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Is Content Really King?

Apr 13, 2011 / by Kevin Phelps

There are a number ways to get your website more visibility: higher search engine rankings, interesting content, pay per click, affiliate marketing and social media. These are all great ways of increasing traffic and most large organizations touch on every mentioned online marketing method. The method I’ve been thinking of lately is having fantastic content; what effect it has on my other online marketing channels and if a site can succeed solely on content to earn it the title of, “Content is King”.

Content is Only King if What You’re Promoting is Actually Interesting

Unless you’re The Oatmeal or you have a huge following like Apple, you might want to reconsider having your main online marketing strategy as content generation and distribution. To have people come to your website because they truly want to, you need to be interesting and provide entertaining or helpful content. “Content is King” is only true when you have a large following or when your content is constantly engaging.

Sites where content truly is king include: DontEvenReply.com (personal favorite), The Oatmeal, ClientsFromHell.net, The Onion, TechCrunch and of course the huge sites like Facebook and YouTube.

Great Content Equals Better Search Engine Rankings?

From an SEO perspective, it’s obvious that having a blog on your website with constant fresh content is a good thing; no argument there. However, just because you post plenty of good content, doesn’t mean your rankings are going to improve directly because of that. Unless your analytics show that your content piece is receiving high levels of search traffic, you cannot directly attribute great search engine rankings because you are a great writer, designer or programmer. But remember, having fresh new content on your site for the search engines to index is just one of hundreds of great ranking factors for the search engines. So, what kind of value does great content have on your overall search engine rankings? My opinion: insignificant considering other methods like onsite optimization and link building.

How Will Great Content Actually Benefit Me?

It all depends on your industry. If you have a website that is funny and people come to you because they actually want to, you don’t really need to do anything other than keep being awesome and posting original content.

If your industry is uneventful or boring to the general public, or you are an informational website or in an industry where no defined market leader has been established, you may want to reconsider focusing your efforts in content, and pursue other online marketing channels like SEO, PPC and social media for a more substantial ROI.

My Business or Industry isn’t Exactly Exciting, How Can I Utilize Content Marketing?

If you can’t drive traffic to your website because of your industry or product, promoting content and linkbait through social media will be your best friend. Using Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Reddit or Digg to get your content in front people’s eyes is just about the only alternative if you’re site can’t do it on its own.

How Will I know if People think my Product or Industry is Interesting?

Are there major discussions, forums or blogs talking about your industry? For example, SEOmoz, a popular SEO resource is popular because they publish interesting articles, helpful tools and have a community of people with the same interests. They’re successful because of great content that appeals to a wide audience and as such, they’re a household name to those in the Internet Marketing industry.

Do you disagree? I think great content is a must, but saying “Content is King” in a general sense might be going too far. Please, leave a comment and get a discussion going. I’d love to know what you think based on your experiences.

Topics: SEO content is king Search Engine Optimization SEO Tips Social Media SEO.com On-Page Optimization

Kevin Phelps

Written by Kevin Phelps

Kevin is a former SEO Manager at SEO.com. He has been actively involved in the SEO industry for over three years and has worked with small and large businesses nationwide.

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