SEO content has changed an awful lot over the years. Once upon a time, you could bash out any old article, make sure it had the relevant keywords, and publish it to see great rankings. But as the internet has become more and more saturated with content and Google looks to improve the user experience, doing that now is bound to get you nowhere.
What is the Helpful Content Update?
Last year, Google rolled out the Helpful Content Update – a much-talked-about algorithm update designed to prioritize content that teaches the reader something. SEO content writing is no longer about keywords (they have their purpose, but you can get away without using them) and instead focuses heavily on providing answers and value to the reader. If your content is relevant to a search term and provides the answer the searcher is looking for, then simply put, it’s more likely to rank compared to a piece that’s stuffed with all the right keywords but still leaves the reader scratching their head at the end.
People-First Content is King
Keywords are just not that important anymore. Writing ‘people first’ content is the only way that you’re going to get anywhere with SEO content, says Orange Rock Media, which provides SEO Orlando FL services.
So, what is that exactly? You need to make sure that you are prioritizing creating content that delivers a satisfactory experience for your audience rather than trying to gain search engine traffic. According to Google, asking the following questions should help you out:
- Do you have an intended or existing business audience that would find the content useful?
- Does your content demonstrate a depth of knowledge about the topic, or first-hand expertise, such as having used a product personally?
- Does your website have a primary focus or purpose?
- Once they’ve read your content, will the visitor feel like they have learned enough about the topic to achieve their goal?
- Will reading your content be a satisfying experience for the reader?
Ditching the Search Engine-First Approach
With the new Helpful Content update, it’s important to pull yourself out of the trap of writing for search engines first. While in the past, this might have earned you a higher ranking, going forward it’s unlikely to get you anywhere – either with search engines or your audience. Google is now using new machine learning algorithms to evaluate and identify unhelpful content, so the best approach is to forget about search engines and focus on providing value to your readers.
How to Succeed with the Helpful Content Update
1. Know Your Audience
Your audience comes first. Get to know them and create content that demonstrates an understanding of what they are looking for.
2. Be Transparent
Create honest content and be transparent. While it might seem tempting, it’s not worth stuffing keywords or adding unnecessary, irrelevant content to a blog post to help improve its ranking.
3. Remove Unhelpful Content
Any unhelpful content on your site is putting it at risk. So there’s never been a better time to conduct an audit, revisit old content, and remove any that’s no longer serving you.
With Google now prioritizing helpful content written with people in mind, is it time to change your content creation strategy?