Content is king in search engine optimization tactics
What’s a website without great content? It’s a site that’s of little interest to search engines and thus hard for customers—and potential customers—to find. Great content is critical for making your site discoverable to the world.

Let’s start by defining content. For our purposes, content is text on the page, videos with closed captioning or transcripts, downloadable files, blogs, and forums.

In the rest of this post, I’ll tell you what we mean by great content: content that ranks well in search returns and increases customer traffic. And which content attributes you should prioritize to improve search engine optimization (SEO).

1. Create original content that adds unique value

Original content might seem kind of obvious (like don’t copy someone else’s material), but there’s a nuance here. What I mean by original is writing about your product or offering in a way that it’s never been written about before. Throw away that boilerplate text—don’t repeat a single phrase that you’ve seen before.

Here’s an example of adding unique value that resonated with me. Far too many Facebook postings drive me nuts—but why? I hadn’t been able to figure that out. Then I found Tim Urban’s post, 7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook. An aha moment for me: he beautifully describes annoying Facebook posts in a way I’ve never seen before.  And even though we’re not talking about writing for Facebook, there are lessons here for all of us. Namely, be interesting or helpful. (Talking at length about yourself, your product, or your company is rarely either.)

Be creative. Be innovative. Be completely original. Find that new and compelling context that no one has described before—that’s the unique value.

Got a product? Talk about how someone accomplished something unique and exciting with it. Show really cool things created with it.

Better yet, tell an interesting story that ties into your product in some small way.

Here’s an example. A friend lost his phone in the Clark river. Six weeks later, someone called him to tell him they’d found it—and it still worked, thanks to its waterproof case. Isn’t that more interesting than just talking about the specifications of the waterproof phone case?

And here’s a tip from my favorite SEO pro: Search for content similar to what you’re trying to create—and then create something better.

2. Publish content that others want to link to

If you create content that is original and unique; helpful, informative, or amusing; and clear and clean (free of typos and grammatically correct), authoritative websites or bloggers with an interest in the subject are more likely to link to it. Publishing content that other credible sources link to is one of the most important things you can do to increase your ranking in search results.

When you publish a new piece of content, make sure all those credible sources know about it. Announce it on all of your channels—especially your social media channels—to help get eyes on it and links to it. (And, referring to that earlier note about insufferable posts, make that announcement interesting, helpful—even intriguing. Don’t just say “Hey, I wrote this article. Here’s a link.”)

3. Know your audience and speak their language

Research words and phrases your audience uses for your product and use them in your content. Don’t make assumptions. If you don’t use terms your audience uses when they’re looking for information on your product or offering, your content won’t be returned in their search results. This article provides some good tips on how to do keyword research for SEO.

Just as important is understanding searcher intent: what question are searchers trying to answer? What information are they trying to find?  Search engines are optimized to return searches that match a user’s intent—so that should be your goal in content, too. Here’s some good information on addressing user intent with your content strategy.

Search engines recognize synonyms and word variations, so you can write naturally about your product, using the full variety of terms that may apply, throughout your content.  For example, if you’re selling electronic books, you can write about electronic books, e-books, and digital books—if your audience uses any of these terms to search and your content contains them, there’s a good chance your content will show up in search results.

4. Write for usability to improve SEO

What’s good for usability is good for SEO.

One way to improve content usability is to divide content into sections which are separated by compelling headings that contain relevant keywords. Your audience can more easily scan your content, and search engines will respond to the keywords.

Another usability tip is to put your most important information first: readers may not get to the end of your content, so front-load the critical information. For example, in this post, the most important things you can do to improve SEO are at the beginning. So even if you didn’t get past the first couple of sections, you got the most important information.

5. Keep content fresh

This is especially important for a new site. Search engines favor sites that publish new content regularly—it means you’re paying attention and staying up to date.

Create an editorial calendar that supports serving up relevant content on a consistent basis. And update your home page frequently to keep it topical.

6. Blog regularly

Blogs give you a bit more topic flexibility than your regular website. You can post about things that you wouldn’t cover on your website, giving you a chance to talk to your audience about areas where your product can add value—and to potentially attract a bigger audience.  If you blog, create new posts on a regular basis—fresh content! And remember to be interesting, helpful or both.

In summary, develop original, one-of-a-kind content that others will want to link to, make sure it addresses audience intent, and keep it fresh.

Resources Online can help you plan, create, and publish content that brings visitors to your site—contact us today.

For more information:

Build a solid SEO foundation

Backlinks for SEO

Original content that adds unique value

83 thoughts on “6 ways to improve search engine optimization with great content

  1. One of Google’s most important ranking factors is user metrics. Posting and even syndicating engaging content is key! Many of our clients don’t have the time themselves or the resources, so we have a content staff dedicated for that.

    Reply
  2. One way I like adding value is by making an interactive version of content that already exists. This can be adding figures/images or including relevant embeds from various social media platforms, especially if the embeds let the user zoom in or manipulate the data being displayed.

    Reply
  3. A blog without content is next to useless. Content is always the king when it comes to SEO or Digital Marketing. Focus on creating great content, create a good social media traffic and good optimization of the article then positive outcome will follow.

    Great article btw. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. It is difficult to write good content when you dont enjoy writing. I have a hard time with it especially to make it sound engaging. You have given me a few helpful tips and I hope this helps me engage with my potential clients more easily. Thanks

    Reply
  5. Search engines all have been clear in pointing to one thing since their beginning and that is “We love Content”. If your content speaks up for your visitors,then your website will definitely get all sorts of SEO benefits of the book.

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  6. Very well explained. I really appreciate the insight here in this post and confident it’s going to be helpful to me and many others. Thanks for sharing all the information and tips.

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  7. Provide the value and they will come. The more traffic you get from great content lets the search engines know that you are relevant for your topic. This helps with rankings.

    Reply
  8. My thoughts and something we practice is what is good for your business is good for SEO. Bringing any type of value that helps your business will attract customers and stand the SEO test of time. Great content always will be good for SEO.

    Reply
  9. Hey there I am so glad I found your blog, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Google for something else, Nonetheless I am here
    now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I
    also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all
    at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to
    read a lot more, Please do keep up the great job.

    Reply
  10. Quality content really IS so important. I can’t tell you the number of blogs I’ve visited that are simply hogwash – you can instantly tell that they’ve used an article spinner program that makes their piece sound nonsensical. I click out of them as fast as I possibly can. One of our main strategies is to employ high quality writers and it has proven to be exceptionally effective and well worth the investment.

    Reply
  11. I have heard about SEO before but I have never really looked into it that much. This article talks about publishing content that is really good so that others will use your website to link to. This seems like a huge advantage to me when it comes to boosting your search engine results.

    Reply
  12. I like that you mentioned that quality SEO means publishing content that other credible sources want to link to. It is a good idea to announce it as much as you can in order to generate traffic. I recently started my own website, for fun, and I have been struggling to gain more hits. This is great advice that should help me out quite a bit in my SEO.

    Reply
  13. I would agree that blog commenting is not dead! I have noticed a ton of traffic to my blog from commenting. We look at our referrals and look at the bounce rates and time on site as an indication of an audience that is interested in our content!

    Reply
  14. I believe that the most important thing is to create original and unique content that is valuable to the user. When you have content that is valuable to the user, you will gain natural traffic from social signals and decrease bounce rate.

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  15. I couldn’t agree more. Having relative content that makes it easy for the user to understand what the web page is about is so important. Without this relative information your site would be of bad quality and no one would want to link to it. I see so many web sites optimized for only SEO but not for the end user. The more relative the information the better ranking chances you have as an SEO and the more appealing you will be to the traffic that comes to your site.

    Reply
  16. Having content that others want to link to is one of the most natural ways to get back-links naturally. Great content that actually provides value to the reader is key. Give information first about the subject then give the reader your recommended solution by including a link back to the website that it is relevant to the top.

    Reply
  17. Having the keywords you want to rank in your content is one of the most powerful ways of ranking your site and if the content is really informative then it would make the google know more about the site.

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  18. Where you have your keywords is vital as google like them in particular places url /domain etc. Also, they hate duplications as mentioned in your article. Vey interesting thanks.

    Reply
  19. It is hard to question that the anchor text that you select for content is not important. Quality content with the appropriate keywords embedded is a key component of ranking. It will help to build authority for your website and to help with conversion as well. On-page optimization/SEO is critical as is ensure a stream of traffic with effective off-page SEO optimization.

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  20. You simply can’t get away with putting junk content up on your site any more, it’s so true. All websites need to contain relevant, professionally written content or people will click out FAST.

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  21. I a new to SEO things and I am go on collecting Tips everyday note it down do it practically.Our country is slow for technologies and internet things so I am trying hard. You have some good Technics that is very good. Thanks for the help It was great help for me :).

    Reply
    • I have more than 4 years of experience of optimizing websites and ranking them on major search engines. And currently, I am working in one of the best SEO companies in Nepal. Well, many other SEO companies in Nepal do have their team with same level of experience, but why am I better?

      Reply
  22. Thanks Dale for sharing such a wonderful post.Completely agree to it. A unique content always holds a value be it from ranking your site or from usability point of view.

    Reply
  23. #6 is something I’ve struggled with. Continually coming up with fresh content can be hard, but I’ve got the motivation and confidence to give it another shot now, so thanks 🙂

    Awesome share btw. I’ll be back for more 🙂

    – Jesse, TechUnmasked

    Reply
  24. Thank you for this one. This really shows how to create natural organic traffic by making great content that the end-user actually benefits from and find valuable. Everybody can go out and write some random article but only few are willing to invest the proper amount of time to write a great article. In the long run this will definitely bring value back to you, since you provided value to your visitors in the first place.
    I’ll get back to this site for more awesome articles!
    Thanks again
    -Jesper

    Reply
  25. Content is still king! If you want to keep your traffic on your website you have to write always great and relevant content with relevant image. It is not only the best ranking factors, it would be the brand after few months. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    Reply
    • I think this article really did an over the top job at nailing what’s actually working now. As search engine algorithms start to slow down, relevancy is actually becoming the biggest factor for ranking.

      Awesome information!

      Reply
    • I can’t begin to tell everyone how many amazing and unique experiences I’ve been afforded just by commenting quality posts to blogs.

      Even before I knew the word SEO I’ve been writing. It’s paid back in discipline, vocabulary, copywriting, pretty much almost everything!

      And just by actually contributing and caring about the actual health and dynamic of a form I’ve been offered jobs.

      Now I look at quality blog posting, and blog writing as just another place to network and get links from- some of my best performing links are from blogs!

      Just as a gentle reminder to others, really actually read the article and make that crystal clear. You’d be shocked at the opportunities I’ve gotten just by doing that.

      Thank you!

      Reply
  26. Regular content creation really is the key to building a powerful brand online. Regardless of which platform you choose to be more active on, establishing a regular content frequency and then following through on it is crucial to sustainable success.

    Reply
  27. Great article on content. Creating a unique article is of high importance when creating your website or post, while also ensuring that you are engaging your reader. There are many sources online to ensure that your content is unique, as google bots will always check for this feature. Thank you for your article.

    Reply
  28. Where you have your keywords is vital as Google like them in particular places URL /domain etc. Also, they hate duplications as mentioned in your article. Vey interesting thanks.

    Reply
  29. Great article on the important of content and enticing the reader to keep reading and stay on the website as long as possible. Keeping it active with blogging is a great tool. Thank you for your article!

    Reply
  30. Very good article, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to come across it. One my close SEO friends pointed me in your direction and I’m glad they did. Content is one of the key cornerstones that needs to be taken into consideration because it can have a much larger effect on ranking and what keywords you can rank for and you also need to take into consideration the quality of the content which can help with time on site, overall great article!

    Reply
  31. Well, all I know and I can say is that ‘Content is the King’. You have to keep on posting fresh and unique content on your website to get maximum business to take your website to a decent height. Thanks for sharing the amazing post and every pointer will add more value to the businesses.

    Reply
  32. Love your thoughts and content in this article. Great to see how much thoughts you have put into this article. I agree that great content and Fresh content is critical to your success in ranking. Great job. I look forward reading you again.

    Reply
  33. I think this content was spot on. Much of the seo world works on black hat seo and it tends to backstab people more often. Google is becoming more intricate and being TRULY organic with your content by writing it yourself. Gaming the algorithm is less and less worth it. Make sure to also utilize high authority sites that have high domain authority. Going back to blogging regularly, if one just blogs and does not get traffic or interaction from others, that missing half defeats the purpose of doing the action in the first place. Not to be critical but I think that only blogging regularly is half the battle.

    Reply
  34. I think this content was spot on. Gaming the algorithm is less and less worth it. Make sure to also utilize high authority sites that have high domain authority. Going back to blogging regularly, if one just blogs and does not get traffic or interaction from others, that missing half defeats the purpose of doing the action in the first place. Not to be critical but I think that only blogging regularly is half the battle.

    Reply
  35. Yes, content is the raw material that feeds the machine and keep real people moving forward towards the goals of the site owner. And the content needs support to be seen. Distribution is important as well.

    Reply
  36. You can get unique visitors only for relevant and great content! People love to know something from relevant content what has quality. By the way, thank you so much and I have bookmarked the site for further assistance.

    Reply
  37. I work with a lot of furniture stores and consult with them about content. One tactic that has worked extremely well is posting content that is adding value to their customers instead of just trying to hard sell. Instead of always posting pictures of their store or product, we’ve seen a lot of success with posting content on their website and social medias like “tips for a home make-over” and
    “decorating for holidays or parties”. Hope that provides some ideas for other niches you guys may be in!

    Reply
  38. I have always said that great content is one of the main keys to getting a website to not only rank, but to convey your message to a visitor that hopefully turns into a call and a sale. Too many people today put up a website with a bunch of pictures and then wonder why their site isn’t working like they thought it would…content, content, content!!!

    Reply

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