“Our site is mainly used for marketing and branding, so there’s no way that we’re going to add any written content to the existing pages.”
“I’m busy trying to do SEO for my site and/or we’re an e-commerce portal, so why would I spend time building new content?”
“We’ve undergone a link-building campaign but most of the sites we’ve contacted aren’t interested in linking to us.”
“We’ve done all of the on-page and off-page stuff, so why don’t we rank well in Google?”
These are some of the typical responses an SEO professional faces when trying to pitch the idea of building out fresh content for an existing website. It’s frustrating, demoralizing, and in some cases, flat out moronic.
Do you feel like you’re up against a brick wall when trying to push the content initiative? Or have you simply given up? Perhaps you just need a fresh perspective on exactly why content was, is, and will always be king.
Let’s start by analyzing why the four statements above are really all a part of the same issue.
A few years ago, I remember reading a passage within one of Google’s patent applications that referred to the idea of separating documents (web pages) into two categories:
Apparently, Google is of the opinion that web pages with true information on them should outrank pages intended for commercial purposes (i.e. product pages, landing pages, etc…). That little revelation should be enough to validate the need for detailed and rather expansive written content on all web pages, lest you want to be swept into Google’s “commercial” SERPs dungeon.
But maybe your client is intent on keeping their landing pages short, clean, and conversion-friendly? That’s fine. The alternative solution is to leave those marketing and branding pages intact and then go about building out new content pages, devoted to creating a more “informational” feel (see where we’re going here?).
But as if that weren’t reason enough for the building of new content on a given website, how’s this? Another well-known aspect of Google’s algorithm is the fact that web pages with freshly updated content are given more weight than static pages, and that furthermore, domains that have increasing amounts of internal content and fresh links to that internal content are also given preferential treatment.
Ok. So far, we’ve been able to take care of two out of the four initial statements I led off with. Now let’s go ahead and finish off statements three and four.
Why would a potential link partner not want to honor a link request? Everyone knows the answer; either the page in question doesn’t have enough useful information, the page in question is too “commercial”, or the site in general does not have enough authority and is not a trusted source.
There is a fourth scenario, but this blog is not about jerk site owners.
In any case, the absolute best way to eliminate these potential link-building roadblocks is fairly obvious. If you build fresh content on a regular basis and/or update your existing pages with robust and “informational” written content you will transform your site from static and link-unfriendly portal into a virtual linkbaiter’s paradise.
Which leads me to statement No. 4.
You've implemented all of the necessary SEO code. You've setup a solid interlinking structure. You've got Google sitemaps verified. You've gone out and attracted plenty of solid inbound links. So why aren't you ranking well? I'm of the opinion that you should try something before dismissing it, so while content may not be the only factor that determines organic search rankings, it would probably be worth your client's and/or employer's while to explore that option thoroughly before choosing to circumvent it.
A lot of people out there seem to be convinced that commercial websites (sites that sell something) cannot also be content sites. This is simply not the case. All that is needed is a little creativity, a lot of vision, and maybe a wordpress account or two.