Everyone knows that content is the most important aspect of search engine optimisation. Without content, you’d have a pretty hard time finding your site by search – there would simply be no keywords to match your search term!
Search Engine Journal describes how in the early 1990s your site simply needed to have enough text and enough repeated keywords to rank well. If you wanted your site to show up on a search engine before someone else’s, all you had to do was use the same keyword more times than they did. Yes, even if that meant ‘stuffing’ or repeating it hundreds of times! Over time, our understanding of content and its role in search engine optimisation (SEO) has thankfully evolved beyond high wordcount and spammy keywords. Despite three decades of trials and tribulations, content is still well and truly king – what has changed is the introduction of certain extra content factors.
In its well-respected 2019 Periodic Table of SEO Factors, Search Engine Land listed those factors in order of importance:
Sounds like a lot of work, right? To make sure our clients are consistently ranking as high as they should be, we stick to these seven SEO factors like glue. Here’s how you can make the most of content as an SEO tool:
Quality (and Depth)
Content on your website must be well-written and highly valuable. That applies primarily to your landing pages, but can also apply to blog posts. Sticking to the important stuff is what makes content ‘highly valuable’. Your landing pages should explain to the reader exactly what you do and how you do it. They should not contain too much marketing fluff or business drivel about how professional, friendly and amazing you are (sorry).
As the Periodic Table notes, shallow content fails – so always aim for substance. This does not mean you need to write long-form content – in fact, just last week Google’s John Mueller affirmed that word count is no longer a quality factor when it comes to ranking. All you need to do is say what needs to be said, and say it well – nothing more, nothing less. And run it through Grammarly!
Research (and Keywords)
To make sure you’re ranking, you’ll need to investigate the keywords people may use to find your content. These are usually pretty self-explanatory – if you’re a fish and chip shop in Duncraig, the top ranking keywords would be ‘fish and chips duncraig’. But there may be valuable hidden keywords you don’t know about – like ‘best seafood basket north of the river’ – and that’s your SEO specialist’s job. They build those target keywords into your pages to help Google recognise you as the best result to that search term.
Freshness (and Answers)
To stay relevant, you need to create ‘timely content’. You also need to ‘refresh or retire stagnant pages’. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to rewrite your homepage every month – the best way to introduce fresh and timely content is to start writing weekly or monthly blogs for the website. This content doubles as an easy organic social post, too. Blog content should be on-topic to your brand, and hopefully even answer questions people may have about your product or service – which ties back into the ‘Answers’ SEO factor. Think about it like the blog you’re reading right now – we’re creating timely content that also helps you out by answering your question about the role of content in SEO!
Use of images, video and audio – these are pretty self-explanatory! By switching up your content game every now and then, you can increase your search engine page ranking. You could introduce a past work gallery to your website, start filming video case studies or record a weekly podcast to email out to your subscribed customers – the possibilities are endless.
Core web vitals
At Roobix, we champion one extra element of SEO – core web vitals. These are particularly important for building mobile-responsive websites – which a surprisingly large number of businesses still don’t have! We won’t go into it today, but core web vitals can effectively be summarised in the wise words of Rob, one of our SEO guns: ‘At the end of the day, content is king – but if your site sucks, nobody will find it. You can have the best content in the world, but if it can’t get indexed, nobody will find it. Similarly, you need a network of content. If you have one great article surrounded by crap, it won’t perform as well.’
How to build that structure is a whole different ball game, so stay tuned for our upcoming blog on core web vitals – because content is king, but it’s only as good as the website it sits on.
So there you have it, folks! If you’re already working with good site structure, then these are just some of the ways you can increase your ranking by paying more attention to it. But if that all sounds like too much work, reach out to Roobix – our celebrated Managed Marketing Service gives you access to full-scale digital and content marketing teams, and they can get the job done for you in a jiffy!