What Do We Mean By “Content is King”?

It’s a common phrase for business and freelancers that operate on the internet. To some it might be meaningless business speak, but for some businesses primarily engaged with the internet they are words to live by. “Content is King” has become a bit of a mantra, but what does it really mean? And how important is it?

What does Content is King mean?

The Origins of Content is King

Although largely attributed to Google, the term appears to have its origins in 1996 and Bill Gates. He wrote an article on the importance of good quality content. This is before the dotcom boom and  certainly before practically everyone had the internet. Back then (and I remember it well because I worked on the shop floor of a chain store that had recently started selling internet-ready computers), the internet was this mythical thing to which we all aspired. There were few websites and few really needed it. Gates expected that most of the money from internet business would be made through good quality content, and he wasn’t wrong.

What “Content is King” Means

Simply, Content is King means that your web content: blog post, landing pages, bio page, about pages and so on, has value to the reader. Without this value, they simply will not visit your site(s). That information must be digestible, easy on the eye, relevant and up to date. In the early days when webzines or online newspapers were just a speck of an idea, web entrepreneurs realised that simply reproducing the same print content on the web was not going to work – you need something new, something more than what you produced before. Today, we see that. Online news media provides up to the minute information and it is to these web sources that we often find our information first. We don’t wait for tomorrow’s newspaper, we go straight to our news source of choice the moment we hear about a breaking news item.

This is understandable for a news source, but what about your business blog? The concept is the same. You need content to build an audience. It isn’t enough to publish landing pages repeatedly singing your own praises. That doesn’t build or maintain an audience for very long. You need regular content and it needs outward value. But what you publish and how you present it is only one part of the story.

How Important Is “Content is King”, Really?

While we acknowledge that good content drives traffic, and (hopefully) by extension web engagement, there is more to it for making your business or idea a success. Good SEO is another, and while I might argue that some businesses put too much weight onto SEO and not enough on content, search engines promote content with good SEO scores, but not exclusively. That content still needs to be of high value to gain shares and greater share – especially in the share and share alike world of social media.

Gone are the days when Black Hat techniques dominated search engine rankings, but with each new tweak and release of their respective criteria, it is now a fact that SEO alone will not cut it. You also need great web site design. That means intuitive design, mobile functionality and a friendly interface. No matter how good your content, you will lose web hits and engagement if your audience can’t work out how to get around your site. No matter how jazzy your website, they won’t come back if they find nothing useful. If your SEO isn’t quite as good as it could be, your site will be buried beneath those that are.

MG Mason Creative Services Can Provide Quality Content

I can’t help you with your website UI or mobile functionality. I can help with your content. It’s likely you don’t have the time or the skills to produce regular posts for your business blog. With three years experience writing content for varied clients, I deliver posts, pages and other web content for your business needs. If you have a web presence and a website, you need good web content. Why not contact me for a consultation?


Published by MG Mason Creative

MG Mason is a freelance writer in the B2B and professional services niche, a self-published author, and amateur photographer. He has a BA in Archaeology and a MA (Landscape Archaeology) from the University of Exeter and presently resides in Cornwall, England. If you wish to hire MG Mason for your freelance content writing needs in any of the following niches: * B2B products and services * Education and academic services * Marketing * Science outreach Please contact using the web form on the "Writing" page.

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