Why are marketers so motivated to amp up their SEO? Likely because the search game has changed, and they’re in need of some help. While Google has been updating its Panda algorithm to punish keyword stuffers and reward quality content for the past decade, that effort has escalated this past year. Between Google’s recent “Quality Update” and Mobilegeddon, the industry has realized that you need great content if you want to succeed at search.
Here are five stats to prove it.
1. Content creation is the most important factor in SEO effectiveness.
According to a June 2015 report by Ascend2, 72 percent of marketers worldwide said relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic.
It also seems more and more marketers are starting to realize the SEO power of content. Just a year before, an April 2014 survey found that only 57 percent of marketers said content creation was the most effective strategy for SEO.
2. The majority of links and shares goes to the top 5 or 10 percent of content out there.
That’s what Moz’s Rand Fishkin told our editor-in-chief Joe Lazauskas earlier this year.
“I think there’s still a lot of [misguided] belief around quantity over quality,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot of value in writing a decent blog post anymore. [There’s not a lot of value] unless you can be pretty extraordinary.”
In other words, you should invest a lot of time in a few extraordinary pieces; the days of tricking search engines by polluting the web with mediocrity are long gone.
“If [readers are] searching for an answer to a question, would they rather reach your piece of content than anything else on the Internet right now?” Fishkin encouraged marketers to ask themselves. “Unless the answer is a slam dunk, ‘Yes, this is 10 times better than anything else out there,’ I’m not necessarily sure it’s worth publishing.”
3. The most successful companies treat their search and content creation strategies as one.
According to a 2013 Conductor study, 66 percent of best-in-class companies involve search in their content creation process from the beginning. Only 9 percent don’t take search into account until the end of the content creation process.
What makes a best-in-class organization? As the report states, these companies are “highly successful at SEO and were significantly more likely to experience up to 200% search traffic and search conversion growth in the past 12 months.”
4. More content = more indexed pages
Search Engine Journal reports that companies that blog have 434 percent more indexed pages than those that do not.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should just churn out tons of blog posts in hopes of something catching on. But, as Fishkin notes, the most effective way to satisfy the search gods is to consistently publish high-quality content that provides a valuable service to your audience.
The more you do that, the more search terms you’ll rank for, and the better off you’ll be.
On a related note, according to an infographic by Brafton, marketers identify web pages (50 percent) and white papers (40 percent) as being “very effective” for great SEO.
5. Lack of quality content is a major challenge to SEO success.
Naturally, marketers that aren’t producing strong content find themselves having trouble tackling SEO. The same June 2015 report from Ascend2 found that 33 percent of marketers identified lack of quality content as a major challenge to SEO success.
The top two challenges—changing search algorithms and budget constraints—are factors that are often outside of marketers’ control. However, what each marketing team should be able to control is the solid content that they produce. Once they do, strong search rankings should follow.