Long Live The King
In the days of SEO past, the idea of creating content revolved around flooding your onsite copy with targeted keywords. If you had a financial site, you used financial terms as often as possible. If you had a travel site, travel terms were passed across the site. You get the point.
While this worked for a time and gave some success to those who practised it, it left them in the lurch when Google decided that it was unfair and quite simply, wrong. And they acted on it accordingly. Changing their algorithms to pick up on these spammers and consequently punishing them.
And it just isn’t onsite content – making sure your offsite content isn’t considered spam or low quality is equally as important. If you have a link pointing to your insurance site, in an article about belts that sits on a site that themes its content around World War 2 memorabilia, Google is going to become awfully suspicious of your site. Okay, maybe that one link on its own won’t catch the eye of Google, but if you’re willing to build one link like that, then chances are you’re going to have a few more – and this will indeed start waving a big red flag.
It isn’t about how many links you’ve got pointing to your site; it’s about where the links are coming from and the environment surrounding them.
Once people started realising this, or should I say, once Google started effectively policing this low quality content, the phrase ‘content is king’ started flying around.
Now some people may argue, if content is indeed king, then what is the point in SEO? At a fundamental level, this is a valid question. However, what these people, and everyone else for that matter need to realise is that good content IS SEO. It does what it says on the tin. Search Engine Optimisation at a basic level is the process of making your site as respectable as possible in Google’s eyes, and creating great content is a big part of this.
Just recently, Google has again been letting us know how important content is to the success of your site, and have done so by reiterating that user experience is a strong ranking signal. Google want your site to be the best site it can be, and they deem having necessary and informative content on and around your site integral to a quality user experience.
They want the users to find what they’re looking for, and as such, want to rank the best sites possible to make sure this happens. If your site has the right content, then you are certainly giving yourself a better chance of ranking highly.
So, we know that high quality content works in favour of your site, but let’s break it down further:
Long tail keywords – while a certain amount of keyword research and careful placement should still be undertaken, by creating the right content for your audience, you may inadvertently set yourself up with some long tails you weren’t even targeting in the first place.
Keeps the site fresh – if you’ve got a piece of useful content, a user may find it and revisit it one, two, maybe three more times, but if your content stays the same, what it offers to the user lessens as time goes by. If you regularly post new quality content, you’re giving the user another reason to come back to the site. Additionally, stagnant sites are low down on Google’s list of favourites.
Sharability – this says it all really. If you are creating relevant, useful and interesting content, whether it be an article, a video, an Infographic - whatever it is, you are increasing your chances of someone linking to it in a pertinent, Google friendly manner. This not only adds value to your link profile, but it also creates brand exposure, which certainly won’t hurt your campaign.
Better user experience – we’ve already covered this, but just to reiterate: the better the content works for your users, the better it works for you.
The phrase ‘content is king’ didn’t materialise out of thin air. The reasons discussed throughout this article have backed it up in no small manner, and I say: long live the king.