On 18th August 2022, Google announced the Helpful Content Update. It is the fifth Google algorithm update for 2022 and now poses these pertinent questions for self-run enterprises and small businesses to answer –
- What exactly is this new update, and how does it affect users and content?
- How will I know whether I have helpful content, especially when it comes to enhancing digital marketing services for small business?
- Will it impact my existing content strategy?
- How should I align my content writing practices to grow my small business online?
Here, we will be discussing significant aspects of Google’s Helpful Content Update from the point of view of small business owners. Let’s get started.
What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Google’s helpful content update aims to reduce low-quality content that is targeted toward search engines and not people. There is a lot of content on Google that lacks expertise, authoritativeness, and, most importantly, trustworthiness.
Have you ever clicked on article after article on Google to find out what you were looking for only to find that many articles are providing the same information, and none of them is actually answering your question? Google wants to reduce such data.
With such content, even if it ranks high on the search pages, it leaves the reader unsatisfied and still looking for answers.
Now, to implement these updates, Google started running a site-wide ranking signal that will classify websites with unhelpful content. The process is automated and uses a machine-learning model to cover both new and existing websites.
The main aim is to write content that prioritizes people above search engines. If the Google classifier determines that the content on the website is unhelpful, then it won’t rank well on the search engine pages. The classification is for all the content present on the website.
How do you know if you have Helpful Content?
Now we’ve seen what Google’s new update is. However, this gives rise to a new question. How will I know whether I have helpful content or not? Here is how you can find out whether your content is actually useful for users or not.
Here are some signs that you have helpful content on your website:
- The content that you have or intend to write is relevant to the existing and target audience.
- The content shows experience and depth of knowledge.
- The content serves some primary purpose or has some focus.
- The user feels like they know about the topic they were looking for after referring to your content.
- The content provides a satisfactory experience for the users. As in they get exactly what they were looking for instead of going through several pages to find the one with the information they wanted.
Now, after evaluating these signs, the question arises, if you find out there is unhelpful content on the website, what to do with it?
There are two things you can do, either you can remove the content, or you can modify it. You can start by providing accurate information based on your own experience and determine the primary focus of the website.
How to Improve your Content Writing Based on Google’s Helpful Content Update?
Tips to align your content with Google’s Helpful Content Update 2022
- Adopt the reader’s first approach
- Only write value-adding content
- Showcase your experience
- Stick to your niche
- Use AI content tools to your advantage but don’t rely completely on them
- Promise only what you can do
Reader’s first approach
Whenever we write content, it is so that the readers will find some value in it, especially when we are providing digital marketing services for small businesses. The content is written so that people would read it. Therefore, the main focus has to be the audience that will eventually read the content we write.
So, writing content while keeping the readers front and center in the thought process will help us write content that the readers will actually enjoy and yet get to know something.
Instead of trying to reach some word count because we think the search engines work that way, write only as much as is necessary. Write content while respecting the user’s time, and don’t fill the content with jargon just to reach the target word count.
Making the content SEO optimized is to enhance the content. But the first priority should always be to write quality content.
For instance, if you have an e-commerce fashion store, we recommend you to focus on giving detailed product information instead of chasing random topics just because they are trending.
Leverage your experience
What sets us apart from the rest of the people that are working in the same niche? When we have the same target audience, the same niche, and similar products, what makes us unique? Our experiences.
Everyone can have different experiences; therefore, using them in the content will keep it fresh and unique.
There are many bakeries that sell online, and you might have one of them. So, what sets your online bakery apart from others will be the experiences you have had in baking and building the business. So, including this while writing will help the target audience understand what you actually think.
Also, writing on a topic you’re unfamiliar with by copy-pasting it from different sources just to get more traffic is not the best practice. If the topic is relevant to your niche, you can learn and experience it yourself. After that, you could write about it.
Try it before writing about it!
Suppose you sell bakery products online. Now, if there is a new recipe to make bread that everyone is talking about, then there is nothing wrong in your writing about it too.
However, you could first bake it yourself and try it out. Then you could make your content value-adding by noting the mistakes you made or any ingredient that you found was enhancing it, and so on.
Use AI to your advantage
Using AI for your online business is definitely not a bad idea. In fact, it could become a wonderful tool to increase your productivity and reduce your workload.
However, the problem arises when you solely rely on AI to do the work for you. Many AI tools on the internet can help you change the wording for an entire article so that you can use the same on your website.
However, such type of content does not bring anything new. It just increases duplicate content online. Moreover, why would readers specifically read your content if it is just a copy of something that already exists?
Now, you can use tools that can help you with ensuring that you have used proper grammar in your articles. Or you could use software that can suggest changes to make your writing better.
There are many helpful tools out there that can help business owners manage content on their own. Here are some of them:
Grammarly: it does not just review the content for spelling and grammatical errors but also assesses the tone of a written piece, thereby nudging changes accordingly.
- Free: No cost for the limited but still highly useful version, like, it provides the tone of content but suggestions to change included in paid versions
- Premium: From $12 per month for more specific suggestions and increased capabilities
- Business: From $25 per month with multiple user access. Check the website for the latest price.
Wordtune: once you write a sentence, it suggests alternatives that could make it better
- Free: 10 rewrites per day
- Premium: $9.99 per month for unlimited rewrites
- Premium for teams: Inquire on the website
Anyword: it creates and optimizes marketing copies for different channels using predictive analysis.
- Free: Up to 1,000 words per month.
- Basic: $16 per month for up to 15,000 words/credits.
- Data-driven: $83 per month for up to 30,000 words/credits. Check the website for the latest update.
SurferSEO: Track websites and optimize written content that is SEO-friendly across channels.
- Free: Perfect for those who just started a new website and want to grow it quickly
- Basic: $49/month, Perfect for small business owners, bloggers, and hobbyists
- Check the website for the latest update.
Promise only what you can do
Whenever you go looking for answers on the internet, what is the most frustrating thing you’ve ever experienced? Getting misleading answers! You read the snippets from the Google search page and think that this is exactly the content you wanted.
However, when you actually go on to read the content, it is not at all what you wanted. And in the process, not only do you waste invaluable time, but you are also annoyed.
This is exactly what your readers will feel if they read such content on your website.
For instance, let’s say you sell clothes online, and there is this dress that is making the rounds on the internet, and everyone is talking about it. However, personally, you have found some flaws in it and don’t want to use it.
But if you tell your users only the positives without showing the product’s downside, we are claiming that we find it perfect. But that’s not the case.
Many business owners do not want to make an effort to ask questions, find answers, write accurately, and make necessary corrections.
Now, while browsing for clothes, we often find that to sell more products, the owners write inaccurate content to hype up the product. But, all these practices are not at all helpful and don’t fit well with Google’s new update.
Only write value-adding content
When you go on the internet to search for something, you will find that many articles tell you the same thing. There is so much content on one single topic.
So, even if you want to write the same thing, why would the reader want to read your content instead of hundreds of other articles on the same topic?
If the content does not add value to the current situation, then why is it necessary at all?
Suppose a fashion show currently takes place that everyone is talking about; then you can do it too. However, you need to add something to it from your end.
You could add your insights to it, research past similar events and compare them, or write about replicating the looks or something entirely different. It adds value as long as it has something more than what is already available.
Similarly, consider if you have a jewelry business. Then instead of copy-pasting the same tips for accessorizing outfits that you can find all over the internet, you can write something on your own. You can add value by providing a different perspective to accessorizing.
Stick to your niche
All the ways to improve content writing are interconnected with each other, particularly when you’re offering digital marketing services for small businesses. In order to write something for the users, you need to write something relevant, accurate, and value-adding. And in order to write something of that sort, you will require experience. And where will you have experience but in your own field?
Many creators dabble in hundred different topics on their websites, hoping that at least one of them will get them some traffic. They choose whichever topic is currently popular, and they will write on it and hope that their audience will connect with it.
But how will it retain the audience? Why would the audience come back to read more if there is no theme or niche for the articles?
So, instead of simply trying to get an audience, focus on the target audience that will have questions regarding your niche. This way, all the articles will be useful for them. This will make them come back whenever they want answers to something.
Google’s helpful content update is actually a boon for business owners.
It removes unhelpful content and helps you improve your sales through the content. Moreover, when the users have a satisfying experience with your website, they will return to you for similar questions, saving them time.
And to stay ahead in the game of growing your small business online, consider a fruitful partnership with a like-minded digital agency like SmallBusinessWeb.co
SmallBusinessWeb.co is a small business digital agency with an integrated working environment with ColorWhistle whose technical experts work on medium to large online business applications.
Give us a call at +1 (919) 234-5140 or write to us, or request a price quote and we will be happy to discuss the prospects with you.
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