Google’s Changing Algorithm Means Your Business’ Digital Marketing Strategy Must Change Too
Marketers, I have a question for you: Do you feel like content marketing and SEO are at odds?
If so, you are not alone. It’s a common misconception that SEO and content marketing are two completely separate entities that cannot co-exist.
But the truth is that they are two sides of the same coin. SEO and content marketing are important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to driving traffic to your website and growing your business.
With 92.47% market share, Google remains the number one search engine to pay attention to.
To keep its search results relevant and useful, Google constantly updates its algorithm. As a marketer, it can be difficult to keep up with all the changes and understand how they will affect your business in North Bay. Sometimes it seems like we hear different best practices for content marketing versus SEO.
“useful content update,” which happened at the end of August, is one of the last algorithm changes. This update was designed to promote websites with really useful content (i.e. blog posts, FAQs and general pages on your website) to consumers instead of promoting content rich in keywords without any real substance.
Here’s what you need to know about updating and how you can ensure that your website content is always useful and optimized for search engine results.
What is the “useful” content update?
Google wants to make sure that when users search for something, they can find content that will help them. This means that if the content on your website is not “useful”, you are likely to see a drop in traffic from Google searches.
This change may impact the ranking of websites. It is therefore important to understand how to optimize your website accordingly.
“Google always ‘cracks down’ on people who generate low-quality content in an effort to rank high,” Knight says. “Google’s product is a great search experience, and when people get a disappointing response to a search query, Google has failed.”
So this update is really about improving search results for users.
What Does Google’s Helpful Content Update Mean for North Bay Businesses?
Google’s helpful content update is another reminder that quality content is key to a successful SEO strategy. If you want your website to rank well on Google, you need to create useful, informative, and relevant content for your target audience.
“We’ve all asked a very specific question on Google and had to wade through links in general category websites to find the answer,” says Knight. “If you search for ‘Did Triceratops eat meat?’, the first results will likely be dinosaur sites with a subpage for triceratops.
“With this update, if someone who is a dinosaur scholar writes an article that specifically answers this question, then that webpage will show up higher on Google because it’s more ‘useful’ than a popular website on dinosaurs with general information about dinosaurs including the Triceratops.
Tips on what you can fix on your current website to rank higher with Google’s Helpful Content Update
If the content your business is already producing is aimed at educating, answering questions, and engaging people, you likely won’t see any negative effects from this update.
But if you’ve forced keywords and produced content to “get something on your website,” you may see your rankings plummet.
Here are some tips on what you can do to make sure your current content is useful to your audience.
Assess your audience. Do you know who you are talking to? Do you understand the customer journey of the public to move them from the point of knowledge of your product/service to the point of sale?
Evaluate your current content. Is it useful? Does it truly meet the needs of your audience at every stage of their journey?
Make a plan. Google’s update is just another reminder that we need to create content for people first, not search engines. Make a plan for how you can create more useful, people-oriented content in the future.
Stop writing hit points for SEO. Knight suggests companies write content that answers “specific questions your audience may have about your topic. Be prepared to dig deeper into the content.
What can a business do to rank better with Google’s Useful Content Update?
Google’s latest algorithm update, the Useful Content Update, is to reward content written for people on search engines. So how can you ensure that your upcoming content meets Google’s standards?
Here are a few tips :
Write for your target audience, not for Google. This means writing content that is interesting and informative, not keyword stuffed and boring. Answer the questions your audience has about your product or service. (start here for ideas on what you should create.)
Make your content easy to read. Google likes content that is easily readable for its audience. Use short paragraphs and sentences. This makes your content easier to read and helps Google better understand your content.
Ask headlines and headlines to ask the questions your target audience is asking. This way, your content can provide answers to these questions. The more specific you are, the more likely your target audience will find your content useful.
Questions serving as titles for your blog posts also create intrigue. Your headlines should entice people to click, but you don’t want to say too much. A question can do both of these things.
Include multimedia. Google loves content that includes images, videos, and infographics. Not only do these tools make your content more engaging, but they also help Google understand what your content is about. Use the ALT tags on all your images, and include video transcripts and infographics in your text.
Think about your website’s UX design. If your content is easy to read, your audience will stay longer and find your content more valuable. In fact, 75% of site visitors will decide if a site is believable based on its overall aesthetic, according to Pop Web Design.
Promote your content. Google loves fresh and popular content, so be sure to promote your new blog post or video on social media and other channels. Because does a blog post even matter if it’s never read?
Google’s latest update aims to reward websites with truly useful content. These tips will help you ensure that the content on your website is useful to those who search for it, which can improve your search rankings for the keywords you search for.