Good quality content is the most critical ranking factor in the Google algorithm. If your content is high enough in quality, it will eventually attract attention and get the backlinks that it needs to go to the top of the SERP.
That's not to say that public relations and collecting backlinks isn't essential. They are.
But genuinely amazing content has potential that backlink grinding doesn't have.
Consider Wikipedia. Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world, while the link farmers from the thin content websites of Demand Media have fallen by the wayside.
Content is king, for sure.
Content needs to have several attributes to be successful. Google and website visitors look for when deciding which piece of content to use.
A high E-A-T rating: EAT is an acronym that means Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Sometimes it seems like the truth is dead, but Google is pushing back hard against misinformation campaigns.
Be engaging: Experts write scientific papers with a high degree of authoritativeness. So why do they rank poorly? Because they are boring. Communicators need to blend audience engagement with expert knowledge.
Good presentation: We all know that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but publishers still spend lots of money to make engaging book jackets. Typos, ugly design, and poor writing will kill the best ideas.
You need to do good keyword research. SEO auditors use content analysis tools like Usetopic.com to find focus keywords and related topics. These tools cost money, but they speed up the writing process by providing high-quality content ideas for new content.
Writing about topics that have high-volume keywords gives a massive potential market for your ideas. Potentially, you could be famous if your writing takes off in a big niche.
On the other hand, important niches have massive competition. Content about pets is an enormous niche, but there are an awful lot of pet owners who think a blog about dogs would be a fun hobby.
There are ways around the problem of massive competition. Find a content strategy that works for your website and business plan.
If you don't provide good information, someone else will. When I search for "best hotdogs in New York," I don't want to see a picture of a rat eating a hotdog in a New York subway.
My intent matters. It's fun to be surprised and see quirky material sometimes, but I'm busy and looking for something specific most of the time.
So. If you write content about the new apple silicon, make sure that it's going to find its audience, entertain them, and present relevant information.
Thin content is a problem that long plagued the internet. Sensing the danger, Google has made significant progress in pushing thick content over the past 15 years.
Today, content must be very informative and thick with information to rank well in a competitive niche.
Content must be well researched and factual. Poor quality content will get drowned because getting backlinks will be a hopeless dream. If you want to get publications and high domain authority sites to link to your content, it must be something extraordinary.
Poorly researched, written, and edited content just isn't going to do well. There is so much competition in competitive niches that it takes an all-out effort to secure any website traffic from the Search Engine Results Page.
Poor writing will annoy your site visitors and eliminate any chance of getting backlinks. A big part of content optimization is re-editing the content inventory you've already produced.
SEO auditors do a full content audit and make recommendations about the readability of your content. Auditors look at trends and how your content will perform with high-volume search queries.
Not only does bouncing lower your conversion percentage, but it also kills your SEO.
Google can easily see what happens after a site visitor leaves the SERP. Since many searchers return to the SERP after going into another website, Google builds an accurate picture of how much time they spent with your blog post.
Pogo sticking is when a site visitor leaves your website and then pops up on the SERP a few seconds later. Then they go into your competitor's website and stay for a while. That tells Google that the competitor's website was a better content match.
Your writing needs to be authoritative enough for other people to link to it.
Media outlets like newspapers and television have strict requirements for the content that they show. If there are mistakes in research or copy-editing, they will media will pass on your content.
Social media and other websites in your niche will be vital factors in your backlink strategy. These sites will upvote and link to you only if your content delivers unique value to the community.
Duplicate content is a significant problem because Google will only choose one version to display in the search results. That means the second-best option won't be displayed at all.
Duplicate content is also useless for backlinks because nobody is going to backlink to plagiarized content. Even if you're not the one who plagiarized the content, you'll have to prove that you were the first.
The top domain authority websites already get the majority of citations and have the highest visibility. If you want to have any hope of breaking in, your content needs to be unique and say things nobody has ever said before.
SEO Content analysis will look at your content and look for problems and opportunities. An SEO auditor will look at your content and first consider if the quality is good enough to rank on the SERP. Secondly, the auditor will look for opportunities to relink your content in a way that builds brand value.
If your content isn't good enough to rank, then you have to fix that problem first. No amount of search engine optimization will solve the problem of poor content.
Simply putting up your content and hoping to get somewhere is like throwing wet spaghetti at the wall. Some might stick, but you have no control, and a lot will hit the floor.
Pay attention to your metrics, and look for key insights. By using Semrush, Google Search Console, or Ahrefs, you can drill down on your page SEO and find the golden opportunities you've been missing.
SEO auditors look to link your content together into clusters and point the content at your top money-making pages. There are a variety of strategies for linking pages, but they all come down to keeping your site visitors clicking on your content until they fall into your sales funnel.
If they fall into the sales funnel right away, great! Your SEO auditor will work to make that happen. But if not, we need to keep them engaged and progressing through the funnel.
Content is absolutely king in SEO. Backlinks and other factors won't affect poor content because today, poor content has zero chance to build up enough backlink equity to get ranked.
Building your domain authority and brand equity takes time, but it doesn't take forever. Fashions change, and older content eventually decays, making room for fresh ideas.
Avoid SEO issues by thinking about your user engagement and content quality. If you take the time to sit down with an SEO auditor right from the start, you'll save money.
Fixing your mistakes and changing strategies mid-stream means that you're going to need to make your investments twice. It wastes time and staff salaries and wastes money on the content that ends up cut.
In the end, you'll end up having to create good content with good SEO to have any chance of ranking. So do yourself a favor and talk to an expert right at the start of your planning process.