Search engine optimization (SEO) works in many ways. From optimizing the website’s technical aspects to promoting content on social media, any strategy can work for your business, based on your target audience and what you are selling.
Website owners and marketers often get confused about which aspect to focus on. This confusion is mainly between content and backlinks. While some people think good content can fetch traffic and conversions, others work harder towards link building.
Many professional SEO agencies offer both content and link-building services that help in optimizing your website or ads for the search engine. But if you are stuck with the question of whether content quality matters more or backlink quality, we will tell you some aspects to consider.
The first thing to get out of the way is the importance of quality over quantity. Whatever you choose, first ensure that you provide high-quality content and backlinks to your visitors. This helps from both an SEO standpoint as well as a user experience standpoint.
Why Content Matters
You must have heard the phrase, “content is king.” This is absolutely true, even in the case of SEO. Every website needs quality content to create a connection with the visitors. The first thing that a user will notice after landing on your website is your content and what it communicates.
Types of Content
While talking about content, you must not just think about blog posts or lengthy descriptions. Content includes anything on your website that falls under the following categories.
- Copy: Copy includes all website text, navigation instructions, categories, page structure, and breadcrumbs. It refers to landing page content, descriptions, product info, and anything else that is written on the website.
- Visuals: Visuals may contain images, gifs, videos, and any other graphical representations. These may be present on web pages, in the background, and on associated channels like your social media and YouTube accounts.
- Content layout: The content structure or layout also falls under this category, as it creates a huge impression on someone who is visiting your website for the first time.
Product or Service: All content associated with the product or service you are selling also impacts SEO and affects your website traffic and conversion rates.
How Content Helps SEO
Content is a major player in the SEO game. It helps to drive traffic to your website, convinces people to purchase what you are offering, and also gives your users important information about your business.
Moreover, it increases search engine visibility, helps boost your rankings, provides indexing information to search engines, and also builds an organic relationship with your audience. Through your content, you can focus on the needs and wants of your potential buyers, thus increasing the sales and ROI of your business.
Pros and Cons of Content Marketing
- It works best for long-term SEO strategies.
- It helps to build brand reputation.
- It makes your business well-known and ensures a steady customer flow.
- It is not fully dependent on search engine algorithms.
- Most of it does not lose its relevance after a short time.
- It builds a real connection with users who can then become loyal customers.
- It takes some time to show results.
- It takes time to create and maintain.
- It needs dedicated resources who can write quality copies and produce quality visuals.
- It may cost you more in the long run.
Aspects of Content Quality
There are certain aspects that contribute to ensuring content quality. Before you choose to focus on content as your primary SEO route, you should be aware of the following.
1. SEO Goals
You must first be clear about the goals of your SEO campaign. If you are looking for instant results, the content might not be a suitable strategy as it takes time to build up. It also requires more work, better resources, and steady efforts.
However, content marketing is a great long-term strategy and works without any doubt to build up your brand presence. Hence, it is never too early to start working on it.
2. Resources Available
For producing quality content, you need copywriters, editors, and graphic designers. It is not something that can be managed by resources that are also engaged in other areas of the business. It also takes more time and money to create a pool of content that you can reference.
Apart from blog posts and text, you must also produce original images, videos, infographics, and so on. All of these need resources solely dedicated to content production.
3. Target Audience
Your target audience is an important factor while making content strategies. If you are selling products targeted at the younger demographic, your content should be short, more graphical, trendy, and engaging. If you are involved in research or technology, your content must reflect the tone of your business and include all important information.
Why Backlinks Matter
Link building refers to actions that increase the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage. It increases search rankings, brings more traffic, and builds site authority. You can add inbound or backlinks for your website or other relevant web pages to let Google know that your content has credibility on the topic.
Backlinks can be built through guest posts, customer reviews, blogs, visual content, etc. As you might have guessed, backlinks are strongly based on content marketing and work together as an SEO strategy.
Google gives authority to websites that have high-quality backlinks during the organic search. The more a website gets backlinks, the higher it will be ranked on SERPs. Hence, link building is also an important factor in ensuring online visibility.
How Backlinks Help with SEO
Backlinks are very important for SEO as they help Google realize that your content has enough credibility for other people to link it within their own website. It adds immense value to your content and makes you rank higher in SERPs.
It is even more helpful when websites with older domains link to your content as the search engine attaches more value to old domains compared to new ones. Overall, backlinks enrich your content and add an extra feather that is super useful from the SEO perspective. But here also, you need to focus on the link quality rather than quantity.
Pros and Cons of Link Building
- Backlinks fetch quick results.
- They need less time to build and fewer resources to maintain.
- They are a cheaper option, compared to content creation.
- Adding backlinks does not require any special skills, as opposed to copywriting or video creation.
- They don’t have significant long-term results.
- Their performance cannot be predicted.
- They are dependent on search engine algorithms.
- They do not contribute to building brand identity.
Aspects of Link Building
Certain aspects of backlinks need to be kept in mind before investing in a link-building strategy.
1. Internal and External Links
Internal links direct the user from one page of your website to another target page, whereas external links direct users to a relevant page on a different website. Both these backlink types are important for building authority and boosting Google rankings.
2. Guest Posts
Guest posts are articles written for another website or blog. It is a very useful tool in link building as you can reach audiences from different parts of the internet and direct them back to your website.
Guest posts work best when the post is made on a relevant, high authority website, which can ensure a flow of organic traffic from a high domain. You can link your website home page or any other relevant web page through guest posts.
3. Dead Links
The risk of dead links arises when you have been adding backlinks for a while and some of the earlier links become dead after a period of time. You can use dead links to revamp your whole link-building process and create new backlinks.
Regular audits of dead links let Google know that there are no broken links on or to your website. It also increases referral traffic and boosts website rankings.
Why Content Is King
Now that you know the importance of quality content and backlinks, let us explain why content is the center of the SEO puzzle that holds all the other strategies together. Simply put, backlinks direct users to visit your website but content ultimately leads to retainment or conversions.
It is a clear fact that content quality attracts the most traffic. Even if you wish to build quality backlinks, you first need to produce quality content to link to. If you go the other route and attract traffic only based on backlinks, your website’s bounce rate will increase and Google will soon realize that you have nothing of value to offer in terms of content.
This is why you need to choose wisely, based on the type of SEO campaign, your website’s priorities, and the resources you have at hand. The ideal solution is to build quality content and backlinks as a unified process so that your website can attract as well as hold traffic.
Quality content contributes to converting influencer marketing, social media traffic, PPC, and affiliate marketing. It also helps you to rank for specific keywords that cannot be associated with backlinks. Similarly, backlinks ensure people actually come to your website, and Google recognizes your content as valuable. Hence, your SEO campaign cannot succeed without either!