Getting long term search engine rankings continues to be a major aim for most online businesses who are looking to get more traffic and therefore increase their enquiries and sales from their website. Of course, SEO has changed, but the fundamentals of a well optimised website, packed full of excellent, engaging, quality and unique content still remain the same, it is just so few business owners actually embark on the content journey.

Without content, long term rankings are going to either take a lot longer to emerge, or, will never really stick across the board, as you can do as much link building as you like but without the right kind of content marketing plan you are going to struggle, with many SEO firms now changing their approach to concentrate more on the onsite optimisation than off-site in the modern era of search engines and in the light of the continued Google Panda and Google Penguin updates.

Below, we take a look at just a few of the main reasons that content, if done correctly, really can be the key to your SEO campaign performing successfully and lasting with long term results.

It Drives Your Blog

The amount of websites and business sites that do not have a blog or do not have a blog that is at the very least semi regularly updated still amazes me, and it is often the same people that will turn around and complain that no one is coming to their website because they are not ranking for anything.

Content is king when it comes to search engines, without it you are going to struggle to get the long term rankings that you are really looking for. You simply have to have a regular content strategy, both onsite and offsite, because without it, your website is not going to have enough being added to really get the increased traffic most businesses are looking for.

I think around 70% of ranking factors are down to onsite optimisation, all the way from title tags through to page speed, with content a major part of how the search engines treat your site. Make sure you write regularly and consistently, offer on topic, quality, unique and excellent content, and if you keep going at it you will soon see the effect this has on your rankings, guaranteed.

It Gets You Natural Links

It can be hard to realise when you start out on the path of writing and blogging, as it can often seem like no one is listening, reading or interacting with your blog, which can be disheartening to say the least. Then one day, someone finds your blog, loves it and shares it, and then you start to see the real impact of persevering and continuing to write, because it only takes one blog that someone loves and shares to start bringing in decent links.

Don’t forget, Google Webmaster Guidelines insist that any link back to your site should be natural, and there is no way that is more natural than someone loving what you write and sharing it, which can quickly turn into a snowball effect, as it can often lead to more readers and followers on your own blog as well. So, although the early days can be a little gloomy and you feel like there is no point, keep going, as in the long term it will be a decent customer (and link) acquisition tool.

It Encourages Social Signals

Social signals play a big role in your SEO campaign these days, so when it comes to getting likes, shares and plus 1’s across Facebook, Twitter and Google+, a well written article or blog is the best way to achieve this. People love to share, with one click buttons making this possible, so by writing a really informative guide, publishing an infographic or making a video that solves a problem, your visitors are more likely to share this, rather than your website because it looks nice.

The Internet is full of content, in fact you are reading a part of it now, so you need to make sure that the blogs and content you produce are informative, interesting, engaging and help to solve a problem, explain something or allow the reader to get something from reading the article. It is important you write content that is worth its little place on the World Wide Web, rather than just writing for the search engines, because those days are thankfully well and truly behind us!

You Can Publish Off Site

Your content can form part of your content marketing plan, which means you write for other websites and they will publish your unique, quality and on topic blog posts for their readers to enjoy. Of course, you should not approach this as a link hunting exercise as most of the top resources online really just want your content, rather than having something that is full of links and placed purely for that reason, but a link in your Author bio or something similar is often ok.

Think of these blog posts as a good way to get exposure in front of a different audience rather than a place to get a decent link back to your site, because if you write for their audience and it gets shared to a whole new set of people, this can often be worth far more than the extra percentage of link juice. Generally, article directories and press release sites are to be avoided, but high quality blog placements are still worth chasing, despite what you might hear from others.

Consumers Make Judgements From It

Although not strictly part of your SEO, more along the lines of your overall online marketing campaign, your customers will make judgements about your products, services and company when looking at what you write and how often you write it. For example, I run an online marketing blog, so my potential customers know that when they read a few posts about Adwords, SEO or Email Marketing that I am offering this as a service, but they can then read my blogs to make up their mind about how good I am at what I offer.

Many businesses fail to realise that yes, you might be giving something away for free in terms of your blogs and the information that they contain, but most of your readers will not really have the time or inclination to do it themselves, so based on the information you have written, will probably contact you anyway.




Ian Spencer, MD IS Digital Marketing.