It feels like I’m reading the same post every day.
“Content is king,” they shout.
“Writing engaging content is the answer,” they drone.
“Great SEO = Great content,” they bleat.
And you know what? It’s rubbish!
Let’s see if I can make it clearer.
You can write the most bum-clenchingly awesome piece of content in the universe.
You can post a stunning video tutorial.
You can collate the most helpful ‘how to’ article ever written.
And yet it can still completely fail to rank in natural search, get a pathetic number of likes, tweets and shares, and only manage one comment—from your mum.
Because before you worry about content, you need to work on your code.
I know it seems hard. And it certainly isn’t as sexy. But if your site’s code is crappy, all the fabulous content in the world won’t help you get noticed.
Take Mary (I’m calling her Mary because that’s her name). Mary is a capable writer who posts interesting articles with genuinely well thought out arguments, useful tips and sound advice. She regularly guest posts on other blogs. She even created a cool little infographic and posts regular video clip tutorials.
But no one reads them. No one visits her site, and enquiries are at an all-time low.
After a quick squiz, it was easy to see why:
- Basic features, such as sitemaps and robots.txt, were missing.
- The site’s text-to-html ratio was incredibly low—too much code displaying too little content
- Pages were poorly named, and URLs used underscores rather than hyphens
- Images were poorly named and lacked alt tags
- Her Google authorship hadn’t been set up correctly
- The site wasn’t responsive, and looked like poop on a mobile device.
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
So before you jump on the “content is king” bandwagon, keep in mind that Google isn’t a monarchy. It’s 100% democratic, and uses a gazilliion factors to judge a site’s relevancy. Not just content.
Of course great content is an important part of the journey towards a truly awesome websites.
But having a site that’s accessible, loads properly and lets Google index it correctly is the true foundation for great SEO.
Want to know why your site isn’t doing as well as you’d like? Why not Pick My Brain?
Do you agree? Do you struggle with code issues on your site? Are you ranking highly and achieving totes awesome levels of customer engagement despite your crappy code?
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