According to Search Engine Journal, good content and SEO can form a bond that packs the ability to catapult any website to the top of search engine rankings. When content is at its worst, however, it can result in Google penalties that are almost impossible to recover from.

What’s Considered “Good” Content?

Marketer Heidi Cohen describes good content as:

“High quality, useful information that conveys a story presented in a contextually relevant manner with the goal of soliciting an emotion or engagement. Delivered live or asynchronously, content can be expressed using a variety of formats including text, images, video, audio, and/or presentations.”

Another good definition of content is this one from Social Triggers founder Derek Halpern:

“Content comes in any form (audio, text, video), and it informs, entertains, enlightens, or teaches the people who consume it.”

Why is Content so Valuable for Good SEO?

Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches per day. The search engine’s algorithms are constantly evolving to provide “…useful and relevant results in a fraction of a second.” These results are pieces of content that are ranked by their usefulness and relevancy to the user performing the search.

In order for your content to have any SEO value at all, it needs to be beneficial to searchers.Click To Tweet

In order to make sure your content is beneficial, Google recommends that you create content that is:

  • Useful and informative – Include location, hours of operation, contact information, upcoming events, blog articles, etc.
  • More valuable and useful than other sites – Provide more unique info or perspective than other similar sites
  • Credible – Use original research, citations, links, reviews, and testimonials
  • High Quality – Unique and specific; created primarily to provide visitors a good user experience
  • Engaging –  Add color and personality with images of products, team members, and behind the scenes office peeks, etc.

“When these elements are in place, you maximize the potential of the SEO value of your content,” says Search Engine Journal. “Without them, however, your content will have very little value.”

“The reason optimized content is important is simple, says Search Engine Journal. “You won’t rank in search engines without it.”

That means your content must be audience-centric. In other words, you need to focus on what audiences want to hear, not what you want to talk about.

This is what makes content useful and relevant, and it’s the only way to rank well in the search engines.

But creating audience-centric content is just one part of content optimization. The other part involves the technical stuff like keyword research, backlinks, and optimizing your meta titles, descriptions and URLS. Of course, that’s a whole other article for another time, but if you’d like more information now, we suggest you head on over to Search Engine Journal for some helpful tips on the technical aspects of content optimization.

Conclusion

When content is optimized, suggests Search Engine Journal, it drastically improves your visibility. Without visibility, your content is just another article or website—out of millions of others—on the web.

In other words, no one will see it and no one will share it.

Remember, Google’s mission is to deliver relevant information that’s universally accessible and useful. If you want to be part of that mission and enjoy visibility on Google, you need to consistently create optimized content.

About Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and the eBook The Small retailer's Ultimate Guide to Increasing In-Store Sales. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime (but that doesn't stop her from collecting more). A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has published several humorous non-fiction articles and worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current position as a writer on modern retailing at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with other small business owners through informative articles that address their unique needs.

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