Good Content: The Key To Search Engine Ranking
by Daria Goetsch

What drives visitors to your website and keeps them there? 
Good content. 

Content is Key

Good content is key to website promotion success. All the bells 
and whistles in the world will not hold an audience like 
compelling information. Ask yourself: Why would a visitor stay 
at my website? What are they looking for? What do I have that 
they need? What holds them there once I've got them visiting? 
You have to tell your story in a way that will keep your 
visitors interested and coming back for more.

Get Those Visitors

The first part of the process is getting visitors to your site 
through search engine promotion and other traditional marketing 
methods. As you increase your visibility, more visitors will 
come to see what the commotion is all about.

Keep Those Visitors

The second part of the process is keeping them there. If you 
provide quality information that is easy to access, you are 
giving the visitor what they are looking for. Don't give your 
visitors a reason to click away. Quality content means happy 
visitors, and with enough happy visitors, you become an 
"authority" on your topic. Having a site recognized as an 
authority means good ranking in the search engines. 

Know Your Audience

So how do you get your visitors to stay on your site, and to 
return to it? First, you need to understand your audience. Who 
are you trying to reach? Create your pages with them in mind. 
Do you want to reach a narrow audience, or will you try to reach 
all levels of readers? Buzz words may make sense to you in your 
business, but will they reach your target audience? If you are a 
high-powered underwater basketweaving consultant, focused only 
on serious underwater basketweavers, you can keep the discussion 
on your site fairly technical. If, however, you really want to 
spread the joy of underwater basketweaving to a wider audience, 
you may want to keep the tone more general, giving newcomers to 
underwater basketweaving the information they need to become as 
enthralled by basketweaving as you are.

Get Your Visitors Involved

So what kind of content do you need to provide for your visitors? 
If you have a site selling gardening books, you will have lists 
of the titles you have for sale, an order form, and contact 
information. Everybody else selling gardening books will have 
these pages too. How do you rise above the crowd? How do you 
stand out as the definitive gardening book website?

Write Articles

One technique that you can use to good effect is that of writing 
articles pertaining to your site's topic. After all, who knows 
more about gardening and gardening books than you? Not only does 
this give your visitors yet another reason to keep coming back 
to your site, but it also allows you to reach out beyond your 
site. There are many other websites out there looking for 
authoritative information on your topic. Find those sites and 
submit your articles to them. This creates a "win-win" situation: 
the other web site gains the benefit of your knowledge, while you 
are further recognized as an authority in the field. Getting a 
link from that site back to yours brings more visitors to your 
site, and increases your site's link popularity. 

Keeping an archive of articles on your website builds your 
knowledge base. You can refer visitors to your articles when 
answering their questions. People searching for information on 
the topics you have written about will find your articles listed 
in their search results. Once they arrive at your site, maybe 
they will buy something from you: if you know so much about 
planting bulbs, maybe your site is the place I should buy my
bulb-planting books.

Other Offerings

What else can you add to this mix? Think about adding 
professional gardening book reviews, a gardening book club, 
FAQ's about gardening, gardening articles, a rating system for 
books, audience book reviews, and other gardening-related topics. 
Adding this type of information gives your visitors more reasons 
to keep coming back to your site. Offer free tools, create a 
forum. Set up a newsletter for your audience with your topic,
adding in a discount for your product for newsletter readers. 
Give your audience a reason to come back to your website.

What Results Can I Expect: Google PageRank

A primary example of how this works is Google's PageRank. One of 
the most important aspects of ranking for Google and other search 
engines is good content. Google wants their search engine users 
to find what they are looking for, a successful search experience 
for their users. The keywords included in your site are important; 
after all, those are the terms your potential visitors are 
searching for. Now not only do you have your catalog pages and 
ordering information, but you also have a more in-depth treatment 
of the topics you have addressed in your articles, book reviews, 
and other materials. More keywords in more places means you have
a better chance of matching a potential visitor's search.

So how can you "rise above" the other online gardening 
bookstores out there in the search engine listings? Link 
popularity can be the next important piece that allows you 
to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. All other 
things being equal, search engines that pay attention to link 
popularity will list your site higher in their results if you 
have more links coming back from other sites which have a focus 
related to yours. In other words, if your gardening bookstore 
has a number of backlinks pointing to it from the websites of 
gardening clubs, nurseries, and so forth, your site will be seen 
as more authoritative. The more authoritative a website looks to 
Google through link popularity, the higher that site will rank. 
After all, if all these other gardening-related sites point to 
your site, they are demonstrating that you have something 
important to say. That is another reason why it is important to 
have your material published on other websites.


Maintaining good content is a stepping-stone for your visitors 
to delve in deeper to your website. Taking the time to build your 
content and provide for your audience will pay off in good search 
engine ranking and returning visitors.

Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing Consultant 
for Search Innovation (, a Search Engine 
Promotion company serving small businesses. Besides running her 
own company, Daria is an associate of, an Internet 
web marketing strategies company. She has specialized in search 
engine optimization since 1998, including three years as the 
Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates, a technical 
book publishing company.