3 Reasons why content should be the cornerstone of your SEO strategy
It is hard to ignore the rapid rise of content marketing as part of the digital landscape in recent times. Over the past few years many top brands have realised the importance of content and leveraged it in smart and innovative ways to provide better user experience for their customers. Some have adapted faster than others and many businesses, especially SME’s, don’t know where to begin with content marketing. But ignore it at your peril, because it certainly isn’t going away.
The advantages of producing great quality content are many; however one of its virtues is the positive impact it can have on your SEO performance. The nature of SERPS is changing and changing quickly, and it’s now, more than ever, harder to stand out from the crowd. Here are three compelling reasons to make content part of your SEO strategy today.
1- It’s Google’s second most important ranking factor
After announcing that RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor late last year, Google remained tight lipped on what occupied the top two spots. That was until recently where they announced in a Q and A that links were still the most important factor whilst content was almost equally important.
Google has long suggested that content is exceptionally important, with Matt Cutts speaking openly about it as far back as 2014.
Google likes great content. Their algorithm is becoming more attuned at rewarding those with great content.
It’s quite obvious that Google wants great content.
2 – Customers Want Great Content
At the end of the day, you don’t run a business to please Google, you run it to please your customers and hope Google is happy along the way. We live in a time of accessibility, of gross commercialisation and commoditisation. It’s not enough anymore for businesses to just provide a good or a service. That’s because there’s businesses out there providing so much more, and like it or not they are the yardstick.
People are yearning for brand experiences, to be spoken to as equals and to be involved in the purchasing experience at all stages of the sales funnel. This means giving them content to engage with, stuff that’s amusing or educational, stuff that they’ll want to share with their friends.
Content is particularly important for e-commerce businesses, because it’s not like bricks and mortar shops where you have sales staff to promote your products, answer questions and provide advice.
That’s what content is, your digital salesperson.
For example for a business that sells gifts for men, some content directed towards the female demographic that will assist them in choosing a great birthday gift for a tech lover or sports nut might be useful. For a business selling pianos, a downloadable guide of piano maintenance would be extremely useful. Ikea is exceptional exponent of this value-added approach to content and their website is full of really useful guides, tips and tricks on home decorating and organisation.
From an SEO standpoint, on page metrics such as bounce rate and time spent on page are becoming more and more influential for SEO, so getting customers engaged is hugely important. Content is great way of keeping people engaged and interested once they land on your page.
3- Link Building
There used to be several avenues to obtain links without actually producing top notch content. That’s not the case anymore.
Links and content have become heavily intertwined, and most link building today revolves around having ‘linkable assets’ such as infographics, articles and videos, to provide value to those linking out to you.
In an announcement on their blog several weeks ago, Google postured that it will be cracking down on ‘dofollow’ links that are as a result of gifting – giving away goods or services in exchange for links. This is on top of an already stringent outlook on sponsored posts, where links must be flagged as ‘nofollow’. The message is loud and clear; if you want links, earn them. Content is a great way of doing so.
SEO benefits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content, there are so many other reasons why it should be part of your digital strategy – customer acquisition, customer retention and building your brand image, just to name a few. So start getting it done today!
Matt Lawry is Head of Marketing at Yellow Octopus, home to over 3000 of Australia’s coolest gifts and gadgets. When he’s not searching for bold and innovative ways to cut through the digital clutter, you can find him eating fresh oysters at the South Melbourne Market or waxing lyrical about something fanciful that’s caught his eye.
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