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8 reasons content is king for SEO

Posted on March 10, 2011 by Rob Petersen

Most people consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a scientific and process-proven way to raise search rank and drive traffic to a website, like the chart on the right conveys.

To many, the process involves finding the right keywords.  Many assume the right keywords not only raise search rank but increase business.  The assumption is people then go to a website, take the action intended and sales increase.

This is a BIG assumption.  There are around 200,000,000 websites on the internet.

Simple as it seems, the way to get people to a website and take the action you want is to consistently deliver good, focused content.  Yes, it should include the right keywords and key-phrases but content is the real key.  Is there science and process-proven principles behind this statement?  Yes.

Here are 8 reasons content is king for SEO.

  1. LINKS: The #1 measurment search engines use to determine search rank isn’t keywords, its links; that is, the number of websites that follow your website.  After that, the search engines measure how many links there are to the websites that link to yours. This may sound complicated.  It’s not really. It means if you consistently put out good content, people are drawn to your website and your search rank increases.
  2. AUTHORITY: Websites with a strong network of links have “authority.”  When search engines determine you have “authority,” this is what boosts search rank.  “Authority” is substantiated with good content, not just keywords.
  3. KEY-PHRASES: Actually, most of us don’t search using words in the first place; we use phrases.  You probably do too.  It’s much easier to secure a high rank from a key-phrase than a keyword because there is less competition.  When you have good content, key-phrases can be written more naturally and strategically.
  4. UPDATES: Search engines place a high value on how often you update the content on your website.  They place less value if you just update the same keywords.
  5. BLOGS: Most SEO experts extol the practice of having a blog on the homepage of a website.  A blog lets the search engines know a website is active and dynamic.  It’s a signal to the search engines that says “hey, there is something going on here – take a look.”  And, in fact, they do.  A blog is also an example of how social media tools helps SEO.
  6. META-TAGS:  Meta-tags are keywords placed on your dashboard of website – in other words, behind the scene.  While this tactic was somewhat effective in previous years, it has steadily become less and less effective.  Many believe it has little more than marginal, if any, value now.  This shows that as search evolves the emphasis is on content is increasing.
  7. LONG TAIL: There are generally a small number of words that are used most frequently in search for a particular website. This is called the “short tail.” But there are also a large numbers of words that are used less frequency – the “long tail.”  Both areas are worth pursuing.  If you are producing good content, you can incorporate more keywords from the “short tail” and “long tail” and reap the benefits of both.
  8. SOMETHING WORTH DOING IS WORTH DOING WELL:  SEO has great value for any business that wants a strong online presence.  Keywords are important to search but sometimes are misread to suggest there is a easy solution or SEO is a game.  For anything worth pursuing, there usually are no shortcuts.  It’s just worth doing right in the first place, including search engine optimization.

What drives your SEO strategy?

4 to “8 reasons content is king for SEO”

  1. Kristof says:

    This article is very misleading and it’s negating many of its own arguments.

    SEO isn’t just about “finding the right keywords”. Anyone who does SEO knows that it’s not just about including keywords, but phrase as well. And “placing them on a website as often as you can.” is exactly what you’re NOT supposed to do.

    I’d also like to point out that this statement is false: “Unless people come to your website, your search rank is never going to rise to the level it should.” The number of visitors to a website has nothing to do with ranking. A good SEO can get a brand new web page to outrank a competitors.

    This statement, “It’s much easier to secure a high rank from a key-phrase than a keyword because there is less competition” is also extremely misleading. The complexity of ranking a webpage for a kyword or phrase is dependent on what the word or phrase is. For example; it would be much easier to ran a page for “ratclown” that it would to rank it for “perscription medication”.

    Also, your 8 reasons that are supposed to support your argument for “good content” are the same points (but not all) used in any SEO strategy — except for #3 which would also include keywords and #7 which would be at the bottom of the list.

    I also find it amusing that #7 says to “incorporate more keywords” — which is completely counter to the point of this entire article.

    What this article doesn’t talk about is that just about every article (content) has a focused topic. As such, the article will naturally include topic keywords and phrases. So trying to separate “good content” from SEO is misleading.

  2. Rob Petersen says:

    Thanks for your comment Michael. The point I was trying to make (which I guess I didn’t) is that good content around focused topics drives SEO. I appreciate that you took the time and the care to give as much input as you did. Rob

  3. Kristof says:

    Hi Rob –

    I agree with you that good content written around focused topics is a good start for attracting reader’s – but it’s not a replacement for SEO. Because even the best content can’t always drive a page to the top of the search results by itself.

    I can’t count how many great articles I’ve read that were almost impossible to find through search. But even the simplest of changes like altering keywords and changing the permalink structure made a huge difference in rankings.

    For example, I see this blog runs on WordPress. If you were to change your permalink structure from the default setting to Custom /%postname%/ you’re URL would change from https://barnraisersllc.com/?p=3205 to a search engine friendly https://barnraisersllc.com/8-reasons-good-content-not-keywords-drives-seo/ and you would see significant improvement in your rankings.

    I use this as an example to show that great content means nothing if it lives in a vacuum and no one can find it. And SEO can change that.

  4. Rob Petersen says:

    Thanks for continuing this dialogue Michael. You make great points and I agree with you good content around focus topics using the discipline of SEO is the way to go for any website/business. I also appreciate the advice with examples, especially the permalink structure, which I have now incorporated.

    Your comments made me I realize this post probably pushed the content angle more than it should; then again, we never would have made this connection, and I never would have been given this level of enlightenment. Thanks for that and all the best. Rob



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