You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” a couple of (hundred) times when discussing SEO, but what does this actually mean? Why is content so important to SEO? Is it even that important? Aren’t there other factors, such as social media, that play a role in the success of SEO?
In short, yes. Yes, content really is that important for SEO. Yes, content is just one of the various factors that come together to create successful SEO.
It’s time to stop thinking of SEO as a singular process and realize it is a well-oiled machine. Optimizing your site is no longer a simple process of adding specific keywords to a website. While that is part of it, there are many contributors that come together to build a successful machine that is an SEO campaign, content being one of those vital parts.
I could spend a lot of time talking about all the various facets that go into optimizing your site, but since content is so crucial I’ll stick to that. Despite what you may believe, it is important to understand content’s role in the success of SEO. Even more crucial is to understand what the right content has the potential to do for your rankings.
Content Writing and SEO
You’ve seen how social media aids the success of SEO, but even with a successful social media campaign and strategically placed keywords you still need excellent content.
This is the meat of SEO. When you have strong content, you are more effectively able to place keywords. Not to mention, when promoted on social media, your content has a better chance at reaching the right audience and increasing your rankings.
Let’s jump right in and take a look at how content affects traffic, the overall success of SEO, and what kind of content will get you there.
Content Drives Traffic
It’s not a secret that content has the ability to drive traffic to your site. However, just like with any aspect of SEO, there are ways to handle your content that can either hurt or help the amount of traffic that visits your website.
Not only do you have to write the type of content your target audience will want to read, but it needs to be organized in a coherent, easy-to-use way. This way, visitors are easily able to find other articles after reading that awesome piece that drove them to your site.
And, as you just learned, promoting content on social media plays a big role in the traffic as well. However, it’s important to remember to also build links in your content. This is another way to promote your piece. These are all good examples of ways content can help drive traffic to your site.
Strong Content Creates SEO Success
Let me be clear, here – content itself won’t send you shooting up Google’s rankings. Nor will it drive more visitors to your site. You need strong content. Compelling content. Your editorial pieces should create a dialogue between your business and users. This is your chance to build a relationship with your audience and/or position yourself as a thought leader.
Your content should offer advice or shed some industry expertise, but don’t forget an important aspect of content: Keep your readers interested and entertained. This is what will keep them coming back to your site, time and time again.
This type of content will help improve your rankings. It will also draw and keep customers on your site. Original content that reaches your target audience, while offering entertainment or advice, will strengthen all other efforts that go into your SEO campaign.
However, if you are simply creating content for the sake of content, you likely won’t see much change. Google is constantly finding ways to improve the search experience for visitors. So, now, Google wants to provide more specific results that are yielded after searches.
If your site hosts creative or unique content, Google will pick up on this and rank your site higher than others with poor content. However, keep in mind it goes both ways. You cannot post “fluff” content, thinking you will see an increase in your site’s rankings. Google will also pick up on that, and you will not glide past peers who post original content.
So, if you are duplicating content (an obvious no-no) or you are writing content to fill up space, you’re not doing yourself any favors. It’s best you end these habits now.
Google now picks up on these practices, meaning content plays a direct role in Google’s ranking. So, it is now more important than ever to focus on the quality of your work.
Lesson on Quantity vs. Quality
While SEO does prefer meaty content (and you should try to supply educational content) this doesn’t mean you should skimp on quality. Don’t let that “I must reach 1,000 words” mindset cause you to add in fluff.
An article that is 800 words of compelling, informative content will be so much more effective than a 1,200-word piece that doesn’t offer much substance. So, take your time when it comes to creating content. Do research and know what you are talking about. Offer pointers and words of advice, and use a fun or relatable voice. Anything that will seem genuine and helpful is far better than filler words. Write with quality in mind.
When you focus on the quality of the content over the quantity of words, you will see that more people engage with and share your content. They can relate. Or, they find it helpful. Plus, it will give you an air of expertise in your industry, and who doesn’t want that?
As you just learned, content truly is king. It’s time to start thinking about content as the core of SEO success, not just a small fraction of the big picture. With excellent content, other aspects of your campaign such as social media will benefit. Oh, and the increase in traffic and rankings is pretty sweet, too.