Great content makes great SEO. Period.

Search Engine Optimization – SEO. If your organization has a website, chances are you’ve come across this. How do I get better rankings in search engines? Why are my competitor’s site ahead of mine?

If you’ve spent any time at all searching the web for this, you’ll have come across literally thousands of business selling services for improving your rankings in search engines, and hundreds of tips and tricks on how to move up the list.

  • “Make sure you have meta-keywords,”
  • “Make sure you mention your target keyword at the optimal rate,”
  • “Make sure you use consistent terminology,” …and so on.

SEO can be overwhelming, but I’ve got good news.

While some of these tips may help, some may not and some may actually hurt, they all have something in common:

They are absolutely useless if you don’t have great information.

Great content is the foundation of your SEO.

Think of subject matter as the foundation of how search engines view your site. If your foundation isn’t strong, all the tips and tricks and quick fixes will not help at all. Painting over a cracked wall doesn’t hide the fact that the wall is broken. Trying to increase your SEO without having relevant and useful subject matter is the same thing.

You might be thinking, what is great content – at least in terms of search engines?

Again, good news. You don’t need to tailor subject matter for search engines anymore. Tailor your content for your audience. Search engines have come a long way. They are smart – scary smart. They have a great understanding of language and know when they are trying to be tricked… and just like yourself… they can react quite negatively when they feel like they are being deceived.

What is the formula for “great content”?

There is no formula for great stories, unfortunately. It takes work. You need to figure out what your audience cares about. What questions are they asking? What things are they searching for?

FOR EXAMPLE:

If you sell lighting, think of what potential customers might be searching for online.

  • “What are the latest bedroom trends?”
  • “How do I cheaply update the look of my kitchen?”
  • “How can I save money on my house bills?”
  • These are all examples where you could reach potential customers by crafting the right articles.

YOUR CONTENT MAY LOOK LIKE:

  • “10 trends for your bedroom in 2015”
  • “Inexpensive Kitchen Upgrades”
  • “5 ways to reduce your bills today”

So I’ve got content. Then what?

After you have great subject matter, you need to promote it. Push it through your social media accounts. Send it to clients in newsletters. Build a network of colleagues who may link to the article that you wrote from their website or social account.

Once you have a great foundation of content, then you can start investigating some of the more nuanced SEO tricks. Until that point, you are just “putting lipstick on a pig.”

Tell us what you think.