If you’ve just spent hours perfecting a blog or poring over the content of a webpage, you may wonder if your time was well spent. Of course content matters in SEO, but how much?

“Content is king” has long been a buzz-phrase in the SEO industry, but not everybody lines up behind it. Read on to see how industry professionals weigh in on the true merit of website content.

Steven Jaenke

Steven Jaenke

Steven Jaenke, Founder & CEO of Digimark Australia.

It takes a backseat to another, more important factor

The term ‘content is king’ was originally coined by none other than Bill Gates in 1996. Since then, it has been used as a kind of mantra for SEO specialists and copywriters alike. While content is significant, it takes a backseat to another, more important factor when it comes to SEO.

The user experience (UX) is king in the world of SEO, or at least it should be. Content is great, but it is readily available with a multitude of blog articles being written on a daily basis. How the user experiences that content, however, is something that is lacking.

Having the best content in the world on a specific topic will be of no use if your visitor leaves because they got sick of waiting for your slow website to load. Worse still is when you hound your visitor with pop-ups, making it difficult to read your content and forcing them to flee from the bombardment of free e-books.

Many blog posts today are written to meet a specific word count with specific keyword density and have the customary image housed within ‘because it’s good for SEO.’ A better way, one that embraces the visitor and rewards them for selecting your blog post, is one that delivers more than the minimum. Providing images that mean something is more effective than using stock images. Also, use video where possible. Covering a topic thoroughly is also more desirable and is of higher quality than if you just write 500 words.

Delivering a solid user experience is not only more significant than delivering high-quality content, but it’s also becoming more essential. In order to stand out in Google, you need an edge. High-quality content isn’t going to cut it anymore. Offering a unique user experience will have your readers coming back to your website time and time again, while also separating yourself from the entourage of cloned websites that sprout the same content.

The total package is what’s “king”

You can’t play the SEO game like you’re Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. If the content were really king, “build it and they will come” would be an effective strategy. If the content were really “king,” you could simply publish great content and then sit back and watch the traffic roll in.

SEO doesn’t work that way—not in 2020.

Being good at all elements of SEO is what gets results today. You need great content, quality backlinks, effective technical SEO, plus excellent usability and website speed to see results.

The total package is what’s “king”—not any one single element—including content.

Reuben Yonatan

Reuben Yonatan

Reuben Yonatan, Founder and CEO of GetVoIP.
Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and CEO of K9 of Mine, a dog care site focused on helping owners understand and care for their furry, four-legged friends.

Readers are hungry for multi-media

Content is still king, but not in the way it was five years ago. Today, solid written content won’t cut it. Readers are hungry for multi-media content like GIFs, videos, and graphics. Walls of text will turn readers away and won’t get you in Google’s favor, especially as Google gives increasingly more top-tier ranking space to video results (after all, they make money off YouTube so they are always happy to recommend it in SERPs). Getting solid video content up and running will be essential to succeeding in SEO from here on out.

Not in the way you think

Yes, content still remains king, but not in the way you think. The new thing is social media, and the content that you put on your social media is more important today. So the “content” you need to pay equal attention to is what you put on your social media. This is because much traffic is generated by sharing from your followers. The content you put there will raise brand awareness and also help you build a brand community.

And it is not just text content- videos, infographics, gifs, and live videos are becoming more popular. A big part of the audience on social media is young, so they want more dynamic content to engage in.

Avinash Chandra

Avinash Chandra

Avinash Chandra, Founder and CEO, BrandLoom.
Girdharee Saran

Girdharee Saran

Girdharee Saran, Head of Digital Marketing at SurveySensum.

Attention and relationships are the real kings

The two biggest myths of our century are “content is king” and “data is the new oil.” Approximately 4.7 million blog posts go live everyday. There cannot be so many kings [vying] for so little attention.

Attention and relationships are the real kings. Every time you produce a new piece of content, you need support from people to amplify the reach. If you invest in building strong relationships with fellow bloggers and industry leaders, they will keep rewarding you whenever your content needs attention, promotion or backlinks.

Above all, you need a solid content strategy

While I do believe that content in any form is what drives business (and obviously websites) to flourish, what I always tell my clients is that there are some other vital factors you need to first take care of, like getting rid of pesky spammy links you might have leading to your websites. I’ve seen websites with as much as a 16% Spam score in a digital world where even 1% is shady.

Above all, you need a solid content strategy. This includes everything from understanding who a company’s clients are to how their current business goals can be reached by all means—not just content. Of course, this also means you won’t be writing articles just for the sake of having content on your blog.

To understand the importance of SEO, you must first understand how content will help you reach your business and marketing targets. Filling your blog with cheap content is not an answer. Instead, you need to fully research a topic, see what readers want to read, figure out how you can tie that content to your brand, and, on top of that, do your keyword optimization. And you need to be aware that it could take months to develop one piece of such content. Research is king.

Alexandra Cote

Alexandra Cote

Alexandra Cote is a SaaS Content Writer & Strategist at mktodyssey.

Rafe Gomez

Rafe Gomez

Rafe Gomez, Co-owner of VC Inc. Marketing, an award-winning provider of sales support, media coverage, and business strategy services to organizations across the U.S.

Any old crap will do the trick

In marketing, the notion that “content is king in SEO” means that any old crap will do the trick: just throw whatever up there, and shazam – you’ll be crushing it with your search rank. Bollocks!

Here’s the actual factual, and it’s a mouthful – but it’s the truth: clear, concise, and convincing content that aims to educate prospective customers – not sell to them – is king! If more corporate content creators kept this rule in mind, their offerings would be much more valuable, readable, and shareable.

Content will always be “king”

Content will always be “king” when pertaining to search engine optimization – you can’t expect to move up SERP or compete in any market without baseline content on your page. However, content alone has become obsolete. Search engines have adapted to punish lackluster attempts at optimization. One cannot simply create content, optimize keywords, and expect those efforts alone to produce results.

I would argue that, in a day and age where an overwhelming amount of content exists on the web, content credibility has become as important as the content itself. All indications show a continuing favorability towards pages that have a strong backlink profile. Even with subpar content, a page with strong backlinks and a network of organized internal links will outrank a competitor that has better content but a weaker backlink profile.

As online marketing becomes the primary marketing platform, we can expect search engines to further advance their algorithms to prioritize sites that other sites source – weeding out the less credible content and giving the user the best options for credible information.

Jordan Terry

Jordan Terry

Jordan Terry is the marketing director of a plaintiff’s personal injury law firm based in St. Louis and Chicago.

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