Content can be used as a means of promotion itself. As content is shared, the 'viral' effect can give your content exposure it otherwise wouldn't have.
More importantly, original content is picked up by the search bots differently than other content. For example, if you have a coupon for 20% off your pizza, there are likely many other pizza shops with the same. But if you have something that is unique, then you have an SEO niche to exploit. Keywords rise and fall and importance - it's impossible to know what the future holds. But what can happen - if your website is saturated with good keywords - one of them can go viral. Then in a flurry to find the latest info on "Minions" - your site comes up in the rankings - and whiz bang - you have a new customer! This is a common SEO strategy which is one of the most valuable, meaning you get the most bang for the buck. But unfortunately, you never know when it's going to strike (because it's impossible to predict the future). So this is one strong reason why it's an important reason to have lots of unique, engaging content, and that the content is promoted, indexed, and shared.
Take this image example below. It's just a high quality photo of an appetizer at Numero Uno Pizza. But if this image is shared, the URL of the store is displayed. So the more this content is indexed and searched, the more exposure for Numero Uno Pizza Los Angeles! Sounds simple (and it is, in theory) but creating content is a lot of work. That's why it's important to have a team of experts do this for you, such as offered by Digital Internet Productions.
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