Search Engine Optimization: The Importance of Content in SEO
21 Jun 2011
Why New Content is the Dominant Search Engine Optimization Factor
In the world of Search Engine Optimization there are many key factors that can help you collect an audience. Keywords, images and video all help with more clicks, page views and conversions but nothing matches the power of the words on your website.
These words, more than any other SEO factor, will tell search engines where to rank your site on search engine results pages or SERP’s, and more importantly they tell search engines and Internet users what you do.
Seems obvious, but this fact is often overlooked.
Content is King of Search Engine Optimization
There are specific reasons why content is the most important of SEO factors. Google, Yahoo and the bigger search engines look for specific things on web pages in order to direct Internet users to the most relevant and up-to-date info. It’s a search engine’s job to bring users exactly what they are looking for online.
Web pages and sites are crawled and re-crawled on a regular basis to determine many factors: Is the info original? Is the content related to it’s keyword terms? How many words on your pages? But most importantly, which exact words are on the page? If you want your article to rank for a search term like ‘lawnmowers’ you’ll need to actually write the word, probably a few times.
*Note: Pages and websites are crawled by web-based programs called ‘bots’. These ‘bots’ search all the content of the Internet in sweeping waves at regular intervals. The ‘bots’ collect info corresponding to the content it searches and let’s search engines know how to distribute the info to users. For example a Google search on the key-term ‘shoes’ yields shoes.com as it’s first result in organic search.*
Let’s explore the SEO rules and regulations surrounding content development in more detail.
The relevance of our articles is easily determined. In some cases webmasters and SEO marketers alike stuff keywords into their posts and pages in the hopes of getting more traffic.
Stuffing an article on lawnmowers with a popular SEO keyword like ‘iPad’ might get you more clicks in the short term but those visits have no value to your business. Not only are people not getting what they searched for, you’re probably making them angry. Imagine the frustration at being led to an article on lawnmowers when all you wanted was the latest iPad info. This type of SEO is considered ‘Black Hat’, which is a term reserved for undesired optimization.
Search Engines recognize those who deliver relevant content and rank you accordingly. If your lawnmower article tells search engine it’s about lawnmowers you may not get as many clicks, but you can be sure those clicks you do get want to be on your website. That translates to conversions and possible sales.
New and original material
Having new material is a no-brainer. As search engines crawl through websites they ‘remember’ or catalog the first time and place from which new material was produced. If your site has nothing but reprinted articles search engines will list you as a follower or secondary source. That tells search engines that your site is not a great place to direct people at the top of SERPs. Why would they? What have you done for them lately?
Reprinted articles: bad and good
Of course the reproduction of material is a double-edged sword, and it’s much better to be on the right side of the blade. If you are the originator of material, and it is regularly reproduced by other sites, search engines view this as leading the way and you’ll get the ranking privileges that come with it..
Your content must be usable info if so many other industry sites use the material right? That’s how search engines see it. Often, you can leverage that reprinting into a nice healthy backlink to your site and that only helps increase your overall rankings.
Next time we’ll post an article on the top ten SEO factors from the bottom up, and ending right back at content atop the optimization hill. Keep reading and get up to speed on Search Engine Optimization.