SEO Vs CONTENT – WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT?
We are often asked, “why is my website not being found, is it the SEO or the content”. Without a doubt, both content and search engine optimisation are important when we look at ranking a website and converting a visitor into a customer, as both of these in conjunction makes for a successful amalgamation as visitors and search engines like Google, view these elements and will base their consideration of your website on how these elements are created, marketed and advertised. The main reason you would employ these tactics for your business would be to draw visitors to your website and convert them into customers with your content and a valid call to action. This article compares SEO versus Content and explains the relationship.
When we consider comparing SEO against content within your site, we need to look at the fundamentals of the two elements and what they actually consist of, as even a brief understanding of what the two elements do will convey the dynamic between them, which is useful to understand when trying to compare them both.
Get your website found with SEO
However great the content on your website, it is unlikely to be found by people searching on Google unless SEO techniques have been applied to it.
When we look at SEO, we should divide it into certain elements that make up a successful SEO campaign, as these elements are vital to the overall effectiveness and success of the optimisation. Say we have an article that we are asked to SEO; we look for the ideal article, which would be around 800-1000 words as this is the optimum amount for content. We would also be looking to input your targeted “main keyword” that would make up around 1% of the content. Once established, this would rise to around 2% for the same size article. The article will also have many variations of your main keyword and related keywords. This is a very important format when we look at SEO and content, and how they are used in conjunction with each other, as it’s easy to create content that has no SEO usability, which won’t rank at all. Whereas if you try and integrate SEO into content when it’s being created, the finished content is going to have much more chance of being ranked and favoured by Google for many variations of your keyword.
We have to remember (still using Google as an example) that there aren’t any humans on a day-to-day basis looking for good sites to rank. What’s in place of an actual person are algorithms based on a rough idea of what good content should contain. It is therefore possible to achieve a certain formula to replicate these results that will comply with Google’s “good content” criteria. This is why we find it very important to stick to the SEO content format when we look at articles in particular, as this is the most effective format we have found that works well. Being able to use analytics to compare previous trends also helps, as we are able to see which new SEO techniques are most effective, as it’s clear if there is a breakaway trend that really takes off that we can adapt and develop these techniques for customer’s websites.
Once the content is published “offsite SEO”, activities that promote the content across the internet, are used to increase the popularity of the content. The more “popular” the content is seen by Google, the more likely it is the article or web page will rank well.
When we consider this aspect, it denotes a rough idea of what your content has to contain in order for it to rank and deemed effective in regards to SEO. When we look at what content brings to the picture, we need to look at the amount of promotion you are creating for the article, and an effective call to action, all whilst keeping in the constraints of 800-1000 words. Dissecting the article again in regards to content, we look at promotion within the article as content related to your brand.
So for a new website that needs to obtain ranking and “popularity”, the “offsite SEO” would consist of up to 5% promotion based on your keywords, 35% around your company name and brand, 35% aimed at your domain name and 25% around the natural phrases that people would use to link to your website such as “click here”. This is very much an establishing promotion formula, and as stated, is used on new sites that need to obtain popularity, from both human visitors and Google.
Get your website found with Content
We have concluded that content on a website will not be found in search engines without SEO techniques being applied. However, a website will not be found in search engines unless it has great content.
Great content has three functions. Firstly, good content that addresses a problem for a potential customer and provides a solution, is likely to engage the website visitor and encourage them to continue reading. Secondly, once you have captured the attention of the reader you can provide a solution to their problem and start to convert then to a paying customer. Lastly, great content gives Google multiple opportunities to understand the message your website, or webpage, or blog post is trying to convey. Once Google understands the message, and if it deems its quality information, it will rank the content for searches based on the message.
The format of your content should be:
- Introduction to the issue/problem.
- Why this is usually an issue and the effects this issue can have for the reader.
- Name and explain a number of solutions for the customer and how they will resolve the issue.
- Why you are the company to provide these solutions.
- A call to action.
This can be as simple or as complicated as the subject matter allows. An example for a “leaking tap” could be:
- Leaking taps are an annoyance and yet easy to fix.
- A leaking tap can keep you awake at night with it’s continual dripping and, if you are on a water meter, cost you money.
- You could fix it yourself, by changing the washer (a brief explanation on how to do this and problems people may encounter}. Alternatively call an expert, such as a Plumber who can make the simple fix quickly and cheaply.
- At XXXX Plumbing we fix 100’s of leaking taps a year. It is a 15-minute task for us. We will fix the leaking tap for a fixed fee of £40
- Call us today and we will have that dripping tap fixed by bedtime.
Potential customers could find the website through searches for “how to fix a leaking tap”, and read through to the simple solution and possibly convert to a paying customer.
Fresh, engaging content should be added to your website on a monthly basis. If you have a competitor that adds “poor” content to their website monthly, over time your good content will help outrank them. If you have a competitor that adds good content monthly, then you need to add content twice a month. Be better than your competitors with the quality of your content and the frequency of the content.
Converting visitors to customers
Call To Action (CTA) is also a very important aspect we need to consider when building content, as it is the main driver for the actual conversion of a visitor into a customer. It is also the most overlooked and most infrequently added portion of the content to a website. Only this week, a business who requested we review their website said when asked why they do not have a call to action on a page, “people can find our telephone number on our contact us page”. A good CTA is not only easy to find but is an obvious “next step” when the visitor finishes reading the content.
Something as simple as a link to your website at the end of the article can be classed as a CTA, whereas we would create a much more in-depth CTA, like introducing full contact information giving the visitor multiple avenues they can contact, rather than just a link to a website. Not all CTA’s are used to “sell”, as it all depends on the client’s needs and the whole agenda behind the marketing and optimisation. Another CTA may be a charities website trying to obtain a multitude of things, ranging from more donations, volunteering, job applications or even event sign-ups as these are all tangible items that the charity can use to its an advantage, all be it not to strictly profit from, just to raise funds for said charity in this particular example.
Another example of a non-sale CTA would be the type to obtain information, as having direct access to someone’s contact information e.g. email address or social media page, gives you the ability to directly advertise to someone through a platform less saturated. This may be less true with contemporary media platforms since the scope for advertisement has been capitalised on. This is another side to CTA, as it’s still obtaining an asset that is beneficial to the company/organisation, which isn’t a sale. Some assets can only be obtained through CTA, which is why it’s important to have a direct and straightforward CTA when integrating it into an article.
SEO Vs Content Summary
We really shouldn’t be looking at comparing SEO and content as one being more important than the other, as they both have to work in conjunction in order to both attract visitors and convert them into a customer. Both are very important elements within creating a successful page that will host an effective call to action. Neither really works without each other as you could have the most informative and in-depth content on your site, but without SEO to make it accessible, people aren’t going to be able to access it unless you have a preliminary following already, either from social media or a local following. Without a pre-existing audience, the content isn’t going to be obtainable as it isn’t going to rank and that leaves the content stuck in a rut, where search engines aren’t seeing the page(s) you are displaying as a valid source of information. This really is the whole point of SEO, being able to apply certain formats and techniques of displaying your content that is going to create a good image according to Google’s algorithms that dictate what is good content and what isn’t.
Where to get help with SEO and Content
Website Audit and Marketing Plan
We can conduct an in-depth analysis of your website. How it compares to accepted SEO practices, the relevancy and quality of the content and what you can do to positively affect both. We create a detailed report that highlights issues or confirms good practice. Where improvements can be made we detail every aspect in an action plan that either your Webmaster or company team member can implement.
Retrospective SEO for your website
We offer a one-off service where we will conduct an in-depth analysis of your website, prepare a detailed report on the actions required, and implement those changes for you. We highly recommend having the website audit created first before committing to the ‘retrospective SEO’ service, as the report may highlight only simple changes that can easily be effected within your company.
Content Creation for your website
We offer a content creation service for websites. We write engaging content, with SEO techniques applied, and add them to your website. The service is bespoke to your company, market sector and competitors activities. We offer content creation solution packages suitable for small businesses through to multi-national companies.
If you would like a review of the content and or SEO on your website then please contact us on 0333 900 3322. We will conduct a full audit of your website and provide you with a “website marketing plan” that you can apply to your website and finally get it found in search engines like Google.