You've heard it a million times.

"Content is king."

Create amazing content and you will automatically win the SERPs, drive a legion of visitors to your website, and basically win the SEO game.

But that's not entirely true.

In reality, the content is only part of the puzzle.

Without the other pieces, your stunning content will likely remain invisible.

So what are these other work parts that you need to get your traffic up?

And is amazing content overrated?

Can you forego quality and just focus on other SEO factors?

Let's answer these questions.

The burning question: is quality content really important?

The important things first.

If the content is only one piece of the puzzle, is it okay to skip the quality?

The short answer: no.

The longer answer: Without the content your audience craves, none of your SEO strategies will matter.

Imagine yourself in the shoes of a searcher on Google.

You want to learn how to start your own blog. So put your keyword in the search engine.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

Now imagine if a thin piece of content magically made it to # 1 on the Google SERPs.

You click on it and immediately know that it is not what you are looking for. So you click away.

A thousand other people are doing the same. Nobody actually stays to read the worthless content, let alone subscribe or buy anything.

Google will soon notice this website and rate it much lower on its SERPs.

So yes, while it's true that you can't rank on Google with great content alone …

… It is also true that without Google you cannot rank.

In recent years, SEO has become more and more similar to content marketing.

What kind of content is winning on Google?

The answer: content your audience craves.

Here are two examples of how longing content that revolves around the right audience leads to success.

Michelle at Making Sense of Cents

Have you ever heard of Dr. Heard Seuss who said, "To the world you may be a person, but to a person you may be the world"?

How to win with amazing content.

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They pick a niche, find what they crave, and create content that pops up immediately after clicking the publish button.

A striking example is Michelle, founder of Making Sense of Cents.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

Michelle started her blog to keep track of her personal finances and to help readers do the same.

It sounds generic, I know. There are so many financial blogs out there, some of which are written by seasoned experts and investors.

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But Michelle's honest, down-to-earth, actionable advice that readers obtained and loved has something intricate.

As a result, Michelle grew her audience to over 300,000 readers.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

My work at Content Hacker

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

I started Content Hacker to provide practical advice on content marketing to freelance entrepreneurs.

And no, I haven't invested in sleazy marketing funnel tactics. I've never paid for a single ad before.

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All I rely on is great content that fits the sweet spot between my expertise and what my audience craves.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

As a result, I'm making about $ 10,000 a month on the side, excluding my consulting and DFY projects.

With yearning content that will enrich your audience's life, you will go far in your online marketing endeavors.

3 ways to increase your traffic (this goes great with engaging content)

Yes, amazing content can get you a legion of fans and seriously increase your revenue.

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However, you still need to optimize your search if you want to be found on Google.

The key is to use yearning content with other SEO strategies.

There are three to consider here.

1. Earn high quality links for your cornerstone pages

We know links are important to SEO.

You are telling Google that your content is valuable enough to deserve attention.

So let's say you are ranking for some keywords but have not yet reached page 1 on Google.

If the content of your pages is solid and valuable, it should earn links to it to help improve it in the SERPs.

Here are three ways you can earn high quality links:

  • Guest post for a prominent website and link back to your page.
  • Share your post with influencers (if they like it, they'll likely link to it).
  • Link to the influencers' content (if they like what you've written about them, they'll likely mention it in their section with a link back to your page).

Links can be difficult to obtain if you're new.

But go ahead.

The better your content, the higher your chances of getting those sought-after links.

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For more tips, see the Search Engine Journal's two link building guides:

2. Keep your content up to date

Imagine.

You go on Google to find out how to start a blog.

You're torn between two tantalizing headlines …

… But one blog was written in 2010 and the other only a few months ago.

Which one do you choose

Of course you would choose the newer one.

This is because the rules of blogging are constantly changing and you don't want to waste your time on outdated advice.

Surprisingly, you're not the only one looking for new content.

Google is too.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

Some types of content do not need to be updated or updated.

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For example, if you are writing about a historical figure, you probably won't need to make any changes to your play in the near future (unless the historians discover new facts).

Google won't rank you down just because your content is a few years old.

On the other hand, when you write news and breaking events, Google searches for the latest articles and rates them first on the SERPs.

It all boils down to the type of content you write.

Note, however, that evergreen content also needs to be updated from time to time.

For example, five years ago you wrote a piece about how to make a quick tomato soup.

In this piece you have given examples that today's readers will not relate to.

Or, you've linked to a website that has stopped working. You want to change this to prevent readers from being turned away.

3. Let Google index your website

Being indexed and ranking are two separate things.

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Getting indexed means showing up for the race.

The ranking wins the race.

Of course, if you don't show up for the first time, it's impossible to win.

How can you get your website indexed on Google?

First, go to the Google Search Console and click on Start Now.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

Copy and paste your domain or url prefix into the correct field.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

Click Next to verify that you own the website.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie Ever Told In SEO

Wait for Google to verify the URL, then click the "Request Indexing" button.

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Repeat this process every time you publish a new post.

Content Is King: The Biggest Lie In SEO?

OK, so the generalization "content is king" isn't exactly correct.

To rule your content must be:

  • Desired by your chosen audience.
  • Detailed and actionable.
  • Authority level and trustworthy.

You also need to make sure that searchers actually have the ability to find your content on Google.

It's amazing how with a few tweaks to your SEO you can rank much higher on the SERPs.

More resources:

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Photo credit

All screenshots by the author, October 2020

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