Google has made it clear to us SEOs that content is king. This has been their position for many years, however, there are still companies struggling to implement a content strategy that is valuable to the user.
Clearly, outside of the SEO industry itself, many people are struggling to understand that “SEO content” is not a valid activity in this era of the Google algorithm. Content created directly to target specific keywords is essentially dead.
What’s very lively about building a content strategy that focuses on user needs and targets users at different stages of the marketing funnel?
Creating content that focuses on content topics that align with user search behavior and provide real value to users is the best way to improve your visibility within organic search.
Within this article, Yva Media covers why there is a continued shift toward valuable content and how you can adapt your content strategy for this shift.
Google’s useful content update
One of Google’s latest algorithm updates is called “Helpful Content” update. It is aimed at providing users with the most useful content according to the expected intent behind the search query. That is, Google will display product-driven content if the query has purchase intent, informational content if the query needs a specific answer to a question, etc.
Search results like this have been showing up for a long time, however, Google has recently done more extensive work on this part of their algorithm to show really useful results.
Updates to Google’s broad core algorithm
Just days after Google’s useful content update finished rolling out, Google began rolling out another algorithm change: a a broad kernel update. Broad core algorithm updates tend to target different signals and are completed multiple times a year. They are designed to fine-tune a broader algorithm, hence the name.
When such updates roll out, the changes are felt across many types of websites, including publishers and merchants.
Why is this important in this context?
Because part of the broad core algorithm update still targets the content part of the algorithm, which means further content performance changes will be felt.
What this means for content production
Content production needs to be completed in different formats, considering the users and how they best digest the content. Different people learn in different ways, so simply producing blog content is no longer viable.
Additionally, content should be built to provide real value to the user.
Ways to do this are:
- Use user search data to inform your content strategy, but don’t depend your entire content strategy on it. Identify user search behaviors and content topics they are looking for and align them with your existing content strategy and strategic pillars.
- Build a content strategy that aligns with your business personas and each stage of the marketing funnel. Different personas have different content needs, and these change as those personas move through the buying process.
- Build a content strategy that takes into account multimedia formats such as video content, infographics and interactive content. This is much more interesting and useful for different types of users.
- Build content in such a way that it quickly addresses the needs of a specific user in advance, before diving into the content of the content (whether it’s an article, video, etc.)
- Think about content engagement, that is, create content that provides new information and that users can engage with by giving their opinions, sharing information, etc.
- Consider conversions based on your content ie. How does your content help users move down the conversion funnel to purchase your product or service? How does your product specifically meet the needs of users?
Essentially, your content production needs to become much more strategic (if it isn’t already) in order to create valuable content for users.
Why this is so important to your business
Businesses that try to create content for content’s sake to ensure they are putting fresh information on their website with no real value to users will suffer from these updates. Why?
Because Google’s mission has always been to ensure that they provide users with the most useful content, to help them answer every question as quickly as possible.
If your business provides generic content that doesn’t read well, doesn’t meet user needs, or isn’t engaging, it will be difficult for this content to be rewarded on search engine results pages.
This in turn means less organic traffic directed to your website, which in turn means less conversions and organic search revenue.
Creating valuable content has never been more important. To start building content that your users will engage with and digest, consider the following:
- What your users really need from any content
- Why should they come to you for answers to their questions
- Which formats will be easiest for the user to study
- How easy information can be found on your website
By thinking about the above elements, you will improve not only the quality of your content, but also the journey to said content from anywhere else on your website.
If you need help building a robust content strategy that works for SEO as well as on a broader digital marketing scale, contact yva media for a consultation.