Long before the internet was invented, the defining axiom in print was that "content is king." Today, where online content dominates print content, many of the world's top SEO and web marketing experts still say that "content is king."
Why is this the case? That even after decades, no matter the medium, content is still the crux of good marketing?
It's What Builds Loyalty
Businesses aren't built on first-time visitors. Companies like the Wall Street Journal don't make most of their money from people picking up their papers for the first time.
They make money from people who've read their content and then decided it was good enough that they either want to purchase again or subscribe to a subscription. If the business had to get a new customer every time in order to get paid, they'd all have gone under by now.
Yet many online publications approach their business that way. Instead of focusing on repeat visitors, they focus on optimizing for search engines so they get more new customers.
At the end of the day, however, the really famous and successful blogs like Huffington Post or TechCrunch ultimately still get most of their traffic from repeat visitors. Yes, search engines love them - but their businesses would be a fraction of what they are today if they didn't have great content.
For many years Google and other search engines have worked towards making their search results pull up better and better results. They want people who search on their engines to find the best content possible in relationship to what they're looking for.
As search engines get smarter, marketers who focus primarily on marketing tactics rather than actual content will die away.
Google has proven this repeatedly by continually downgrading the importance of low-quality links and upgrading the importance of usage statistics and other metrics to actually measure the content of a website.
If. you build your website around great content while having a decent understanding of basic SEO, your site will flourish. If you put all your attention on SEO and don't pay much attention to your content, you'll always be trying to stay one step ahead of the search engines.
The Ability to Sell High Ticket Items
A low quality content website might be able to sell $0.20 clicks via AdSense. But a high quality website could sell $5,000 DVD sets by the hundreds.
Having great quality content allows you to build a relationship with your readers. That relationship allows you to sell any number of things to your readers. From high end items to recurring memberships to one on one coaching, it all starts from having high quality content.
In the long run, only content that really helps people is going to succeed. Content that doesn't do so is likely to get downgraded more and more as time passes.