Clear Content Is Vital – Surprised Or Not?

A cartoon of a man inside the outline of a head, looking at lots of information

In the most recent video from Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam, he discusses the topic of content.

Without doubt one of the most talked about aspects of digital marketing, there have been – and still continue to be – a huge number of in-depth conversations about content.

How should you write it?  What should you include?  How long should it be?  When should you publish it?  Where should you promote it?

In Matt’s video, what he wanted to talk about was something particularly basic when it comes to content – and that’s whether you should write it full of industry jargon and specifics or keep it a lot more clear and basic.

As many predicted, Matt’s answer was to lean more towards the latter, producing content that’s as simple as it can be.  There are obviously instances where being a lot more niche is necessary, but it’s not surprising that Matt agrees content needs to be as clear as possible.

If you were surprised, however, you need to understand how content ‘works’ online.

When you publish something, be it on a blog, social media or your website in general, as standard it’s instantly open to everyone to read.  Whilst it’s obviously going to be your audience who are reading it primarily, you can’t easily stipulate exactly who does read it and so you’re likely to get a combination of existing customers and potential customers, all with different knowledge levels.

Some will undoubtedly have an in-depth knowledge of your industry and understand all of the terminology that you may use.  There’ll be many more who, although interested in what you’re talking about, don’t have that knowledge base others have and as such, can become easily confused when certain phrases are used.

It’s because of this why, with your business cap on, content needs to be produced in a clear way.  It needs to reach out to everyone it can, without being too complex for those with little knowledge, but conversely, without being too simplistic that it’s going to disappoint those ‘experts’ in your audience.

A difficult balance to achieve, it not only requires a knowledge of your industry, but an ability to understand how best to deliver the content to an audience – and if you can be confident you’re getting this balance right, you can rest assured your content will be well on the way to being as effective as it can possibly be.

Image:  HikingArtist (Wikipedia)