When it comes to ranking websites in Google, the general consensus is that well-written content is one of the most important components of any SEO strategy.
I get asked a lot about how important content is for a website and whether you can actually rank a website without any content at all.
In this article, I will go into detail about whether it is possible to rank a website without content and what you should be doing in order to give your website the best chance to rank in Google.
What is SEO content?
- What is SEO content?
- Why is content important for SEO?
- Can you rank in Google without content?
- Do keywords still matter for SEO?
- Is it possible to rank a website without backlinks?
SEO content consists of written content, images and other media forms that display on your website in order to serve a purpose for your users. This can include blog posts, service pages as well as many other pieces of written content.
When we talk about SEO content, we are talking about content that is strictly optimised for search engines. In order to make the most of your organic search traffic potential, you need to be creating content that is well structured and optimised for the phrases you wish to target.
In order to create SEO content, you need to ensure you have carried out sufficient keyword research. You can achieve this using either free or paid SEO tools to enable you to research for things such as topical clusters or relevant keywords that you can target within one or multiple pieces of content. It will also allow you to review the competitive nature of trying to rank for that phrase and what your competitors are doing to rank for similar phrases.
You also want to ensure that you are using SEO content writing tools such as Surfer SEO and Page Optimiser Pro which will tell you exactly what kind of content you need to write and how many exact keywords you need to mention within that particular piece of content, whether it be a blog post or a home page.
Why is content important for SEO?
Content is vital in order to help your website be discovered by Google. Whilst Google is far more advanced than it was a few years ago, it still uses content and keywords to determine what a page is specifically talking about.
Not only is content important for Google but it is important for users as it means you better serve the queries that they are searching for. Ultimately, the best and most well-written content for a specific phrase is the one that is going to stand the test of time.
The more quality, rich content that you produce for your website, the more opportunities there are to provide value and knowledge for your users.
Can you rank in Google without content?
It is certainly possible to get your website ranking in Google with very little content but it will really depend on what you are trying to achieve with your website.
Established brands for instance will attract traffic purely because they are an established and well-known brands. Whilst you should always ensure that you have a website that is visually engaging and serves a purpose, if people are already aware of your brand and what it is you offer, you will have people come to your website no matter what.
You can also leverage guest posts and link building opportunities where you can feature on sites within your industry and attract traffic this way. Established brands will attract links naturally and show up in the search results for their brand name at the very least.
Generally, for smaller sites looking to rank for competitive and converting phrases, then the content is what you will need to tailor your website for that specific search query. Whilst it is fairly straightforward to rank for your brand terms, to attract new business, you will need to build pages that serve a particular purpose and as a result, you will need to build good quality content in order to boost your search rankings for other related phrases to what it is you offer.
Do keywords still matter for SEO?
Keywords are certainly important for SEO as it helps you better understand the queries that potential customers are using to search for when trying to find out about a service.
This may be an informational search where they are looking to get information about a particular question or it could be a transactional phrase where someone is searching to actively make an online purchase. Understanding the intent of keywords and structuring your website in a way that tailors to these searches is a vital part of SEO.
However, it is not just content and keywords you need to be thinking about. Link building, social media growth and technical SEO are all also very important in helping Google determine whether your website is legitimate.
Combining all of these strategies will ensure that you are actively trying to grow your reach and will have both direct and indirect impacts on your SEO efforts.
Is it possible to rank a website without backlinks?
Depending on how competitive the niche is in which you are working in, then this will depend on the strength and velocity of links that you need to build.
Whilst niches that are not as competitive will not require as many backlinks, certainly, in more competitive niches, backlinks are required in order to help you rank for phrases. Industries like finance, insurance and gambling are very competitive and ranking in these spaces can be difficult when you are competing with companies with huge SEO budgets.
You can certainly build quality pages with well-written content and this will definitely help you out. Using Surfer SEO to build your pages and building a website that is organised and promotes a good user experience will ensure that you give your website the best chance to rank.
To summarise whether a website can rank without content, it really comes down to the size of your brand, what it is you are offering and how much traffic you are obtaining from other channels.
Certainly, established brands may find it easier to build landing pages with very little content and rank for their brand terms. If you are a website that is trying to rank for non-brand terms and is looking at obtaining new business via organic traffic, then certainly you will need to create content and have dedicated pages for those specific keywords.
The best thing you can do is look to serve your users as best as you can, do your due diligence with keyword research and then look at what your competitors are doing and see how you can emulate and outperform them with your own strategies.