SEO are content are so integrated that it’s impossible to do one without the other, but for years many SEO’s have ignored content, believing that they can use SEO to make up for their poor quality content.
In this day and age, you need to be pursuing a content first SEO strategy. This means that you prioritize creating incredible content, rather than prioritizing your efforts to try and rank for a specific keyword. As Bob Dylan once said, the times, they are a-changing.
You Want Sales Not Traffic
First and foremost, your goal as a business is to make sales so that you can generate revenue and therefore profit. Traffic from a search engine is only useful as long as it’s fulfilling your greater goal of generating sales.
Having traffic for the sake of having traffic is useless. The key is what those people do once they get onto your website and if your content sucks, the one thing they won’t be doing is reading it and then buying your products.
You might be able to manipulate the search engines so that they rank your page higher, but if your content doesn’t provide value to the searcher, they will simply click back.
The idea that they won’t is narcissistic. People don’t care about your website or your business; they care about themselves. You must give them something of value.
SEO Should Be About Content
Your SEO should be about optimizing an already awesome piece of content so that more people have the chance to gain value from it. Unfortunately, most SEO’s approach it by looking at how they can create content that will rank first.
The content first approach means that your SEO is about your content. By focusing on delivering huge amounts of value to anyone who comes to your website you make people far more likely to pull out their credit cards.
Keywords vs. Intent
While we still believe that keyword research is extremely important in any SEO campaign, the keywords themselves are becoming less critical. Keyword research in this day and age should be about understanding the questions that customers are asking and figuring out where you can best provide value.
Keywords existed in the first place because Google and other search engines weren’t advanced enough to understand the content of the content on your page. Therefore, you needed to include exact words and phrases so that you could rank for them.
However, Google has become so advanced at this point that you can often rank for keywords that aren’t mentioned anywhere on your page. This is because their algorithm can read the page and understand what the content is about.
It’s also able to read the queries that people are typing into Google, track which links they click and figure out the intent behind those searches. Then, they can match the intent of searchers to the context of your page.
This means that you can rank for searches that use words that are not on your page. What this shows is that keywords are becoming less and less important. While it’s still recommended that you use them on your page, they are sure to become redundant within the next decade.
What’s more important is that you create content that provides real value and meets the searchers intent. If you were to rank an article for a given keyword but it didn’t help those users at all, Google doesn’t want you to rank.
You might get away with this for a certain amount of time, but eventually, the algorithm will catch up, and your traffic will be cut off. Instead, focus on providing huge amounts of value, matching keywords to the context of your article and prioritizing helping users.
If you’re putting the value of your content ahead of ranking for specific keywords, then you’re also going to make linkbuilding far easier. Links are also becoming less of a ranking factor, but for now, they are either the number one or number two factor that Google uses.
That means that it’s incredibly important for you to build links directly to the pages that you want to rank. But if your pages are terrible then it’s going to be nearly impossible to convince a webmaster to link to your site.
But by following a content first SEO strategy you prioritize creating something awesome, that truly helps people, and this makes the linkbuilding stage of your campaign an absolute breeze.
In conclusion, by cutting out the spammy tactics and focusing on the quality of your content, you can increase sales, help more people and make it easier for you to acquire powerful links.