Google is always working to better connect users with the most helpful information available. To this end, Google has confirmed the roll-out of their newest update “The Helpful Content Update” as a part of a broader effort to ensure users are seeing more original, people-first content in the search results.
As of August 25, Google has started to roll out this update globally and is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. As Google explains:
“The helpful content update aims to reward better content where visitors feel they’ve had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn’t meet a visitor’s expectations won’t perform as well,”
But, what exactly does this mean, and how do we ensure that our content is helpful and relevant to users visiting our website? In this post, we’ll take a look at what the update entails and some best practices for content creation moving forward.
What Does The Helpful Content Update Do?
We’ve all experienced the frustration of landing on a web page that doesn’t quite answer our questions or meet our expectations. Whether it does not have the information you are looking for, is poorly written, or is just plain irrelevant, these types of experiences are frustrating and cause users to click away from the site quickly.
The Helpful Content Update looks to address this issue by introducing a new site-wide ranking signal that can detect low-quality content that does not add value to the user and their search. In other words, Google will reward “people-first” content and devalues content written for search engines.
This process is entirely automated and uses a machine-learning model that looks at a variety of factors to determine the quality of content on a page. Similarly, this update is run continuously, allowing it to better monitor both newly launched sites and existing ones to determine that the unhelpful content has not returned.
This update will impact English searches first and will extend to other languages in the future. Google explains that they will also continue to refine their systems as they gain more data and feedback.
Creating People-First Content
As we’ve seen with recent updates, Google has made it clear that they are interested in providing searchers with the most helpful and relevant content possible, by ranking quality websites and content on their first page. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that your content is written with people in mind first and foremost.
But, with so many factors to consider, where do you even begin? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Don’t Stray Too Far From Your Topic
Do you have an existing audience for your website that would find valuable content if they came directly to you?
It can be tempting to try and cover as much ground and key terms as possible in one article, but this will only serve to dilute your message and confuse your readers. After all, if a user is looking for a specific answer to their question, they are not going to want to read through an unrelated article.
To avoid this, make sure that your content is laser-focused and relevant to the topic at hand. This will ensure that your readers are easily able to find the information they need.
With that said, writing articles simply because they are popular is not the answer either. For example, you are a skincare business, that sees an opportunity to publish an article related to travel to capitalize on trending, high-volume keywords. In this instance, the article may be helpful, but your existing audience who is looking for information regarding skin care may not think so. Instead, focus on creating content that is relevant to your brand and will be of interest to your target audience.
Demonstrate Experience & Knowledge
Does your content demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge?
Whether you are selling a product or promoting a service, it is essential to show that you are an expert in your field. After all, users are more likely to convert if they feel confident in your ability to meet their needs.
Building relevant content that educates and assists visitors can help you to establish your business as a thought leader in your industry. This, in turn, can help to build trust and credibility with potential customers, making them more likely to do business with you.
Experience and knowledge can also be made clear through original photos as they are an easy way to share information about your brand in an easily digestible format.
Don’t Combine Multiple Topics
Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
Your website should have a niche. If you try to write about too many topics or industries, it will be difficult for people and search engines to understand what your website is truly about.
To avoid this, focus on creating content that is relevant to your brand, business or industry. This can help visitors easily navigate your website and find the information they need.
Provide Sufficient Answers To Queries
After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
When creating articles and web-pages, your content should help them answer a question, resolve a concern or help accomplish a task. After all, this is what led them to find your website. To determine if your content accomplishes this, ask yourself – do your readers leave feeling like they need to look for better information from other sources?
Don’t Neglect Overall Experience
Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
Your website’s content is only one small part of the overall user experience. It is possible to have excellent content, but still fail to provide a positive experience. This is why you need to consider all aspects of their journey. This includes everything from the way the content is displayed to the overall tone and voice of your website.
In short, you need to make sure that your content is helpful, relevant and easy-to-understand, while also presented in a way that is engaging and visually appealing. If you can do this, you will be well on your way to providing an excellent experience for your users!
Is Your Content People-Friendly?
As Google continues to roll out the Helpful Content Update over the coming weeks, it is important to make sure that your website’s content is up to par. This means writing articles that are helpful, relevant and easy-to-understand. It also means ensuring that your website provides a positive overall experience for users.
If you are looking for help with your website’s content or digital marketing strategy, our team of experts at Digital Nomads HQ is here to assist you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help ensure that your website’s content is Google-approved and helps you to achieve your business goals!