature set. I get it! But we’re starting to hit the “Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades” levels of brand aggression in SEM and display here, while SEO real estate remains pristinely dull.

Yes, it’s time to make your SEO articles interesting. The algorithm can take it, I promise. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve hit an article like “The ACTUAL Final All-You-Need-to-Know Guide to Customer Experience (2021 Edition)” only to find it’s essentially identical to 12 other articles, all of which say, “Listen to your customers” in various phrase combinations for 2000 words. It’s essentially lorem ipsum, but with business jargon.

Ultimately, I don’t just want a guide to stash away for reference; I want to read something interesting. I see no real reason long-form, SEO-driven B2B content can’t be enjoyable to read.

You can include a joke, or a throwaway Simpsons reference (I hear they’re back — in pog form), or a personal anecdote, and it’ll all be OK, algorithm-wise. Ditch the formality and open this space to a dusting of that brand positioning. 

This is why I encourage folks writing for the Guru properties to write the way they talk, full of contractions and allusions and humor and, uh, human warmth. Not only does it knock down the worries of those who think they’re not capable writers (“Don’t worry; that’s what editors are for! To make you sound great!” I tell them), helping us have a much fuller author roster, but it’s differentiated content that still ranks. It also allows us to create a truly unified brand experience, one where our landing pages and long-form aren’t really that different, except in focus. They’re both identifiably Guru, regardless of how prominent the logos are.

So go nuts, crack a smile, and stop approaching long-form content as though it’ll be up for sober discussion at the next UN Security Council meeting. Pretend like you’re writing for your dream publication and create something you’d want to share if your name weren’t in the byline. After all, even the New Yorker has jokes.

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