For the longest time, especially in the beginning of the world wide web, building links was mostly at the forefront of everyone’s mind when it came to getting more traffic to their website. Even though the content has always been high up in terms of the most important ranking factors, a massive focus (maybe even too much) was placed on link building. But, why wouldn’t it be when you could simply acquire a mass amount of backlinks, no matter where they came from, or their level of quality, and you would rank well within the search results!
However, all that changed once the search engines started realising that websites were taking advantage of the system. After that, more and more importance has been placed on content with each update. Nowadays, content is still one of the top-ranking factors (some would argue to be the number one) and something every successful SEO strategy optimises for.
Users search for content, and the search engines find and suggest relevant content for the user. This means that to rank well in the search results, a website not only has to have a good reputation and high-quality backlinks, but it also has to have relevant and high-quality content that relates to what the user is searching for.
What Is Website Content?
To understand the importance of content, we must first understand what it is. Techopedia gives a great definition of what website content is.
“Web content refers to the textual, aural, or visual content published on a website. Content means any creative element, for example, text, applications, images, archived email messages, data, e-services, audio and video files, and so on”
As you have just now read, website content can be anything from blog posts to images and even audio files playing in the background. There are a whole host of factors that are taken into account when ranking a website's content, which is why it is so important to optimise the content of your site in the first place.
What Is SEO & Organic Traffic?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”. By definition:
“Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.”
In its simplest form, SEO means making sure that your website includes the keywords, content and phrases that your target audience and customers are searching for. For more information on what SEO is and why it is important for the search engines, you can check out our blog post on this specific topic.
According to Search Facts organic traffic can be defined as the following:
“Organic traffic measures visits to a website from a search engine that were earned naturally, but not paid for via advertising. Visitors who are categorized as organic enter your website after searching the web with a search engine like Google or Bing.”
The Importance Of Content & Their Effect On SEO & Organic Traffic
Now you know what content, SEO & organic traffic are, and the factors pertaining to each of them, it is now time to dive into the importance of website content and the effect they have on SEO and organic traffic.
As we have mentioned, search engines have come a long way over the years, and it is now more complex and challenging to achieve good rankings within the SERPs (search engine results pages). Website content is not just for search engines, but also for the people that are viewing it. This means that not only are search engines looking at the reputation of a website but at the same time, they are looking for the relevance of your website's content to the search queries of their users.
Content provides information, and this information can be used to educate search engines about your website and what it has to offer. You should always keep in mind how your website is portrayed to search engines and whether it accurately communicates your website’s purpose, and more importantly, solves the queries users are making. It is important to note that you must create content that is based around queries/topics users are searching for. You could create the best piece of content the web has ever seen, but if no one is searching for content around that particular topic, then no one will see it.
A great tool to use that will help when it comes to ideas for what content to create is ‘Answer The Public’. This tool allows you to search for a keyword or topic, and they will give you questions, prepositions and comparisons of what people are potentially going to be searching for. You could then cross-reference this by using SEO software to see the amount of search volume for certain keywords and phrases.
We have compiled a list of things we believe to be some of the most important factors in regards to how your website content impacts SEO and organic traffic.
Well written and optimized website content can not only solve a user's search query, but it can also lead to more website visitors. Content such as blog posts allow you to increase the use of keywords and phrases amongst your written based content, which is going to help when users search for specific keywords. By writing content that is both helpful to the viewer and optimised for the search engines, this will increase your overall website visitors, which, as we know, increases organic traffic.
Convert Traffic To Leads Or Customers
How does a business get customers? By doing one of three things - fulfilling a need, solving a problem or proposing a new opportunity. Your website content plays a highly important role in converting website traffic into leads and paying customers.
Let’s imagine two websites- website A and website B. Website A includes content that is both well written, helpful and optimized for the visitors. Website B also includes content, but is very brief, not that helpful and not optimized. Which website do you think is going to not only receive more organic traffic, but also convert traffic into leads and customers? Of course the one that facilitates better the byer during the decision making process. And I bet it is website A.
The content of a website plays a massive role in taking website visitors through the buyer's journey to becoming a paying customer. One of the best ways to increase a website’s conversion rate, is to look at its content and optimize it in a way that delivers a brilliant user experience, and gives all the information needed in enough detail to make the visitor want to hand over their wallet there and then.
It Helps Improve Your SEO & Increase Your Rankings
Content and SEO form a bond that can shoot any website to the top of the search engine rankings, but in order for that to happen, they need to be at their best. One of the big rankings factors involved in SEO is keywords, and website content is just the place to store them!
But, and this is a big but, always refrain from ‘keyword stuffing’. This is where you riddle your website content with as many keywords as possible. This can have a huge negative impact on your website’s SEO and search rankings. And, as we mentioned earlier, your content must not only be optimized for the search engines, but also for the user, and we can bet they are going to notice if you use the same keywords 100 times in a 500-word blog post!
So, as long as you aren’t keyword stuffing and you are optimizing your website content appropriately and effectively, you will notice your SEO improve and your rankings start to increase.
Good Website Content Increases Shareability
Have you ever visited a website and the content was so helpful that you just had to share it with others online? It has probably happened at least once. Shareability is something that all great content receives. Remember, nowadays, you are not just writing content for the search engines, you are writing content for users. And, as we explained, by writing content for users and what they want to see, you are going to also be rewarded by the search engines.
Shareability increases a website's reputation and shows the search engines that not only are users viewing the content, but they like it that much, they are sharing it in other places online. Think of shares as a second type of backlink. They are a way to 1) show the search engines that users like your content, which improves SEO and increases organic traffic 2) increase your online reputation and 3) drive new users to your website to view that same content, and other content on your website as well.
It Makes The Website Valuable
Finally, content makes your website valuable. It helps you to solve the queries people are making online. It helps increase authority in your market, improve your online reputation and show that you are an expert in your industry.
Content also builds trust and shows people that they can use your website as a valuable source for information they need on a certain topic, or products and services they may also need.
So, we hope that you now know the huge importance of content on SEO and organic traffic.
Remember to not only write content for the search engines, but for its users as well. This will help your website cover all bases and implement a well-rounded content marketing strategy!
Have you read our blog post on Email Marketing Best Practices: 7 Tips For Dramatically Better Emails?
If you are interested in finding out how VEVS can help improve your website’s content for you, visit our digital marketing page for more information on our ‘Content Improvement’ service.