We’ve been told for years that “content is king” and while there is a degree of truth to this, the real answer isn’t quite so simple.
When all other variables are equal, the site with more content will rank higher and as a result, receive more traffic. But in the real world, all other variables will never be equal. Every website has a different quality, age, history, link profile, trust, brand recognition, etc. The list of potential variables could go on almost infinitely.
Today, following the overly simplified mantra that “content is king” most people falsely believe they need to publish more content in order to rank highly and achieve more traffic.
The truth is that you need to publish more quality content.
If you’re publishing dozens of shitty articles each week that you paid someone on Fiverr $5 to write, I promise you will not see any improvement in your ranking or your traffic. In fact, it’s pretty likely that your current visitors will see that poor quality as an indication of what they can expect from you, creating a negative perception of your brand. This leads to fewer return visits and lower engagement, which has a negative impact on ranking, leading to lower traffic.
It’s tough to get out of that downward spiral. Especially since more people double down on what lead them there in the first place.
Before you write an article, you need to ask yourself one simple question:
Who will share this?
Don’t lie to yourself. Just because you would share it doesn’t mean anyone else will. They don’t have the same motivations that you do.
We recently went through this with a client who insisted on writing about a very specific topic that no one but them was really interested in.
The service they provide, while critical and mandated by federal law, is little more than an afterthought to their target market. In fact, it’s something they typically only deal with once per month. Churning out article after article on this topic would do little to improve ranking or traffic. More importantly, it would have zero impact on keeping them on their clients’/prospects’ radar. So we tailored their content strategy to focus on topics that their target market were interested in on a daily basis.
This immediately led to more traffic—targeted traffic, because the topics were something their target market was passionate about. When your target market is sharing and amplifying your content for you, it creates the kind of exposure you simply can’t buy because it is trusted more.
Think about it like this: if you provide a service to accountants, who do you think other accountants will trust more, you or their fellow accountants?
If you create content that engages your visitors, you will create a virtual army of brand evangelists eager to share your content spreading your message further and faster than you ever could.
So before you begin writing your next article, remember that there is no prize for hitting publish.
Your goal is increased sales, which relies on traffic, and traffic relies on exposure, so ask yourself “Who will share this?” If the honest answer is “no one” go back to the drawing board and come up with a new topic that your target market would get excited about and willingly share.