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June 4, 2010

Are You Putting Enough Emphasis On Your Website Content?

Search Engine Optimization is a science which is perpetually in flux. With each new day come fresh announcements which claim to revolutionize not just the industry but also the internet at large. Alongside these announcements are an almost limitless stream of blogs and articles written by self-labeled ‘SEO Experts’ which purport to provide guidance as to the definitive strategy to put your website at the top of search results. Opinions differ greatly as to the importance of various on-page factors, the worth of links from directories and all manner of other factors, whether minor or major. The one thing which is consistent throughout all of these competing claims and assertions is that they should not be the basis of a complete overhaul of your existing SEO strategy. Not only is Search Engine Optimization a highly competitive arena but also one in which nothing can be known for sure: in fact there are so many variables that it is nigh on impossible to ascertain for sure why a website is or isn’t ranking as well as it apparently should.

Rather than claim that I have it from an informed source that Google’s search algorithm contains a specific command or that I can obtain your website as many back links as there are stars in the sky: I purely wish to share one idea, and it is by no means a new or original concept, just something which I fear many people have neglected in order to pursue quick fixes or forum derived trends. That one idea is that you spend some time on your website content. By this I don’t mean contact an overseas organization who will string together reams of text for next to nothing, nor am I referring to the practice of syndicating the work of others blindly. Using a word or page count as your only measurement of quality will count for nothing: in the long term, the short term, or any other time constraint you wish to consider.

Spending time on your website content will not only mean that your website is more likely to be visible in the results pages of searches for relevant long tail phrases (which as we know account for more than 70% of all searches made through Google), but actually makes your website itself considerably ‘better’. By ‘better’ I mean that people will be glad to have found it, visitors are more likely to pay attention to your message, and a prospective customer is considerably more inclined to make the transition to satisfied customer. In short, your website content is key in terms of getting people to your website, engaging them and converting them. Great content can serve the role of ‘link bait’ and engage people to the extent that they link to it, it can be published as an article or blog to elicit interest from 3rd party publishers, it can be used to generate traffic through social media sources and can persuade the undecided potential product purchaser of your credibility and service.

Personally I can think of no other factor which has anywhere near the same impact on the success of a website than its content. Best of all: it’s been that way for years and won’t be rendered pointless by the ‘next Google update’.

Written by Jamie Lyons- SEO Manchester in association with OfficeYoo Office Supplies