If you’re in any way familiar with SEO or online marketing, you’ll probably have come across the “content is king” cliché so often it makes you a little bit sick. Understandable, if for the only reason that it became the most highly-preached SEO lesson/rule of them all over recent years and has since been the number-one rule followed by thousands of SEO pros from all over the world.
But here’s a question – content may be king in some respects, but where do its powers come to an end?
Taking a look at the simple statistics, you come up with some surprising results. For example, in the list documenting the top 500 websites of the whole entire web in terms of how many links they have pointing to them, the top ten consists of Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, WordPress.org, Adobe, Blogspot, Wikipedia, WordPress.com and LinkedIn.
Now, read these carefully again and you should notice that quite a few names are missing if it were comprehensively true that content was indeed the supreme ruler of the SEO world. Why isn’t there a mention of the New York Times or any other of the world’s most respected publications?
We’ll tell you why:
Each and every entry on this top-ten list of global leaders is less of a website and more of a tool. You don’t go to most of them to catch up on some winning content, you head there for a different purpose entirely. And that’s precisely the reason why more links across the web point to these sites/services that any others – they are useful, easy to use and of near universal appeal to the average-Joe.
In addition, they also for the most part generate discussion and debate, which again boosts their profile, exposure and popularity exponentially.
So, does this mean that content really isn’t king after all?
Not for a second – it just means that in order for content to be all it can be for the site it represents, it needs to be useful…not just entertaining, fun or interesting.
SEO that works is all about coming up with elements and strategies that make the site useful to those populating the web. Google stays in business by remaining useful to billions of readers, though in order to stay useful it in turn has to make sure it offers access to other useful sites and services…which is where you come into the equation.
By furthering your own interests with useful content, you also benefit Google and thus will be smiled upon by the powers that be.
Getting yourself noticed is important – making sure you stay noticed with useful content is even more so.
Here’s a look at a few rules to follow in the spirit of creating a useful site:
- Never put a backlink to your site in a place where you wouldn’t do the same even if it had no SEO value. Instead, use backlinks only where their value goes beyond SEO and firmly into organic traffic.
- Make every effort to keep hold of the readers that head your way, which could mean going old-school by keeping in touch via email or social networking sites.
- Network with those you are genuinely interested in as chances are so too will be your readers/customers. The more sites and services of value you offer access to and support for/from, the more useful you’ll become.
- Forget about using keywords and keyword phrases that are not directly and intrinsically linked with your brand, your niche, your industry and the purpose you serve – you won’t get away with it any longer.