I’ve written before about what search engine optimization (SEO) is in a nutshell. That was just the 10,000 foot view – in this post we’ll get a little more specific.
This is the 2nd post in a 3-part series. Here are all the posts:
SEO Strategy Part 1 – Site Structure And On-Page Elements
SEO Strategy Part 2 – Content Is King
SEO Strategy Part 3 – Backlinks and Linkbuilding
“Content is king” – it’s saying that’s been around for a long time and in the world of SEO it is completely true. If I had to pick a single SEO factor that carried the most weight, content would be it.
By content we mean pretty much anything, but mostly text. This can be in the form of a blog post, an individual web page, a web page with many different blocks of text, etc. It can also be PDFs, Flash or other proprietary types of content as well – Google and other search engines can now read into these files, although not nearly as well as if it’s straight up text on a web page. (Content can also include audio and video, although that can’t really be indexed by search engines.)
Google has constantly said that they want to reward sites with quality, relevant (and fresh) content. It makes total sense: users want content about what they’re searching for. Google wants to give their customers what they want.
This is why older sites with zero SEO work done to them can still perform well in the search rankings. The sites may not be built well, but Google can still get at their content for the most part. Sure, SEO work can be done to make Google’s web indexing robots’ job easier, but ultimately if there’s content on a page, it can be read and indexed.
The biggest thing about having quality content is that if it’s good enough, other people will link back to that content from their website or share it on social networks. This is the absolute best type of SEO and what Google is doing their best to promote. Quality content leads to natural backlinks, but this takes a lot of time and effort, which is why people add to that process with other SEO tactics. However, this should be the central core of any SEO campaign.
By “fresh” content I mean recent content (duh). Google places value on a site that continually has new content on it – like a blog that is updated daily. This is why blogs do so well in Google. I’ve seen blogs get indexed and start ranking within DAYS of posting. By posting frequently you’re sort of “training” Google to come back and index you more quickly. (A site doesn’t need to be a blog for this, but being some form of content management system makes it a hell of a lot easier for you.)
Lastly, great content keeps your users on your site longer. This isn’t really a pure SEO tip, but the better your content, the more users will want to stay and read more. Kind of a no-brainer, but it has to be said. If people love your content, odds are greater that they’ll bookmark your site and come back.
Google is also constantly improving their algorithm for finding sites with the best content. Yes, the search engines can be gamed, but as time goes on, the sites with quality content will win out more and more.
Content, content, content. Feed the search engines content and they’ll love you for it. Make great content and users will love you for it. This is why content is king. There are other things to do in an SEO campaign, but this should be the core of your SEO strategy.