In 1996 the term “content is king” was said by Bill Gates. Over 20 years later we’re debating weather content is king more than we ever did back than.
The question of weather Content is more important than SEO is more frequently being asked. Should we be focusing on content or SEO? While the question itself is reasonable to ask, the primary driven factor of online marketing is “context”. Is developing online platforms for people more than robots more effective?
When Bill Gates coined the term “content is king” back in 1996, few people thought that quote would turn into an industry cliché, yet almost 18 years later, we’re debating whether content truly is king more than we ever did in 1996.
Why Context should be used in your Online Marketing Strategy
If you were the marketing manager of a business that produced solar panel’s, your marketing campaigns would greatly be differentiated from marketing campaigns for consumer driven companies such as Ford, or Aldi.
Within the traditional marketing world, digital marketing is not a one size fits all commodity and the outcomes depends on the content specific to each organisations campaign. It is important to define that content marketing is imply part of an overall SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
Important Factors That Help Determine Whether Content or Technical SEO Will Be More Valuable
Current website design (including degree of technical errors)
As the saying goes, you have to learn to walk before you can run, and in this instance, you need to correct your basic SEO errors before moving on to more advance SEO aspects. If your website is rife with technical errors, poor site structure, and bad design, adding more content will more than likely be a waste of time, since that content is unlikely to rank due to technical issues on the website. Before you start an ambitious development strategy for your content, make sure your website cultivates an SEO friendly environment for your content to live.
One of the common mistakes internet marketers make is to ignore the technical foundations of their chosen web platform is the failure to implement browser compliant code, structured data, and HTTPS support.
Industry / website niche
The niche of your website plays an incredibly large role in weather you’ll be able to gain traction from a development plan focused on content. While search traffic of niche websites may be difficult to find, one of the things to keep in mind is there is typically less search competition for niche keywords, and long tail terms that often convert a higher rate than broad keyword searches.
It’s still a relevant question for any organisation to ask weather building a strategy for content is worth their time and money if there isn’t a valuable topic to write about.
Blogosphere & social interest for related topics
Social media has paved a new dimension in which information is spread. Quality content will often see more traction and traffic from social media platforms than from organic search engines. However social media traffic may not provide a continuous surplus of traffic. Some industries and niches have more social discussion related to their content than others. If you feature a lot of publications, bloggers and social traction, this is a sign of a very healthy content development environment.
These features can be in the format of social media widgets and featured comments in your sidebar or mentioned within your content. Social discussion allows your traffic to grow by networking, attracting backlinks, social traffic and generating traffic from organic search from unique content.
Content competition + brand equity
Creating content in a high search volume isn’t the only thing that matters. If the content you create doesn’t rank for relevant topics you’re targeting, the content is almost useless from a search perspective.
One of the primary challenges for content creation is that for most heavily searched content niches, there are a plethora of articles and websites competing for similar search terms. A high level of brand exposure can do wonders when it comes to competing for search results.
Google particularly loves brands and so do people. People have a tendency of clicking on a search result from a trusted brand or name they are familiar with. This increases the conversion rate, click-through rate and in turn, helps to boost organic rankings.
Volume of content currently available
The volume of content that is currently available on a website does matter. If a website already has an enormous content library covering most of the relevant keyword searches, it may be more valuable to focus on repurposing, optimising, and building links to the content that is available instead of creating more content.
Another problem that my occur is over-saturation of content that may start to cannibalise rankings due to various content pieces having very similar keyword topics. Even if search engines don’t view content as duplicate, they will need to choose which web page they want to rank in search results if two or more pages are focused around the one keyword phrase.
Quality of backlink profile
Backlinks still matter, and this isn’t likely to change any time soon. When it comes to search competition, pages with a large volume of links will typically outrank pages with low to no backlinks. If your website has a backlink profile and authority flows well throughout your website, this will make gaining success from content development much easier.
One of the most positives things about having a high quality catalog of content is that the content itself should help attract links naturally, removing the need to develop a profile manually.
Conclusions: Is Content Better Than Technical SEO?
Digital marketing is not a one-size fits all service, and content marketing is just one important piece of a well-developed inbound marketing campaign.
Looking at content vs. technical SEO in a nutshell, I would be inclined to say that high quality content will typically drive more search traffic than technical SEO would. With that said, content is co-dependent on a solid base of technical SEO, search rankings, and search volume relating to relevant keywords. Asking whether content is more important than SEO is akin to asking whether the wheels or engine are more important to driving a car.
If you disagree or agree with my views on content and technical SEO leave a comment below, or send me a tweet @ShaquilleRay