The answer to; Is content still king in its most simple form is yes. However, as always it is never that simple. Without inbound links to your site the best content on any given topic will still fail to produce any website traffic. Good content can however help you build that all important backlink profile.
Content helps you grow your reach and rank by the use of different words/phases within a page. For example if you have 2 different Digital Marketing websites. They had all the same site metrics except one included the term internet marketing and the other did not. Guess which site will rank best for the term internet marketing.
This is why content is still king, if you miss out important related phases then expect to either not show up for them or at least rank worse than you could have with a well-thought-out content plan. Google is very good at working with synonyms these days. They will often show sites/pages even if they have not included a specific word/phase on the page. However, you will always rank better if you ensure the word is on the page somewhere.
Content can be broken into 2 parts, you have product and services content. Then you also have informational content.
Product and Services Content
Product and services content is highly important for multiple reasons not just SEO. Firstly this is what entices your visitor into buying your product or service. If it is poorly written the visitor will likely leave your website without considering your product or services.
This content needs to explain the product or service in a well-thought-out manner. It needs to be enough to get your visitors interested, to then further research your business and make an enquiry or purchase.
Product and Service content generally is not something other websites will link to, it is simply your sales speech to website visitors. You can get links to product and services pages but this will simply be people linking to a product/service they like, opposed to it being good content.
This is content created generally in your blog or news area of the site. It contains helpful informative content which is likely to get you inbound links to your website. It is for visitors looking for latest news within a trade/industry or detailed information about a topic.
This can be a great way to reinforce trust to people not looking to buy yet. Those who are simply in the research stage of the buying process. It’s also a great way to build your websites traffic by reaching out to the people not looking to buy a product or service, those who simply want knowledge about a certain topic.
By creating this content you are going to get traffic to your site that’s just not possible if all your content is aimed at selling a product/service. This helps you build authority within a given trade/industry and gain trust with both search engines and potential future buyers.