Earlier this week, I had a great conversation with the heads of PR for a large automotive conglomerate. It was refreshing to discuss public relations in a non-traditional manner (e.g with a strong focus on how PR, SEO, and social media overlap). And perhaps even more impressive was the fact that these folks also understood that in addition to creating content – in the form of interviews, articles, and other mainstream press mentions – it was critical to also create and distribute online content via their own domain (e.g. blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, etc).
As the conversation turned to SEO specifically, I explained how just as content creation is critical for public relations (and social media engagement) it is also critical for long-term SEO success. In fact, I suggested that we first outline a concrete, ongoing content-creation strategy as a prerequisite to ongoing PR, social media, and SEO efforts.
In other words, “content is king.”
Those of you with a strong SEO background are more than familiar with this old, Google-coined phrase. And I’m sure that many of you have likely come across a myriad of opinions declaring that this old SEO maxim is no longer applicable.
But here’s the thing; if you believe (as I do) that link building is the backbone of long-term SEO success, and if you’ve spent any real amount of time doing the daily grind that is link building (finding targets, reaching out to them to try and establish rapport, figuring out win-win situations that lead to new inbound links, etc.) then you know all too well that without a vehicle for creating custom, niche (and remarkable) content, it becomes damn near impossible to secure the really juicy, authoritative links that are the hallmark of a successful link building program. Sure, you can cash in on directory listings and other low-hanging opportunities (or just buy your way to link building bliss) but the really big opportunities rarely if ever materialize.
Note: Some might suggest that guest posting is the exception to this rule, in that you can secure very authoritative links without having to build out content on your own domain, but I disagree, because at the end of the day, a guest post is just alternative form of content creation.
So in the end, I do believe that content is king. Not necessarily because of the content itself (even though truly remarkable content is hard to beat as a marketing instrument) but more so because of the power that great content can wield in terms of driving long-term SEO success.
(And it ain’t to bad for social media and PR purposes either)