When people first step into the internet marketing business, they’re all too often confronted with a decision seen both immediate and essential. That decision, of course, is whether to focus on link building or content marketing to move their website up the search engine rankings and attract more customers.
Content Marketing and Link building are both popular strategies among many groups. That said, only one truly works for building a successful, long-lasting online business.
Why Content is the Key
- One of the biggest reasons that online marketing has proven so successful an endeavor for so many is the fact that information can flow at unparalleled volumes. Going all the way back to the fundamental idea of consumer behavior, experts have long agreed that a consumer’s propensity to buy increases when more information about the product or service they’re deciding on. In short, information (read: content) is highly valuable to the consumer. In a macroeconomic era where people are more wary and careful with their purchases, it is a true difference-maker for consumer sales-based businesses.
- In other situations, content isn’t just a motivator for product purchase, it is the product itself. The recent rise of pay-wall protected websites is the definitive example of content itself as a legitimate business model on the web.
- For most companies and brands content creation is made with the former utility in mind. Their chief aim is to drive those interested towards an offering with a sense of security and confidence. It is here that the idea of a “thought leader” comes into play. The best, most effective businesses are unique and often innovative. They differentiate themselves by establishing the notion that they’re leading the way in their industry. Content is the most important tool at their disposal to do so because, unlike link building, it actually contains and presents valuable thoughts.
The Link Building Trap
- It’s an unfortunate fact that a large portion of businesses with an online presence don’t adhere to the idea that content is more important than link building. The landscape of the web – filled with millions of re-written, non-informational and non-entertaining articles – makes it all too obvious.
- Link building – or creating a network with other websites that direct traffic to one’s own site – is undoubtedly an important tool for marketing. It’s an excellent way to rise in search engine rankings and increase page views. But when too much focus is placed on it, the content – or value – that their website provides suffers. No matter how many visitors a website has, it won’t be effective if the site itself is hollow.
- Perhaps the most effective argument against link building is the fact that search engines are catching on. Link exchanges are, in effect, just schemes to gain page views without putting forth the effort to develop high-quality content – and search engine companies don’t want to direct their users to superfluous sites. Consequently, search engines have been penalizing heavily backlinked (but low quality) websites heavy-handedly, and the outlook for their future isn’t exactly bright.