SEO: My Content Is Useless Without Traffic

Oct 26, 2011 • 9:15 am | comments (19) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

SEO Content & Traffic JamA HighRankings Forum thread has an interesting post by a person who has a site that wants more traffic.

He made one statement that stood out to me, actually a few, but one more than others. The statement is:

All the design and content in the world are useless without traffic, and thus the real world need for SEO.

In today's world of SEO, this thinking seems backwards to me. All the design and content in the world leads to more traffic. Content and site design is part of SEO, it is SEO. Without the quality content, without the awesome user interface and site architecture - how do you get quality traffic from Google or Bing?

SEO 8 years ago, yea - this made sense. But nowadays, in most established niches, including insurance lead generation, you need the content first to get the traffic.

Ammon Johns, aka BlackKnight, who is an old time SEO and relatively quiet in the forums for the past few years, chimed in on this one adding:

First there seem to be the fact that you created a website without actually knowing what it is for. 'Possibly more' than a test site? It leaves me wondering if it really looks as professional as you hope, when yours apparently has no clear reason/purpose for existence other than to test some SEO ideas.

Secondly there's that whole thing of being overly concerned with what other sites are doing - researching the design, content and keywords of the top 20 websites in what field? The top 20 SEO test sites? How did you know they were top 20 before knowing what keywords they'd be ranked in the top 20 for? Do you see what I mean? There's a lot of logical fallacies involved here.

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.

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Asher Maverick

10/26/2011 02:12 pm

To a degree I understand what he is saying.  Firstly, I agree with Mr. Schwartz that content and site design are part of SEO, but do not agree with it is SEO.  First off, it is as your first statement says, a part of SEO.  And if your on-site SEO is not as viable as your off-site SEO than the likelihood that you are going to gain search engine traffic is minimal.  Also, if you haven't submitted your site to the various search engines, problem 1, solved, submit. I know I am ranting a little bit, but that comment about site design and content just hit me.  It is On-site SEO, and SEO is made up of on site and off site SEO.


10/26/2011 04:47 pm

Content Leads To Traffic Or Traffic Leads To Content? Yes and No.  Lots of our content generates traffic due to longtail terms.  I then scour analytics for other longtail keyword phrases that we dont seem to have articles based around, or key phrases we dont rank first page for and have my content writers create content based around those phrases. 


10/26/2011 05:00 pm

There's content and design for SEO and there's content and design for USERS. You can pretty much convince a search engine any crap content is the best thing in the world based on the engines ranking factors. It's harder to do so to users that actually read the content. There really is no such thing as design to a search engine as we experience it. Design to a search engine is the structure of your site and it really doesn't matter how ugly it is. So the challenge with good SEO design is to incorporate all of the things search engines love with the things users love. If you're heavy on SEO content and design and don't care about the user, you will likely be hit by things such as panda.


10/26/2011 05:03 pm

When you over-optimize and get slapped by panda... then your content is completely useless, to you and everyone else.


10/26/2011 07:04 pm

Quality content finds traffic by itself. Seldom is the case when one has quality content and goes without traffic. 

Austin marketing

10/27/2011 08:09 am

Having valuable content kills it all, without the content be sure of ripping  no benefits, even though it should be complemented with the appropriate web design which should also be user friendly, this way traffic will naturally jam in with the desired speed. I would advise the person not to shift his focus from right content, it counts big.


10/27/2011 10:48 am

I have been trying to get good SEO on my site  I put in the keywords video conference, chat rooms, video mail yet I am still ranking low in Google. Seems to me that even if you have good SEO it still is not getting good ranks form search engines


10/27/2011 11:19 am

Good job... i agree with you. Seo-Content is a Highway road to our Website.

Dan Stativa

10/27/2011 01:35 pm

You are definately right, there is no such thing as SEO without content. And the design and site architecture is just a wrap around content from search engine perspective. Content drives traffic. Search engines just mimic a reasonable surfer model. They show your site the first in SERPs if, without the search engine, a reasonable surfer would most likely find your website first by just clicking links on the web.


10/27/2011 03:06 pm

SEO is important for high traffic..article talks about content and design as SEO. An article about 3ds of Web which talk about SEO along with Design and Development is a good read at:


10/27/2011 08:22 pm

I do agree to an extent that content = traffic, but I still feel that all this great content is worthless if people cannot find your site. There are still many high-ranking sites out there with very little in the way of valuable content.

Lån Jämförelse

10/28/2011 04:16 am

Basically, that's how it goes.  Work hard on your sites, know your target market and keep your site interesting, engage to your readers,  etc. Who knows, SEO might just come naturally. :)


10/28/2011 10:54 am

Completely agree, it's backward thinking to look at how to promote your website before you've got something interesting to say. You've got to start with useful content, and only then look at how to get people to read it.


12/07/2011 11:21 pm

Whoa, there.  You obviously do not have a clue what good SEO is.  Your site has absolutely nothing to do with video conference, chat room and video mail.  It's (I think, amongst all the ads) a home-based business travel site.  The keywords you mentioned aren't even on your home page.  Did you research the competitiveness of these words?  Very high, and used by large sites.  You really haven't a chance to rank with those keywords.  You cannot just stick in words and expect your traffic to increase.  So please don't talk about how SEO doesn't matter.  GOOD SEO matters.

Lavinia Madalina

12/14/2011 02:05 am

Article is the king .. a website with good content will generate free traffic, but you should write with good seo onpage and ofc some powerfull backlinks


12/31/2011 06:11 am

 I agree, These day writers are not getting the importance they deserve.. In point of fact they are the sole Creative(non copy) part of SEO and related process. A quality and unique content and a perfect and informative article or blog is a must needed part of any SEO process.


12/31/2011 10:04 am

 Are You coming to say you Disagree on "Content first and Seo next or Content is the most important part of seo Ranking"??


12/31/2011 10:06 am

 Well I agree.. Thats a gentle mans word.. Content in my view is as if a foundation to seo.. for without a strong foundation a build cant be built or cant stand for too long...

Inbound Marking

05/25/2013 02:14 pm

This is definitely a true concept of idea that you have putted ion your blog. Your content is worthless if you can't gain good traffic on it because you spend very long time creating that content then you will found out that it's not working. So, if you have to create a content of your website, make it sure that these are all descriptive.

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