Websites get found, not because they have pretty graphics or clean code, but instead because they have great content that is worth finding. Often, we focus so much on promoting ourselves that we forget what visitors really want. They want to learn how to solve a problem, increase their knowledge in an area, or be entertained.

The search engines understand what visitors want and they look for signs of quality content. They often do this by looking at how many people share your content, by looking for links from other websites. However, they don’t stop there. In many cases, they will look at the importance of those websites that are referring traffic to you. For example, if CNN links to a page it must be far more important than if I link to it in this blog. Search engines, like Google, know that CNN has a huge collection of great content and that many people visit it on a regular basis.

The search engines, like people, also want to see that your content is fresh. That article you wrote two years ago many no longer be relevant. And, even if it is, your visitors won’t return unless they expect new content to explore.  So, you need to post new content regularly.

Everything that you post is content that can be indexed by the search engines and which your visitors can link to and share. For this reason, a blog is often a great way to increase the exposure of your site. In fact, according to a recent study by HubSpot, websites with a blog get on average 55% more visitors.

If your content is good, there is a better chance that your visitors will share it with their friends on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and bookmark it on social sharing sites like StumbleUpon.

While it is import to add new content to your site regularly, it must be fresh. Simply copying content from other sites won’t impress the search engines. They know what’s out there. They want to see that you are adding something new to the conversation. That is why I discourage clients from buying pre-written articles from companies that sell the same content to multiple people.

Bottom line, most modern search engines understand what visitors want and try to show them only the most relevant pages. For your site to gain momentum, it needs great content, posted regularly, that will be of interest to someone other than you. How does your site measure up?