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How important is content for SEO?

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When it comes to SEO nothing matters more than having high quality content. Here’s why.

The aim of all major search engines is to create the best possible user experience. This means websites that offer high quality content that informs and entertains stand to gain the most visibility. 

Take the biggest search engine, Google as an example. Google’s Matt Cutts said in a short video that Google tries to make it so that sites “don't have to do SEO.” First and foremost is content. And they don’t stop there. Google’s panda update is designed specifically to find websites with low quality content and reduce their rankings: “Our site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find high quality sites by reducing the rankings of low-quality content” says Google’s Amit Singhal. The message is clear- when it comes down to SEO quality content is what matters.

So how do you make sure your content is good Quality? Here’s a few guidelines to help.

  1. Know your audience

  2. Your content must either inform or entertain.

  3. Content should be interesting enough that people will want to share it.

  4. Content should be multimedia

  5. Find ways to get your users to generate content for you.

  6. Develop regular features.

Know your audience

This is pretty simple but the importance of knowing your audience cannot be overstated. Who are you trying to connect with? Customers? Fans? Industry peers?. It is much easier to create good quality content when you know who it’s for and what topics are likely to be of interest to your audience.

Your content must either inform or entertain

This is the most important rule of all. lets start with content designed to inform people. As the saying goes information is power. And the internet is where people come to find that information. You need to be able to provide valuable content that will educate your audience and provide them with the information they are looking for. It could be online training on how to use your product, or  maybe an online community designed to help people to get the most out of your product. This works well if you are selling a product that requires training or is technical in nature but what if you’re just selling something simple like shoes? Can you still provide important useful information? You bet! lets take a look at some examples: 

Pampers and Huggies

Even companies that sell the most basic of products such as nappies have learnt the importance of providing their customers with valuable information. Both Pampers and Huggies have websites that are packed with useful information. Obviously they have information designed to promote their products (nappies) but they also have lots of useful articles that educate and provide useful information for new parents. For example,  they have information about baby development stages, dealing with thumb sucking, common baby sleep concerns, potty training plans and so on.


Whole foods

Whole foods are basically grocery stores so what important information could they provide to their customers? Along with basic information on where to find local stores and their products, their website also provides tasty recipe ideas, tips on keeping children healthy and information on sustainable farming and fishing. They even offer advice on starting community gardens and green living. 

Cabot cheese

Cabot Cheese make award winning cheese. That’s pretty much all they do. So how do they come up with tons of content that informs and educates? As well as providing information about their products and recipe ideas their website also provides information on gluten free diets, lesson plans and fund raisers for local schools and information about healthy living for children.

All of these companies and many more have learnt that providing useful information and education on their websites is a great way to promote their brand.

Content that entertains.

People love stories and if your content is going to entertain people then it should tell one. People don’t remember facts and figures and statistics but they will remember and want to share a good story. lets take a look at some famous brands who have managed to promote their brand by telling a great story.


The Lego movie is perhaps the best example there is of a brand successfully telling a story. Using their product as the stars in the movie they have effectively created a 90 minute commercial for their product that people pay to watch! And it told a great story and entertained both adults and children alike. 


You don’t have to be a huge international company or even sell interesting products in order to tell a story and entertain people. To prove it take a look at at the Blendtec website above. All they do is sell blenders. The CEO Tom dickson came up with the idea of “will it blend?” where every week he would put something in a blender to see if it would blend. He blended iphones & ipads, glowsticks a crowbar, a can of coke and lots more. Will It Blend has been on every list of the top viral videos for years. Why? because it entertained people it was fun and people shared.

will it blend.jpg


Content should be interesting enough that people will want to share it

If your content is not designed to inform or educate then it should be entertaining. Your goal should be to provide a story that people will want to share. Before you start working on a new piece of content designed to entertain, ask yourself “would I want to share this?” If the answer is no, chances are that your followers won’t share it either. We all know the value of word of mouth, if you can get people to share your content then half your work is done for you. This is where knowing your audience and what interests them comes in handy.

Content should be Multimedia

Once you’ve done all the hard work of producing a great piece of content your goal should be to get the most out of it as possible by presenting it in different ways. Creating content is hard work but recycling it is a lot easier. Say for example you are doing a presentation at an event in your industry. Your talk is content. You can blog about your upcoming talk, and you can film it and post the video on your blog or YouTube channel. perhaps the talk will make an interesting stand alone text article? Maybe it would work well as an infographic? Don’t forget though that search engines can’t watch video or crawl all the text in your infographic. all your multimedia should be optimised for SEO by having clear descriptive names or titles that can tell the search engines what your content is about.

Find ways to get your users to generate content for you.

One of the best ways of generating content is to get your users to generate it for you. In fact user generated content is one of the hottest content marketing strategies out there right now. Here are a few good examples.


Belkin who make accessories for iphones among other things came up with a great marketing campaign that allowed their customers to do the selling for them. They created, in partnership with Lego an iphone case that had lego studs all over it. Then they asked their customers to show off their creativity by posting pictures of their lego creations on instagram. This generated lots of content for them in a very authentic and organic manner.

belkin lego case.jpg




Starbucks not only got their customers to create lots of content for them, they also got them to come up with the design to go on their coffee cups. Their White cup contest asked fans to paint the Starbucks white cups and submit their photos to social media using the #whitecupcontest hashtag. Starbucks ended up with a ton of content (not to mention links), increased their social media presence and got a great design to go on their coffee cups too!

Develop regular features.

Creating a few regularly appearing features on your website is a great method for generating content. It could be anything related to your niche. Weekly book reviews, horoscopes, recipes, or a quote of the day. Once you have set up these features they are very easy to maintain, and your followers get into the habit of coming back for more.



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