Spend a few minutes browsing IM or SEO websites and I guarantee you’ll come across the phrase ‘content is king’.
The expression has been around a long while, but seems to have become the mantra of the day since the upheaval wrought by the many Google updates of recent years. ‘Google loves quality content’ proclaim the pundits, the same people who just a few years back swore that energetic backlink building was the way to go.
“Content is king” is a cliché and like all clichés, it conveys a fundamental truth, namely that people come to your site to find solutions to their problems, and you’ll be richly rewarded for providing those solutions. The conduit for conveying those solutions is your content, so your success depends on its quality.
However, like all clichés it’s also far too simplistic to reflect reality. What is content and how should it be used? What does ‘quality mean’, and so on? What exactly are the facts about the regal status of content? To try to answer these questions, let’s take the royal analogy a little further.
All the King’s Men
Consider the king of feudal times. He ruled supreme, but not alone. He needed barons, serfs and soldiers to keep his kingdom strong and prosperous. Likewise content alone is not much use.
You can have the finest words, images and videos imaginable on your website but to have any value, such content must be presented to those who would value it. In other words, content must be part of an overall marketing strategy designed to bring visitors to your site.
Once you have visitors you have to be sure your content is relevant to their needs. If I’m looking to buy new tiles for my home and land at a site containing a stunning article on the use of ceramics in ancient China, I’m unlikely to stick around. The article may be magnificent but it’s irrelevant to what I’m searching for.
The other factor to focus on is presentation. Other than the words themselves and the way they’re structured and organised, presentation covers matters such as layout, design, use of fonts and white space etc. For online reading, short sentences and generous use of white space is recommended.
So we can conclude that content is indeed king as long as it fulfills its purpose. It has to be well presented, and most of all it has to be relevant to the needs of your visitors. The only way to build such content is by incorporating rigorous keyword and demographic research to discover customer needs and searcher intent.
Ultimately, the whole reason for your website’s existence is to be a vehicle for content. Done correctly, content is what connects with your visitors, and that’s the only way to build a real business.