With all the focus and talks on content & inbound marketing these days, there is a pretty big inclination in the SEO community to believe that, SEO has come down to just two things – producing good content consistently and social shares.
A typical content marketing advice goes something like this,
> Create a blog.
> Focus on your primary keywords.
> Write content around the primary keywords, consistently.
> Create lists & leverage social formulas.
> Get shares on social media.
> Go back to producing content.
For most part, good content is what is thought to drive traffic. I’ve heard folks say that content is king and good content will naturally attract attention, or similar things along the lines. True for the most part, but wish I could agree with this.
I’m pretty sure experienced SEOs will agree that there is more to the story than is often told.
SEO is not about just good content. Yes, it is about good (amazing perhaps) content, but not just content. Big difference.
Here’s where people go wrong.
Create amazing content and stop there. It’ll work on it’s own.
This takes me to some of the SEO practices that happened five years earlier, where SEOs would “optimize” your website for keyword density, H1 tags and Page meta, and leave it at that, expecting the magic to happen.
Sorry to pop the bubble but unless you have links or mentions pointing at you, none of that content you created can give you sustainable, long standing authority or ranks or traffic. Please note, I said sustainable, long standing – not one time traffic.
Now, why do you always see certain websites perform better than others on search engine – consistently? It’s because (out of the many reasons), they have more topical relevance in terms of mentions compared to others. This is also the reason why you don’t see a young website show up in Google, even though it may have better content than the existing ones. With no domain authority or topical relevance, it’s really difficult to topple the biggies even with 5X better content.
But don’t get me wrong now. Content is a great way to reach first page. Create 5X better content than the first 10 guys on SERPs and you stand a good chance to topple them over. But…here’s the interesting part.
Unless you have people vouching for you, be it social or brand mentions or links, your content is just like that super fancy restaurant nobody goes to.
There is nothing wrong with a great content strategy, but I find the undue importance given to producing content slightly misleading. Getting mentions and links to your content/domain is as important as producing amazing content.
Now, in my personal experience, I’ve found that you don’t have to try too hard to find links like earlier days. You don’t need a “link building” project. Which means that you don’t need to match or get more links in number than the first ten guys out there to topple them.
With 5X better content, all you need is a few good ones. And with that kind of content, it is really easy (or less difficult) for you to get them. Pitch your content to the right places and ensure that you have amazing content they’d love to link to and add value to their website. Imagine you are the webmaster and ensure you’ll be happy to link to this piece (your’s) of content.
So, to summarize, content and inbound marketing strategies are great for SEO. In fact, that is indeed the way to go, but if you’re looking for ranks and organic traffic, then you shouldn’t stop with just producing good content. Go further and sell yourself. Earn some links and mentions.
No website is a good website unless people say so.
What do you think? What have been your experience with content marketing and SEO performances?