The dividend is often called the ordinary dividend, but there is nothing ordinary about it. There is no other piece of information that a company can give to investors, which could more accurately reflect what that business really thinks about its current state of health.
Dividend growth matters. If a company grows its dividends sustainably over time, you should expect that ultimately to be reflected in a higher share price. In the short term, the market has a habit of ignoring fundamentals like dividend growth but, over the long term, they matter.