Search engine optimized content is one of the most important elements of SEO. It plays a vital role in determining who finds your website and what information they take away once they have landed there. It also plays a vital role in increasing your conversion rate.
How Search Engines Work
First, it is important to understand how search engines (like Google and Bing) operate and how people perform their searches, because it directly correlates to the importance of SEO-friendly content on your website. Since Google is the most widely used search engine, I will use them as an example.
After a website has been launched, Google scans the code of the site and indexes it. Indexing is the process of creating indexes for record collections. Google uses this process to organize the massive amounts of information acquired while continuously scanning or “spidering” new and existing sites. This method allows Google to retrieve specific information quickly when called upon.
When a person performs a specific search, they use keywords to try and narrow their results in order to find what they need faster. Almost instantaneously, Google reviews these keywords and combs its massive database indexes to find matches to those keywords. Once matches have been found, Google returns only the most relevant results called SERP’s (search engine results pages).
How does Google determine relevancy? That is the billion dollar question. Google uses highly advanced algorithms to determine what will be most relevant to your search. Google prefers to keep these things a secret to maintain a more fair and balanced system. However, online marketing experts have studied how Google responds in searches and have discovered many of the common things that Google evaluates and values.
While there are seemingly countless SEO elements at work here, both on the page itself and off the page, the number one thing remains true; content has been the number one factor since the beginning. Why? People use words to communicate. They use them in their daily lives and, as I mentioned before, they use them while searching online. Another reason is because the scanning process is done by a computer. Computers read the code that humans and programs have written. If actual text is not present, there is nothing for Google to read. Simply put, if you do not have text, there cannot be a match when a user types in a keyword.
Content is King
Having content on your website is only the first step toward having a website users can find. The next step is ensuring that this content is uniquely yours. Although it may be tempting, it is important not to duplicate or reuse copy from someone else. Copying text from another site is looked down upon by the search engines. Search engines give precedence to the originator of the text on the search engine results page to combat this. Therefore, it is vital to the success of your website that your website contains only unique and original copy.
Once the copy is there in both volume and quality, search engine marketers expertly integrate keywords using proven-techniques within the online marketing industry. They ensure that essential keywords are neither too sparse nor too dense. Keywords create the ability for a match between what a user searches and what is in the Google indexes.
Content in Context
Of course, having a successful website isn’t just about catering to the search engines. Sure, you can drive them there…but can you keep them? It’s important to remember that its people reading your content and it is those people whom you are selling to. It is equally as important that your content be well-suited for users as well. The content on your site should follow these basic rules:
- Completely Original / Unique Content
- No Duplicate Content
- More paragraphs – less bullets
- Text that conveys your company’s expertise (products and services) and reliability (history and policies)
- Something of interest to buyers – What can you do for them?
Remember, imagery and text helps your company represent itself to the world. The world has turned to the internet for searching and even buying. Your presence on the web needs to be strong and competitive in this space. A full and rich site that utilizes SEO techniques can help you get there. Whether people skim or really read the text, it is important to have it there as a powerful resource.