What does the Google helpful content update mean for your SEO texts?15-11-2022
Helpful content is key
You want your visitors to have a great experience when they visit your website. Helpful content supports that. After all – the more relevant and interesting your website is, the better the chance that your visitor will convert into a customer. It follows that it's super important to make sure they find what they're looking for on your website.
"Helpful content plays an important role in the findability of your website."
Besides making sure your visitor gets what they’re looking for out of your website, helpful content also plays an important role in the findability of your website within the search engines. You have to rank high! That is the value of SEO texts.
SEO texts are texts that are written in such a way that they contribute to a good ranking within search engines. Google is constantly evolving to show the best search results for its users. That means that the conditions of a good SEO text also change over time.
As an SEO writer, you must keep a close eye on these changing conditions to ensure that your texts match. Google expects us to constantly learn and move with their algorithms. That keeps our work challenging, right?
The basics of a good SEO text
The conditions of what makes a text easy to find change regularly, but the basic principles of an SEO text remain the same. It’s good to know them in order to apply them to every text.
To write a good SEO copy, you first need to know what people are searching for. You can determine that with keyword research. You could use helpful tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Research Tool.
To write a good SEO copy, you first need to know what people are searching for.
In a good SEO text, you strategically process your selected keywords. Write your text in paragraphs and make sure you write short, clear sentences. Provide a page with a lot of white space, subheadings and an inviting selection of lists, tables and images. Mobile screens in particular are quickly filled with text, which deters readers.
Keep your readers curious by not giving everything away in your introduction. Last but not least, use internal links like this one: read more about writing a good SEO copy here.
Basic metrics of Google's algorithm
Google prioritises websites with high-quality content over other sites. Despite the fact that Google has been advising for years to focus on the best user experience instead of focusing on Google's algorithm, there are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind.
Google rates websites on more than 200 aspects. For example popularity, the technology used, user-friendliness, speed and the relevance of the content.
Let’s look at some of the elements that Google takes into account in terms of content.
The title of the page is the starting point for Google. Make sure that your most important keyword is included in the page title, preferably at the beginning.
Page description (meta description)
The page description is also called the meta description. This description should not exceed 150 characters as there is only limited space available on the Google search results page. Apart from the title, this is the first thing the visitor sees, so it is important that this is an informative and engaging text.
Search terms in titles, subheadings and body text
A visitor determines in a few seconds whether your page is worth reading. That is why it is important to give your product text, blog article, case study or other content an attractive title. And with the most important search term in the title, your visitor immediately knows what the text is about. Make sure that your search terms do not only appear in the body text, but also in the title and subheadings. Google processes it all and includes titles and headings in its judgment of whether your content is helpful.
Use of heading tags
Heading tags are ideal for creating structure and clarity on your page. It makes it easier for Google to read your page. Use the H1 tag – the most important title – only once per article. Use H2 to H6 as often as necessary. Use the search term(s) in these headings.
Links to other sites
Google rewards linking to relevant sites. You have to be smart about this and not do it too often. Therefore, only link to relevant high authority sites.
Posting new content
New content, that's what Google loves! Therefore, try to regularly add new content to your website. If you can embrace continuity by posting a blog monthly – or even better, weekly – that’s ideal.
By giving a sitemap to Google (sitemap.xml), Google knows what kind of pages your website contains. This allows Google to better understand the structure of your website and index new pages faster.
Google helpful content update
If you follow the above guidelines for your website, you are doing well already! But as mentioned before, Google keeps developing to continuously improve its users’ experience.
The Google helpful content update is an update to Google's algorithm that ensures that helpful content ranks better in search results than unhelpful content.
That is why Google has rolled out the helpful content update. Attention copywriters! This update affects the content of your texts.
What does the Google helpful content update mean?
The Google helpful content update is an update to Google's algorithm that ensures that helpful content ranks better in search results than unhelpful content. Helpful content is content that is written by people, for people – not for search engines or algorithms. This update therefore mainly affects websites that contain content that is specifically written towards search engines. Google checks websites more critically and rewards sites with added value for the user.
How do you ensure that your content remains successful with this update?
For years, Google has advised focusing on your target audience instead of the search engine. That hasn’t changed. So make sure that the needs of your target audience are front and centre in order to create helpful content!
Check your pages for useless information and remove as much of this information as possible. With this update, unnecessary information has a direct negative influence on your ranking within the search engines.
How do you know you're creating helpful content?
Helpful content is defined by Google as content that focuses on its target audience.
If you can answer “yes” to the questions below, you are on the right track.
- Do you have a clear target audience and is your content targeting your audience?
- Does your website highlight the use of your services and expertise, for example through reviews, testimonials or customer cases?
- Does your content have a clear purpose or focus?
- Does a visitor to your website find answers to their questions? In other words: does your content contribute to the success of your target audience?
- If someone leaves your website, is that person satisfied with the content they read?
How does the update work?
Google's systems now automatically identify content that seems to have little added value for the visitor. Pages found to contain generally useless information will rank lower, while websites that contain more valuable information will rank higher.
Pages found to contain generally useless information will rank lower.
Google rolled out the update for websites in English between 25th August and 9th September 2022.
SEO is still important
Applying the SEO guidelines remains important, provided you apply it to valuable content. Use the aforementioned tips to make sure your content is both helpful and SEO-proof.
Outsource helpful content to CopyRobin
With these tips you are completely up-to-date with Google’s updated ranking conditions. But if you’re feeling a bit lost, we’re here to help.
CopyRobin's experienced copywriters are happy to take the stress out of producing helpful content. We provide you with valuable, relevant content for your target audience. As a consequence, your website will rank higher in the search engines in no time.