Content is King

Trite and true: Yes, you've heard it way too many times, but content is still king!

If you follow our blog regularly, you know that our team of SEO strategists, social media experts, and web developers are all in agreement that, when it comes to building long-term Internet presence, content is still king. Despite all the algorithmic changes that search engines continually make, what has remained constant is the value of good content. In fact, we have seen the importance of relevant, quality contentsteadily increase in the eyes of the major search engines, whose main goal is to deliver the most relevant and valuable resources to users.

Still, despite the fact that we adamantly preach the necessity of quality content production as part of a successful online marketing strategy, there remains push back from clients who are not totally convinced that content production is a key element to their online growth. Much of this stems from the outdated belief that links, links, and more links are the quickest and best way to achieve better search engine rankings.

Creating quality content is labor-intensive and requires a good amount of interaction between marketer and client in order to deliver the proper message in the proper tone—something that can be a turn-off for time-crunched clients. However, the upside to all of this effort is the value it carries in the eyes of the search engines, who continue to give greater weight to those sites that create high-quality content on a regular basis.

You Can’t Fake Good Content

Useful, relevant website content takes time to craft, and therefore has inherent value when it comes to ranking web pages for specific keyword phrases. Unlike backlinks, which can be outsourced and created in large volume within a short period of time, quality content is more difficult to produce. Logic would tell us that because of this, more thought, and therefore more value, is put into creating and sharing content. In the context of online marketing, quality content isn’t just confined to web page copy or blog posts. YouTube and Vimeo videos, e-books, press releases, even Facebook updates and Tweets—each of these is a form of content creation that can have an impact on your overall search engine rankings.

If we can take anything from Google’s infamous Panda algorithm update, it’s that websites producing high-quality content on a regular basis will be favored by search engines over those producing low-quality, “spammy” content. But what, exactly, makes a piece of content “high-quality?” First and foremost, high-quality content should be original. A unique bit of content will deliver much better search engine results than something borrowed and regurgitated from another online source. Of course, the original content should be something users will find useful and readable (i.e., not jammed full of keywords for the purpose of artificially increasing search engine rankings). High-quality content will also be something that entices readers to share, bookmark, or forward to their social network contacts. As page-level social signals continue to increase in importance, creating shareable content does as well.

How Does it Help Your Website Rank Better?

Content and RankingsThe inevitable question we get when we push a heavy content creation strategy to our clients is, “How does creating more content on my website help my search engine rankings?” For starters, quality, content written with keywords in mind is a great way to get your web pages ranking for targeted phrases. The key is to write for your human readers first and the search engines second. We normally tell our clients to focus on creating website copy and blog posts that their visitors will find useful and engaging, with internal linking and keyword inclusion as a natural part of the creation process rather than the driving force. In this way, we have seen much better feedback in the SERPs than content created with the specific purpose of achieving rankings.

Additionally, thought-provoking content is a great way to earn inbound links. As we’ve discussed, the rise of social media has placed a premium on relevant content creation for social sharing purposes. When you create good content that your target audience finds useful, they are more likely to pass that content along to their friends, followers, and other social connections. In this way, your quality content has the chance to earn a large amount of highly relevant backlinks, as well as provide exposure to thousands of readers across various social media channels.

So why should you have content on your website? Because it works, so long as you make it original, useful, and shareable.

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