The Importance of Content for SEO, Conversion, and Your Grandma!

In the wild and crazy world of the web, you may have heard various adages like “content is king” or “write for people, not for search engines”.   For an SEO like me, my stance is that you must have text on your website – end of story.  So for any of you Curious Georges out there that areks82002 asking “why?”, get yourselves cozy and read on, my friends!

It’s Good for SEO

I really enjoy learning about clients’ businesses and coming up with an organic search marketing campaign for their websites.  During the keyword research phase when I’m gathering information about words and phrases that my clients value, I’ll perform my normal keyword testing but I also need to check on the content available for these keywords.  If there is little-to-no content regarding these keywords, I’m quick to advise that we need to get that content in place.  There are various on-page SEO practices that can be implemented to emphasize keywords, but if there isn’t any content to support them- fuhgeddaboudit! 

Search engines check the titles and h1 tags but they also index the text on the page.  Keywords aren’t relevant if they’re not in a page’s content. This also goes for websites that are image-heavy and text-light.  These websites might look pretty, but they’re not going to perform well from a search perspective.  This does not mean that all you have to do is write your keywords repeatedly on your page.  The text needs to make sense to the humans who will be reading it and the keywords should be used only where they sound natural in the passage.

Search engines also like it when your site has inbound links from other quality websites.  As an added bonus, if you’ve got good content that is interesting and informational, other site owners will be more likely to accept your link requests during your link building campaign.

It’s Good for Conversion

There should always be a goal for your website.  Are you an online retailer?  Then your goal is to get people to put your products in the shopping cart and buy them.  Do you provide a service?  Then you want to be able to collect quality leads from people who are interested in what you do.  Unfortunately, if you’re not telling people how your product and service is going solve their problem or fulfill their need, you will probably be able to hear the sound of the bounces from the people leaving your site.  You can’t accomplish this without words.  Let’s not forget , however, that not just any ‘ole type of ad copy will do.  Your content needs to be written in a way that is focused specifically on how you are going to help the person who is visiting your site. Make it all about your target market, not you.

It’s Good for Your Grandma

Pew Internet & American Life Project’s Generations Online in 2009 report found that “older generations use the internet less for socializing and entertainment and more as a tool for information searches, emailing, and buying products.”  Take a look at your website.  Do you have a bunch of flash animation, videos, and other various widgets?  It’s not wrong if you do, as all of these things can have their place on a website.  Just remember that the goal is to make sure that you’re balancing it out with clear and concise content to make it easy for people to understand what your business is about and how to get what they are looking for.  People over the age of 55 are becoming even more active on the Internet, but according to Pew, the percentage of them that download videos is less than half.  Make sure you’ve got your information available in content form as well.

Do It!

Now that I’ve convinced you just how important content is for your site, what are you waiting for?  Go beef up those product descriptions, write those blog posts, and tweak that website copy!  Please don’t make me send my Grandma after you.