Client expectations change through pandemic

“This article is based less on what is new in technical SEO or what new changes Google has made just to it algorithm and more how client expectations and the way we implement SEO both on and off-site has changed over the last 12 months.”

Whereas in 2018-2019 many of our clients felt that SEO content was really not that important and was really just a way of getting eyeballs on the page that might convert or not there is a change toward higher quality informative content that uses both the language of an expert with the insights of a salesman.

High levels of traffic used to be the sole objective, so a lot of articles with ‘free’, ‘information and tips’ etc. was very popular. Keyword led content was all the rage, ignoring the fact that Google has moved on to nuances, dual meanings, synonyms, antonyms and all variations of language subtly. See typical UK business SEO experience.

Now we see more of a shift in client perception

In early 2019 we had SEO packages that contained say 10 pages of content a month, on average these articles were 500 to 600 words. We are now seeing page increase to 1200 1400 words.


OK, this isn’t just because it seems that Google’s algorithm has become increasingly complex in the sense that it can now requires more unique words and phrases within a page to fully understand the context of the page and offer the full range of scoring metrics.  Google algorithm longer page content.

It is also because there is a trend on the Internet, led by clients, where thin duplicated content, which is really just a mishmash of what other people have written before, is seen as somehow old-fashioned, uninteresting and more of a hindrance.

For a content writing company like Vanilla Circus, it’s really good news. What it means is that we have more time and resources to create content that not only interests but persuades our client’s users to make an informed purchase. Gone are the days where was content for the sake of content. (Thank God.)

Images and infographics

10 years ago there were jobs for illustrators and graphic designers. These jobs of on the whole falling by the wayside. However with the sheer scale of new content coming onto the Internet finding new ways to reduce bounce rates and increase user engagement on the website has become progressively more important outside of large online publishers. The growth in the use of infographics is a hugely positive step forward.

Images are also improving. We have a large number of clients who are now producing their own digital media libraries for marketing purposes and are shying away from the free image pixel Bay resources the most common in UK blogs and posts.

Another major problem with images is copyright. With big players like Getty coming down on people for copyright infringement, there is also a host of scams regarding who owns what copyright to what image.

So to conclude clients are asking for better-written work. There seems to be a big shift away from what was referred to as SEO, key rich content TO  content which the client can be proud of and which can successfully generate large amounts of traffic. However, the key isn’t just eyeballs, its opening user wallets and revenue.

This is good news for our industry which has often been seen as simply implementing code tricks and black magic to somehow convince Google to rank a page higher within its index without actually contributing any information that is of any use to anyone.

Content reviews and audits the new normal

“Before in meetings, when we would mention that before creating new content strategies and plans it will be well worth visiting existing content, both top-level pages and blog content to see what content there is already what content is duplicated and what content is thin and possibly better to be removed we were met with raised eyebrows and shakes their head.”

The value of improving top landing pages to increase conversion and to remove or improve major exit pages is we believe of extreme importance. Thin content which is often a repeat of an existing page website, or simply a poor piece of literature needs to be removed.

The reason why they need to be removed is that these pages can act as an anchor to reduce Google scoring of the entire website.


Last fact checked and updated on March 11, 2021