Since the August 2022 helpful content update, Google has made it clear: helpfulness is king. But what exactly does “helpful content” mean, and how can you create it to climb the search engine rankings (SERPs)?

We will be your one-stop guide to crafting content that Google loves and users adore. We’ll delve into the importance of helpful content, explore what makes it stand out, and provide actionable tips to get you started.

Why Helpful Content Matters

Think about your own search habits. When you have a question, do you click on the first link you see, or do you seek out content that truly addresses your needs? Most likely, you’re looking for information that’s informative, engaging and solves your problem.

That’s exactly what Google wants to deliver in search results. By prioritising helpful content, Google ensures users find valuable resources that satisfy their search intent. This not only benefits users but also creates a more trustworthy and reliable online experience.

What Makes Content Helpful?

Here are some key characteristics of content that Google deems helpful:

Demonstrates Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T): Your content should come from a credible source with knowledge and experience on the topic.

Is Created for a Specific Audience: Tailor your content to the needs and interests of your target readers.

Feels Authentic and Human-Centred: Write in a genuine and engaging way that resonates with your audience.

Meets the Needs or Wants of the Searcher: Provide clear solutions, answer questions comprehensively, and fulfil the user’s search intent.

Helpful Content in Action: A Case Study

Let’s take a practical example. Imagine you want to rank for the keyword “how to fix a zipper.” Here’s how helpful content would look:

• Target the user’s intent: People searching for this term likely want a step-by-step guide to fix their zipper, not a history of zippers.

• Offer a unique perspective: While there are many guides available, yours could offer additional tips, address common troubleshooting issues, or use clear visuals for better understanding.

• Demonstrate expertise: The author could be a tailor or someone with extensive experience fixing zippers.

• Prioritizs user experience: The content should be well-structured, easy to read, and mobile-friendly.

Creating Helpful Content: Your Action Plan

Now that you understand the importance of helpful content, let’s get started on creating your own:

• Put People First: Always prioritise your audience’s needs. What are their pain points? What information are they seeking?

• Focus on Quality, Not Quantity: It’s better to have one in-depth, informative piece than several thin articles with little value.

• Conduct Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords that your target audience is searching for.

• Craft Compelling Headlines: Your title should be clear, concise, and entice users to click.

• Structure Your Content Logically: Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up text and improve readability.

• Incorporate Multimedia: Images, infographics, and videos can enhance understanding and engagement.

• Back-Up Your Claims: Use statistics, data, and credible sources to support your information.

• Optimise for Readability: Write in a clear and concise style, avoiding jargon and overly complex sentences.

• Promote Your Content: Share your content on social media, relevant forums, and other online communities.

• Stay Up-to-Date: Search trends and user needs to evolve, so revisit and update your content regularly.

Helpful Content = Happy Users, Happy Google

By creating content that prioritises user experience and addresses their needs, you’ll not only build trust and loyalty with your audience but also send positive signals to Google. Remember, helpful content is a win-win situation: it keeps users engaged and helps your website climb the search engine rankings.

Bonus Tip: While SEO best practises like keyword optimisation are still important, they should complement your content strategy, not replace it. Focus on creating genuinely valuable content, and the search engine rewards will follow.

Now you have the key ingredients for crafting helpful content that stands out. Get started today, and watch your website and audience engagement flourish!