Content really is king.
This has never been more accurate. With each update to the search engines’ algorithm, content becomes more and more important.
Let’s take a second to understand why content is so important.
We’ve all done searches and have been less than thrilled with the results. That is not the kind of experience any of the search engines want its users to have.
If you get results that direct you to old, non-updated sites, or sites with just lists, the search engines risk losing you as a user.
Ideally, search engines want to send you to a site that gives you quality, relevant information.
As technology has improved and the search engines have gotten smarter, they have learned to pick out sites that are trying to trick them into thinking they are more relevant than they actually are.
The best way to move up the search rankings now is to provide fresh, consistent and quality content. The days of tricking search engines are coming to a close.
Now, what is good content?
As we mentioned earlier when discussing keywords, your text needs to be in grammatically correct, paragraph form and read like an article or story. It has to provide useful information and it has to be updated regularly. You can’t just right an About Us and leave it there for five years. Search engines will not look favorably on this.
If you don’t update your content, your ranking will drop over time.
But text isn’t the only content that search engines recognize.
Pictures, video, slideshows are all quality content as well. Having your social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) integrated to your site is excellent content too.
Blogs are also an excellent way to provide content on a site. A blog is an ongoing discussion about the business, invites feedback and is updated frequently – all things search engines value highly.
There is no question that quality content is valued highly by the search engines. And, if the trend continues, that value is going to continue to grow in importance.
The issue that most small businesses have is getting the content created. Many try to do it by themselves and some hire content creators to do it for them.
Either way, it’s an investment that can definitely move sites up in the search rankings. If that rise leads to enough new customers and more revenue, then it very well may be a good investment.
Getting traffic to your site
This is an obvious one – the more traffic a website gets, the higher it’s going to rank.
Simply, search engines see traffic as validation of a site. If a lot of people are visiting a site, they must be doing so for a good reason.
This means that you want to get traffic to your site. But how do you do it?
Clearly, the higher you rank in the search engines, the more traffic you’re going to get. There is no better promotion than somebody typing in the products you sell in a search bar and having YOUR site come up first.
This is a person that is actively looking for information on your products or services and – BOOM – right there is your site. You cannot get a more captive audience.
This is why it’s important to have quality content, an effective domain name and strong keywords. These are the things that are going to drive you up the search engine rankings. These are the things that are going to get you found and, ultimately, make you more money.
Marty Valania is a SEO professional. Follow him on Twitter @mvalania.