Search engine optimisation is the art of telling Google what your pages are about, and convincing Google’s automated, bot-based search engine algorithm to rank your pages high in search engine results by satisfying ranking signals.
You often hear that the most important ranking signal is content. But what is content?
Content is a generic term that describes anything we can consume online. However, in the context of SEO, it is a tool for explaining what your pages are about, creating relevance, and establishing authority and trust with Google.
Think of it this way: if Google visited a blank website, it wouldn’t know what it’s about. If Google visited a website with only a page title and a meta description, it would have a basic idea of what it’s about, but it wouldn’t rank it because it has no substance.
You can think of content as the fabric of SEO. It is what we use to create relevance, so Google knows what’s what. Without content, Google is blind; without content, you have no hope of beating people who feed the machine.
Feeding the machine
Your website needs content, but not just any content; it needs 100% unique content that is expertly written and formatted for online readers.
These are the basics Google demands.
If you want your content to rank in Google for competitive keywords, it also needs to be optimised, contextually relevant, and address search (user/reader) intent (the main goal a user has when typing a query into a search engine).
In other words, Google is looking for content that answers questions and queries and solves problems that its users have. Everything else is worthless.
The biggest mistake business owners make with content is assuming what their customers are looking for, rather than writing content based on keyword research. Keyword research is the key to optimised, relevant and valuable content.
Is “content” enough to rank?
For keywords with low competition, content can be enough to rank.
Content alone isn’t enough to rank for highly competitive keywords unless you have a website with significant authority – Wikipedia and wikiHow dominate information and how-to based search engine queries so easily for this reason.
For us mortals, pages need high-quality backlinks and local businesses need high-quality citations (mentions of a business with no backlink).
High-quality backlinks + high-quality content = first page rankings — this is the simplest SEO formula that works, and it has worked for years.
Now that you know content is king for SEO, you can focus your efforts on producing great content and feed the machine with what it wants.
These are our favourite guides to get you started:
- How to Write SEO Content That Ranks in 2021 (Gotch SEO)
- SEO Content: Complete Beginner’s Guide (Backlinko)
- How to Do Keyword Research for SEO (HubSpot)
- Steps to a Google-friendly site (Google Webmaster Guidelines)
If you want specialised advice for your business, our SEO company in Huddersfield offers free consultations over the phone and on Zoom.