SEO Success — Guess What…Content Works!

People ask me all the time, “how can I get ranked in the search engines quickly?” Sometimes, I can point out a couple of things that will make a near-immediate impact on Web sites — such as fixing a duplicate content/mirror issue by implementing a 301 permanent redirect strategy, correcting a robots.txt file (I spoke with someone at the Search Engine Strategies conference whose development team had put “disallow: /” in their robots.txt file — this isn’t good, by the way) or, including keywords in the title tag that are relevant to every page (people still don’t do this — I don’t understand!).

More often than not, though, the answer to long-lasting results in the search engines comes back to one simple truth: search engines like content. And good content takes time.

When I mention content, it certainly can be in many different forms (video/audio/images and text). For the purposes of this column, I’m referring to textual content.

The Perfect Search Experience

The number of pages and the quality of the content available on the domain is one of the major factors that search engines use to determine “authority.” I refer to this as the “Wikipedia effect” because Wikipedia has a ton of pages indexed. It seems like Wikipedia shows up in Google’s top search results for nearly every search, doesn’t it? Yet, only one page of its site is specific to what you searched for.

This is the perfect search experience: search for a keyword and get a result for a Web page that’s specific to what you searched for.

Theming Content

Wikipedia also does a great job theming their content. It’s not enough to have one page of content to support your most important keyword. For the search engines to believe your Web site is an authority for a keyword, your site must have a treasure-trove of content to support the idea that you’re “the authority” for “keyword phrase number one.”

Also, remember that one ranking for one keyword probably isn’t going to equate to success in the search engines. You need a long-term strategy against many keywords (don’t ignore the tail, or those keywords that have smaller number of searches performed against them).

In recent client pitches, clients have asked me what it takes to compete against a given list of keywords. After I reviewed their competitive landscape, I told them that we’d need to develop about 1,000 pages of unique content to get them where they want to be.

Needless to say, many companies would just say “wow,” and contemplate sticking to their PPC activities. The cost, in terms of time and money, may overwhelm them.

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  1. […] SEO Success — Guess What…Content Works! […]

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