Content is King.
Web content. What is this “king” that search engines, web-savvy intellects and other industry gurus refer to? According to Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville in Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, content is broadly defined as the “stuff in your Web site” (second edition, page 219). While this may be a loose definition, web content can be further defined as the text, data, applications, images, video files, and audio – among other things – that make up your site. In other words, anything that is textual, visual or audible in nature can be deemed web content. While each of these should be focused on, as far as optimization goes, in order to improve a website’s results within the search engine rankings, textual content is the most viable for optimization – and a primary focus for most SEO departments in an online marketing company.
Relevant To SEO
Yet, when referring to “Content is King”, “content” is implied as the written HTML text, or a derivative thereof, that is easily index-able by the search engines. So…how is this relevant to SEO? It’s relevant for a couple reasons. One being, that if a search engine can index the text available on a site quite easily, the search engines can then determine which categories, keywords, etc. that each page of a site is about.
Now, you may still inquire as to the relevancy that the content plays in optimizing for organic results…to which I continue to my second point. So, how is content useful in gaining rankings within the search engines? Easy. Since search engines use the information that they have indexed to “match up” with what a searcher seeks when querying for a certain phrase or topic, the pages of a website that have the most relevant content on that particular phrase or term (topic) will be those delivered to the searcher in the order of most related sites to least related. Therefore, the more a certain phrase is used within a page – or multiple pages – of a website, the more likely that those pages will appear in better positions of the Search Engine Results Page or SERP.
For example, I have a website that sells designer handbags. I carry some of the following designers: Prada, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. If I want to show up in the top spots for terms such as “Prada handbags”, “designer purses”, “Chanel hand bags”, etc., I better make sure that the content I place on my site includes these phrases. Keep in mind that I will also want the page of my site that features the latest Prada bags to include relevant and optimized Titles and Meta Tags featuring these keywords as well. I would not include terms that are irrelevant to the products I offer. Some examples of keywords that I would refrain from using include: snowboard equipment, dog collars, picture frames. Why? Well…hopefully it’s obvious, but none of these terms have anything to do with my site or the products I offer because I only sell designer purses and handbags.
Once you understand the important role that content plays in the scheme of website optimization, you should better understand the need for your site to update its content or improve its relevancy. As one of the most important elements in reaching desirable rankings within the search engines, it is no wonder that content is king!
For further information on the do’s and don’ts of content strategy…stay tuned.