Content remains King
In all the noise about Search Engine Optimisation, one key ingredient often gets overlooked, yet it’s the single most important thing you can do to ensure your website gets found and actually read…
There are, if you take the time and you have the inclination, a lot of sources on the web claiming to be experts on SEO and in getting you to the top of the pile in search results. Some of what they say is quite possibly true.
There are plenty of really accomplished SEO practitioners out there plying their trade and providing many a marketing manager with a restful night’s sleep. It’s reassuring to know that your website’s pages are being effectively nurtured to maximise the chances of being picked up and indexed for those precious search terms that match the business’s objectives.
But in all the worthy arguments about how to finesse the weightings of various trigger terms, you forget at your peril that the objective of the website has to be to connect with a potential client or customer. It has to appeal to the person after they arrive on your site.
Getting that person to your pages through effective SEO is clearly an important piece of the puzzle and the web abounds with great bits of technical advice on how to do it. One of the best is Joost de Valk and, for those wanting to know more, check out this excellent primer for WordPress powered sites.
But you don’t want to craft pages for the machines at the expense of the human. Your readers are breathing, warm-blooded and sentient people, and you don’t want to lose them because the content you’ve provided isn’t compelling.
It really needn’t be a clash of cultures. Many SEO aficionados make the point that great content is, at its core, the single most important piece of any successful search engine strategy.
As far back as 2007 Mark Jackson writing for SearchEgineWatch said, “If your terminology is relevant and your style is easy to follow, you have achieved the most important, yet often overlooked foundational task of organic search optimization and marketing.”
This is by no means to suggest that there isn’t value in the many technical steps you can seek to take with your website in order to give it the best possible chance of bubbling to the top of the search rankings, but for this to work at all, the content has to deliver on the reader’s information search. The keywords in your content may have attracted the reader’s eyeballs, but it’s the text that will win their hearts and minds.
Businesses relying on the web to drive traffic must not overlook the basics. Good quality, well-written copy will go an awfully long way in making your website get to the top of the pile.
Content may not be the only thing you need to do, but it quite probably is the most critical to the ultimate success of your presence on the web.
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