Is Content Really That Important?

It seems that every time you read any ‘wise’ words from search engine marketers, they’re always banging on about the value and importance of ‘content’.

It’s an odd term when you think about it.  Those closely involved in seo believe it is crucial to the continued success of your website, yet to those ever so slightly out of the loop it’s value is rather vague and confusing: some see it as so self-evident that it barely merits a mention, others so woolly as to be practically meaningless. The truth actually lies somewhere between these two poles of opinion. Content can be vital, but bad or irrelevant content has the power to undermine everything your business might strive to achieve. So, how can you spot the difference?

Search engine optimisation is a term that really needs little explanation other than its purpose is to make your website more attractive to search engines and therefore hopefully drive more business your way as a consequence. How you make your website more attractive is open to much debate, and every seo expert you might choose to ask will probably give you slightly different answers: some will recommend back-linking and organic growth, others ppc advertising. In spite of these different approaches, they all seem in agreement when it comes to content.

Content drives your website: without it, what would your business say to its customers. It’s the first thing visitors to your site see and paints a vivid picture about your company, your values and your products and services. It’s a kind of portal to the world. Get that wrong and you’re done for. Business can have the fanciest artwork and stunning graphics on their sites, but if you can’t inform and hold the attention of your visitors, then they’ll be gone before they even get a chance to see all the good things you have to offer.

So how can ‘content’ stop these visitors bouncing off to pastures new?

You have to engage and, in a sense, entertain them. It’s easily said and actually not that easily achieved, but a few simple points might help. Obviously what you write, or what is written for you, has to be grammatically accurate and informative: it doesn’t have to be effusive or flowery, just readable and relevant. Content is there to draw visitors in and inform them about the products and services you have to offer. The longer a visitor stays engaged with what you say, the greater the chance this might be converted into a sale.

Well written and informative content if we’re being completely honest, has just one purpose and that’s to sell stuff. Therefore it needs to be persuasive and compelling. Obviously you don’t want to ram a message down your visitor’s throats or go all out for the hard-sell, as you’ll probably put them off. Explain what you have to offer and what makes your product or services different and better than what others have to offer.  If your business is passionate about what it does, then this will show through and customers value and appreciate this. If you feel you’re not capable of getting across this passion, then you may have to hire in the services of an experienced marketing professional or copywriter. It might be an expense you could do without in these tough times, but sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate.

Content has the power to determine your popularity.

If your website has well-written, seo-friendly copy then it is much more likely to gain a higher ranking on search engines. Copy written with your essential keywords in mind is crucial. Google and the other major search engines base their algorithms around keywords amongst other things, and always seek to deliver the most relevant search results for their users. It makes sense, therefore, that the higher you rank on these search engines, the likelier it is you website will come to attention of the potential customer. All of which only goes to prove that Bill Gates knew what he was talking about all those years ago when he uttered the immortal phrase, ‘content is king’.

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