There’s a lot of content online, and less than half of it is actually useful. When used properly in combination, content and SEO have the power to send a website to the top of the appropriate search engine results. But when the written content is poor, not even good SEO can save face.
The Importance of Content for High-Ranking Websites
Implementing good SEO is only half of a website’s success story. The other half comes from the quality of the content that you’re optimizing.
The algorithms of search engines are clever. Their job is to constantly arrange information, favouring that which is most useful to the reader. Therefore, results that are more useful, or relevant, are prioritised.
That means that content needs to not only work in terms of SEO, but offer actual value to the reader.
What Makes Valuable Content?
As marketing specialists, we pride ourselves in being in the know when it comes to good content. That’s not to say that the likes of Google aren’t updating their algorithms at an impossible-to-keep-up rate, but the basics are still there. And they probably won’t change that much five, ten, even fifty years into the future.
Here’s what search engines consider to be the best content (and prioritise over the rest):
- Useful – providing factual information that it makes sense for a customer to know.
- Engaging – interactive and updated, with plenty of opportunity for conversation.
- Credible – backing up information with links and citations.
- High quality – unique and audience specific, with no distracting grammar or stylistic errors.
- Better than other sites – offering information that surpasses information elsewhere, or is written more engagingly.
The Importance of Merging Content With SEO
You might assume that once you’ve nailed your content, it will do its own talking. Unfortunately, that’s far from the reality.
Even the best piece of useful, engaging, credible, high quality content that offers more value than other sites simply won’t be seen without SEO. It’ll get lost beneath the reams and reams of near-identical information available on the internet – even if that information is, in your opinion, nowhere near as good.
In order to succeed in establishing and maintaining a digital presence, you need to be seen. And that’s where SEO comes in.
There’s a lot of technical SEO stuff that can be done behind the scenes to boost a website’s search ranking. There’s also plenty of stuff that you could – and should – implement in your content before you consider publishing it.
- Performing keyword research and adding the appropriate keywords in the right places.
- Establishing a format and layout that works best for an online reader.
- Including backlinks for credibility, linking to authoritative, trustworthy sites.
- Optimising specific aspects of your content for viewing on search engine results, including your title tag, URL and meta description.
- Sticking to your topic from start to finish, maintaining consistent use of keywords.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, SEO and quality content are like darkness and light: one couldn’t exist without the other. Good content is useless if it isn’t optimized. It’s only with the right SEO that it actually gets seen.
It’s thought that 7 billion Google searches are made every day. When your content is visible, you’re guaranteed to experience greater internet success. Just remember that this is no short fix – search engines favour new, fresh webpages, so you’ll need to commit to regularly producing optimized content to stay on top of your game.