By Shawn Rosko
You hear the saying all of the time in the SEO and internet marketing world: Content is King.
In this post, I’m going to explain why content is NOT king, and why it never has been, and it never will be. Don’t get me wrong, content is very important, but it is not king.
There are many things that are more important than the content on a website. First and foremost is the main functionality of the website. Everything should be in working order before even making the site live, this includes your navigation, internal links, your cart, and anything else that is essential to the site.
The site should also be easy to navigate, users should not have to search around for 10 minutes just to find something. They should be able to find what they are looking for without having to put much thought into it. If you sell products then the categories of your products should only be one click away from the homepage.
The real king is having a good, solid, user friendly website.
If a user is on a website that has amazing content but is extremely slow or buggy, the user will get annoyed and they will leave. Some other things that will drive people away before even getting to your content are constant pop ups, ads that cover up parts of the navigation, ugly flashing banners that hurt the eyes, and overall poor quality which will cause distrust.
Content will not keep people on a site if the site sucks, and people will definitely not be buying something on a poorly designed site that appears outdated and clunky.
So before even thinking of content ideas for your site you need to first have a quality website. Focusing on the website itself first, and the usability of the site second, will lay the foundation of something that users will want to visit, spend time on, and purchase from.
Building a “House”
A good way to look at it as if you were building a house, with the website being the house. Once the foundation and structure is finished you then need to focus on the mechanics like the plumbing, wiring, etc. which is similar to the site functionality. Then comes the time for cosmetics like paint and siding, which is like the websites appearance. When the house is done, then it is time to furnish it, and for a website the furnishings would be the content.
So, without a good website you have nothing, except an extremely high bounce rate. These days people want instant gratification with everything. They don’t want to be stuck on a slow website or trapped on a site where they need to be Sherlock Holmes to even find what they want. They want to get on the site, find what they need, and get off.
Since the website itself is the one true king, the functionality and usability would be the queen, and then that makes the content the prince/princess.
Since content is still important, you want to create content that will be beneficial to your visitors. If your site sells RC cars you would want to have content on the site that adds value by helping the user. So you would want to have articles explaining how to take care of an RC car, how to perform basic maintenance, rules for RC car racing etc.
The content should be relevant to what the site is about while giving users what will benefit them. The search engines will also reward you for this type of content. You cannot go wrong when you are thinking of your sites users when you develop the site, and the content for the site. That will give you the type of site that Google and the other search engines will want to show up high in their rankings.