High-quality content is arguably the single most important ingredient of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If you’re hoping to achieve a top search ranking for your business’s website, you’ll need to invest the time and energy into creating high-quality content. Otherwise, your competitors will continue to outrank you. But why exactly do search engines place such emphasis on high-quality content?

It Adds Value to Your Website

Search engines typically display the most valuable websites as the top of their search results — and there’s no better way to add value to your website than by publishing high-quality content. Each new page of content adds a little more value to your website by providing visitors with information and resources. As your website becomes more valuable, search engines will respond by increasing its search rankings.

It Differentiates Your Website From Spammers

Publishing high-quality content differentiates your website from spammers and other nefarious webmasters. Without high-quality content, Google and Bing may assume that your website is just another spam website used to market and sell a product. When this occurs, they’ll either lower your website’s search rankings or remove it from their index, neither of which is good. You can show Google and Bing that your website isn’t spam, however, by publishing high-quality content.

It Signals Authority

The level of authority your website projects will affect its search rankings. You’ll often find authoritative websites like Wikipedia at the top of the search results because of this. Search engines view them as being authoritative, definitive resources for their niche or industry, so they rank them higher than their less-authoritative counterparts. You can take advantage of this by publishing high-quality content. It shows search engines and human visitors alike that your website is an authority, thereby increasing your chances of a top search ranking.

It Attracts Backlinks

This alone should be reason enough to incorporate high-quality content into your website’s design. When you publish engaging, relevant content that other people want to read, it will attract backlinks to your website. Visitors who stumble upon your website’s content may share it on their Facebook, Twitter or other social media profiles. And if a visitor runs their own website — either for personal or commercial purposes — they may link to it. Each of these backlinks helps to strengthen your website’s SEO strategy by encouraging higher search rankings.

Content isn’t the only factor that will affect your website’s search rankings. Google is said to use hundreds of factors or “signals” in its ranking algorithm. However, none are more important than high-quality content, so don’t overlook element with your site’s SEO strategy.