I know you know it, but content is King!

crownI think I first saw this expression many years ago while researching organic search engine rankings in Google. Made sense to me. The most important factor in gaining and retaining high rankings is timely and strong content. According to Google, their goal, “is to return highly relevant results for every query.” So what makes search results from a particular keyword relevant? In the perfect world, it’s content.

It can be argued that backlinks (incoming links from other sites) are equally important to achieve quality organic rankings, but as google gets “smarter”, I still believe it’s the content that wins out. What can demonstrate knowledge and authority on a topic more than the content of a website? “Make sure your content is relevant and useful.” This is probably the biggest challenge that I face when consulting customers on their websites. Many website owners write copy based on what they want to say, promoting their people, their products or services. That’s not a bad idea in concept, but is your audience searching with the terms that makes your company look good? It’s more ore likely, they’re searching for an answer, or detailed, useful information on a subject. If I’m looking for some javascript code to display a slider, I’m probably not going to search by looking for, “an award winning javascript developer.”

Google claims that they don’t factor meta tags into their ranking system. Whether this is entirely true or not, is definitely debatable, but what is not up for discussion is how important they rank a site’s content. When you’re writing copy for your website, consider what your audience might be looking for, consider what you can say that might be helpful to your customers or your potential customers. After you’ve developed content for your site, read it again. Does it read like an ad or brochure? If so, write it again. There’s nothing wrong with having promotional language on your site, but don’t dwell on it. Don’t make the fact that you’re the best Widget Manufacturer in the world the primary focus of the content on your site. Even if it’s true, how can you prove it? Does Google believe it? Most importantly, is that really that useful to your audience?

Focus on backlinks, unique traffic, and a well-organized site. Just don’t forget who is king.

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