The simple answer. Yes. Your content is more important than SEO, but not to say that you don’t need a good SEO plan in place. What I mean is that your content on your website directly affects its usability, or how friendly your website is to visitors. Think about it. You go to a website looking for information on whether or not you should hire that company or buy from them. If you have a hard time finding the information you’re looking for you they just don’t look professional, you’re going to go to another website.
Take this example. You’re looking for a company that provides college test preparation. Although you may find several companies that offer classes to prepare you for a college entry test, you’re not sure which one is truly the best. So you do some research. You go to the various websites and start looking around. You’re looking for resources and information to help you make decisions about how to best prepare for a college test, not necessarily who is the best company or person to help you.
When you get to the website, you look for helpful information, like what things to study for before taking the GMAT, or tips for improving your score on multiple choice questions. What if when you got to the website it was one big ad telling you about the great deals, but nothing about how they will help you. You don’t find any real information, no articles or blog entries, not testimonials from past students.
If you’re in the research phase, you leave that website and keep looking. You keep looking until you find a website that offers the information you want. When you find that person or company’s website, you stay on their site. You look through their available content, until you make a decision about how you want to proceed. Chances are if they provide you with the information you wanted on their website, you’re going to at least give them a chance to help you with your test preparation.
And why did you stick around on their site? First, they know their stuff and have established themselves to you as an expert in their field. Secondly, the person or company has proven that they want to help their customers and visitors to their website because they offer free resources and valuable content.
So, the content of your website is important because it increases the usability of your website by giving its visitors exactly what they want:
- Information on their area of expertise
- Faith in you as a service provider by demonstrating you are committed to service and knowledgeable, and
- Pre-screening of the visitors to see if you are the service provider for them.
Now, this works for any company, whether you offer services or products, or just information. You have to build the trust of your visitors, even if it means providing free information or advice that you think you should be charging for. Establish that trust with your visitors. Let them know from your website that you are a knowledgeable professional and that they need to work with you. If you don’t give the users the content they are looking for, thus making your website user-friendly, they will go someplace else. And I am sure your competitors would thank you for having such a “bad” site. Now, check your content. Make it work for your company, not push potential customers away. Then you can work on your SEO plan.