With each year that goes by, it seems increasingly the case that content is touted as the king of any Search Engine Optimisation strategy. 2019 is content’s biggest year, and experts agree that it’s likely not going anywhere. The word is thrown around like everyone knows what marketing professionals are talking about – so what is content exactly? Most people can grasp the basic premise, but what the digital world is generally referring to could instead be called a quality content marketing strategy; that is: copy, images, subject matter and everything between. Content is used across any and all mediums, print or digital – but within the realm of SEO we are generally referring to the content of a particular website.
It begs the question – what is the role of a search engine in this? We have been so long with Google that it seems almost impossible to contemplate a life were you couldn’t simply retrieve information instantly from the palm of your hands. Once upon a time Google was merely developing a product to serve a distinct purpose – delivering research & information to based upon our curiosities that would otherwise be an ordeal to acquire. Development of this information database & search system continues to this day in the form of an ever-updating algorithm that no one person completely understands. Google is continuously trying to answer the question of “what makes a particular resource most relevant to a particular query”. One semblance of an answer seems to be, as you might guess, content. Content gives a search engine the material it needs to decipher the subject matter or offering of a website. Simply put: what is this website about? With bonus points for effort – seriously, it makes sense that Google rewards active businesses over stagnate ones. Google aims to reward business who put consistent effort into the components of their website. Effort for its own sake is not the take-home here, the real battle is in quality.
Gone are the days where a bloated, keyword stuffed website out-performed the hard work of an honest business – thank goodness, amiright? Search engines now likely even penalise poor, regurgitated content. Don’t do it, and don’t hire someone who does it. The focus of a successful content marketing strategy is quality and relevance. We’re not writing for robots (are we?), we’re writing for people’s sake. At least that’s what we want Google to think. But that IS what Google is getting better at identifying. I.e. is this content actually designed to answer the query of a user? The increasingly important word here is, write this down, intent. What is the searcher’s intent? What is the solution, answer or matter that the user is searching for, and does the content contribute anything of value toward this? Even keywords are slowly taking the backseat (don’t throw them away just yet, though) to intent.
So how do you write quality SEO content in 2019
- Focus on searcher intent
- Quantity is still important, but not at compromise to quality
- Consider keywords, but don’t feel that you need to adhere to them religiously and, more importantly, don’t overuse them
- Find a niche topic or query that may not be covered on competitor sites
Content marketing is so intrinsic to SEO that it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that without it, SEO would be difficult if not impossible. Without it, websites are bland, static and unengaging. Search Engines preferentially rank relevant, honest, up-to-date and richer websites as they identify that is what searchers actually want. It’s worth noting that the algorithms are not perfect, so nuance still remains an important factor in digital marketing. Content is just one, albeit significant, factor of many that determine the ranking potential of any given website. So get writing.