Many online marketers have not fully grasped the relationship between SEO and content, even though the maxim ‘content is King’ is one of the oldest and most widespread. Between social signals and links, many fail to recognize that both strategies must have backing of good content that fulfills user needs, which is what gives you a high ranking.
The truth is that brand/market leadership is not usually enough to guarantee a top rank for any particular keyword in organic search, even though it can contribute to elevation. As search algorithms grow in sophistication, user engagement and satisfaction are becoming more important for ranking.
Links are still important since they are quality endorsements, especially for Google. However, it remains true that many other signals are gaining more weight because of their ability to convey degree of user engagement and satisfaction, two important pointers for user experience. Going forward, if you don’t offer your consumers relevant and high quality content, you won’t rank for your target keywords.
Spending millions on misaligned goals
You may say that this is old news, but the truth on the ground is that many companies are still devoting thousands of dollars towards SEO, trying to reach the coveted top 10 spots for their target niche. Such companies focus on offering marketing content, believing that this will push sales for their products and/or services, expecting that content to gain a high ranking because they are industry leaders.
In the grander scheme, few companies are creating compelling content – enough to gain the attention of the average user who searches based on a non-brand, non-specific keyword – and hence gain the top ranking spots.
For instance, assume a user searching for content on “big data. Majority of B2B companies looking to rank for this keyword have content talking about their products and services, in different variations. Some may have some content covering definitions, which is good, but many times not enough to cater for their entire audience likely to search based on that term.
To make it to the top three resources for a given general keyword like the above example, you must become an authority at all things ‘big data’ for instance. This means offering content that’s less about selling your services/products and more about fulfilling average users’ information needs. And that’s how to get to the top.