There’s a super long list of things that self-anointed online marketing pros and SEO experts offer as advice on how to achieve more traffic and better rankings. Then, tacked on to the very end of that list, you might sometimes hear, “Oh and of course you need to have great content.” Like the content itself is an afterthought. Barely worth mentioning. Just, you know—after you’ve finished all your other stuff up, you might wanna squeeze that in there too.
And, okay. Compared to the excitement of—uh, whatever marketing strategy is more interesting than the plain ol’ vanilla of content creation, it does get way too easy to lose sight of exactly what role that content plays in your day-to-day.
So you put content creation on the back burner to make room for whatever’s being hailed as the latest and greatest marketing strategy. Which on the one hand is totally understandable, but at the same time also is a huge mistake.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
First of all, trying to stay on top of every hot new trend that rears its enticing little head is impossible. The more balls you’re juggling, the more likely it is that you’ll drop one or two—and then fail to notice when they roll away under the couch and disappear completely among the dust bunnies and whatnot.
One of the balls that gets dropped most often in favor of novelty is that reliable yet decidedly unsexy gold standard: great content. Things like terrific writing. Images that aren’t too stock-photo-y. A social post here and there with some genuine humor. Knowing what your audience wants, and simply delivering consistently, 120 percent of the time.
But surely (we can hear you thinking) that’s not enough. You can’t hop online without getting hit in the face with some new article listing umpteen tips on inbound marketing, a jillion recommendations about optimizing your site for mobile, or however many ways to leverage the power of email newsletters. All those things are probably way more important than churning out content, right?
The Undeniable Pros of Quality Content
We don’t really care how sick you are of hearing that ‘Content Is King’ buzzphrase; it’s everywhere because it’s true. Without consistent, high-quality content gracing your website pages, whatever traffic you manage to land is not gonna stick around. And the closer Google gets to becoming Skynet, the more effortlessly those top-secret algorithms can determine whether you’re really putting good content out into the universe, or just phoning it in. (Pro-tip: Do not phone it in.)
For every flashy item on the What’s New in Online Marketing newsletter you subscribed to, we’ve got a stack of advantages in favor of continuing to bang out content:
- Readers like knowing what to expect, and look forward to those like-clockwork Thursday morning blog posts
- Consistently top-notch content builds a loyal following
- Amid the endless sea of really crappy websites out there, quality content sets you above the masses
- Each published piece means more pages for Google to index
We could go on, but we have to get back to our own content creation.
The very act of continually publishing exceptional content puts you ahead of the competition, and is a major contributor to meeting your goals of more traffic and better rankings. Much like the aforementioned vanilla ice cream, while perhaps not particularly inspirational on its own, it nevertheless serves as a very excellent base for a fancy hot fudge sundae.
All of this is not to say that you should ignore the advice of those experts and industry leaders. Absolutely, you should optimize your site for mobile. Definitely, hop on a regular e-blast schedule. But amid all the hubbub of trying new ways to boost your website’s visibility, remember that quality content needs to be the foundation, not the finishing touch. Put that into play first, and the rest of your marketing efforts will fall into place a whole lot easier.