Guest Columnist Special Feature
Big question, how does web content really affect Search Engine Optimization or SEO? It has been said that content does not affect SEO very much – it’s all in page layout, design, and trickery. Yet a website's content still plays an enormous and fairly direct role in search engine ranking. We cannot over-emphasize that point.
Of course, the whole goal of the search engines' (mainly Google’s) ranking algorithm is to provide the user great content. The mechanism that search engines use to reward good, relevant content is essentially just a technical issue, though admittedly an extremely important technical issue. But it is an issue that is easier to navigate with good content.
But even in purely technical, terms, web content affects search engine rankings three ways:Inbound Links, Number of Web Pages, Keyword Optimization.
Web Content and Inbound Links
Inbound links are very important getting search engine rankings. Inbound links are links from other pages to your page. They should also provide plenty of traffic making inbound links dual purpose. The importance of links is what causes many people to say that content is not that important. But those people forget that great content is key to getting inbound links in the first place. For starters, good content will make potential link partners more comfortable with linking to your site. No one wants to link to a site with poor content. Good content gives other webmasters (and particularly bloggers) a reason to link to your site spontaneously without being asked. These are surprising and fun links for you as a webmaster.
Number of Web Pages in site
More web pages of good content will help with gaining more search engine traffic. Here’s why: (1) Adding pages to your site is provides more opportunities to get new customers.
(2) Search engines view larger websites as more prestigious and reliable and consequently rank them better.
(3) The more content you have, the more reasons you give other webmasters, particularly bloggers, to link to your site spontaneously, without being asked.
Web Content Keyword Optimization
Keyword optimization used to be the most important step in SEO. Now it is not as important for highly competitive keywords. Well thought out keyword optimization can really help you get traffic from searches not on competitive keywords. You may never rank number well for "real estate," you may still show up tops for a search on "real estate in Raleigh" if you have that phrase somewhere in your content. These searches make up a large proportion of your web traffic. It is important to try and think like your potential customers – not like a web master.
Following these 3 steps and emphasizing great content will help your site rise in the rankings.