Search engine optimization (SEO) is often referred to as a standalone marketing strategy, but the reality is that it comprises multiple interdependent strategies. Some people spend most of their time working on the content on individual pages of their site (the onsite content), while others invest all their resources into ongoing blogging, and still others focus primarily on building inbound links. Any search optimizer worth their salt will spend some attention on all three of these dimensions, but is one any better than the others?
Specifically, just how important is onsite content for SEO?
The Role of Onsite Content
Some webmasters treat onsite content as a (mostly) one-time effort, hiring a service like Rightly Written to make sure their web content is appealing to visitors and simultaneously optimized for search engine visibility. Others make ongoing tweaks to try and perfect their individual content pages. In either case, they’re trying to accomplish the following goals:
- Domain authority. Domain authority is a qualitative measure of how trustworthy a site is, and the higher that number is, the more likely your site is to rank. Google evaluates the quality of the content on your site using several criteria, including the quantity of content, the amount of detail present, and how intelligible the content is. The full set of criteria isn’t documented, but it’s clear that the quality of your onsite content has some impact on your domain authority.
- Keyword relevance. Onsite content also presents a great opportunity to optimize your site for specific keywords; you can create designated “core” pages of your site to target specific keywords and phrases that you want to be associated with your domain. Since these will be “anchor” pages of your site, they’ll be treated with higher relevance, and you can quickly build your site’s ranking potential for the most important keywords for your brand.
- Inbound link attraction. Though blogging is more commonly used for link building purposes, you can also use strong core content on your site to attract more links to your domain, which will boost your domain and page authority. For example, if you have a dense “resources” section, or permanent “how to” guides in your main navigation, this could represent a perfect opportunity to earn some powerful inbound links.
- Visibility in SERPs. Even if you spend much of your time creating new blog posts and linking to them, your core pages will still have a high tendency to show up in search engines, thanks to your ever-increasing domain authority. In these entries, your page titles, descriptions, and some of your onsite content will be the first things visitors see before deciding whether to visit your site. Accordingly, it’s essential to have these pages optimized properly.
- User behavior effects. Though not directly related to SEO, it’s also important to note that the quality of your onsite content will also affect the user behavior on your site. Pages like Home, About, and Contact pages will often determine user impressions of your brand, and whether or not they go through with contacting you, possibly increasing or decreasing the overall value of your SEO strategy.
How Does It Stack Up?
Ongoing blogging and link building both have a variety of effects, just like onsite content does. Ongoing blogging, for example, gives you constant new opportunities to optimize for long-tail keyword phrases and attract new links with high-quality content. Without link building, it would be nearly impossible to establish a baseline domain authority high enough to see meaningful results. In this way, onsite content optimization couldn’t work without ongoing blogging and link building, but neither of those strategies could work without the right onsite content serving as a foundation.
It’s hard to compare these three dimensions of SEO, since each has drastically different effects on your site’s rankings and visibility, and all of them are, on some level, necessary for you to be successful.
So Just How Important Is Onsite Content for SEO?
Ultimately, onsite content is very important for the success of an SEO campaign; in fact, it could be described as essential. Without good onsite content in place, your domain authority may never reach an acceptable level and your visibility in search engines will plummet. But at the same time, it’s only one piece of the SEO puzzle. If you only focus on onsite content, and neglect other areas like ongoing blogging or inbound link building, you still won’t find much success. Keep your individual SEO strategies in balance if you want to see the best results.