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Today we're talking about the Google Helpful Content Update and what it means for content.
Here's the top takeaways:
A few things we've learned...
Here's how to create helpful content in a simple and smart way:
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So it's like we have to optimize for search engine and for SEO, but we have to write for human beings, which I feel like is, you know, one of your superpowers, for sure. Hello and welcome to the simple and smart SEO show Where we provide tips and advice, improve your website's search engine ranking. I'm Brittany Herberg SEO copywriter for holistic health and wellness pros who want to show up as the answer to a Googled question.
And I'm crystal Waddell, an e-commerce seller and content creator. I help business owners communicate the value of their products and services through content. So you can make more sales and grow your business. We're business besties who love learning and sharing what we've learned. So what are we waiting for? Let's jump in. All right. Thank you so much for listening today.
My friend, I'm here with B and we are gonna be talking about Google's new, helpful content update. I have been nine to talk about this. She really is. I get a message like every other day, like, can we talk about it? Can we talk about it now? How about now? Oh my gosh. When I saw it come out,
I was just like, huh. You know, I mean the first, I think the first like, reaction that anybody had to that, especially somebody who works in SEO was just kind of like, oh crap. You know, like, is everything I've done? Is it now like horrible and not working? And you know, everything I've told people terrible advice or whatever,
but I'm here to tell you, my friend, we have been on the right track from the beginning and everything we've said is right on point. And so yeah, we can just dive into all those things. I know I was so excited when I heard about it because I'm like, sweet. I really haven't been paying attention to my blog. And it's like on my to-do list currently and still everything that we've been telling people,
like you just said is like totally on track with what they're doing now. So I'm excited. Yeah. Oh, and it, I was listening to one of our last podcasts and we were talking about like the time it takes to rank and different things on, on Google. And I wanted to share something because Yeah. Tell them, tell, 'em tell 'em crystal.
Yeah. This is the power of content you guys. So when you create a piece of content that is really, really aligned really, really on time, which is all about marketing, you know, the right message, the right people at the right time, your content can rank super fast. Like typically SEO takes like three to six months, right?
That's that's like the standard that industry standard. But when you are creating a piece of SEO focused content, that content can rank in as little as a week And you know how she and I got, you know, how, you know, how tell them I got the receipts y'all About this. Yeah. Because I created someone, hired me to create a piece of content for an affiliate launch that they're a part of.
And we within one week were ranking in the top three, one week, the primary keyword. Yeah. One week just really wanna drive that home one week, which is why I fell outta my chair when she texted me that I was like, what, what that was like, like you said, just so timely, really the right person, the right messaging showing up in front of the right people as they're Searchie again at the right time.
And you know, and I think that this like whole idea of helpful content really benefited us in this situation because essentially that's what it was. It was helpful. Content. Let me help you make the decision of whether or not you wanna participate in this particular program based on my experience and boom, there, it was top three. Yeah. And you were right there as they were Searchie I,
I just, I'm so excited for you. I think that's the perfect lead in Yeah. To helpful content cuz you did it. Okay. Yeah, you did it and that's true. Well, but you know, helpful content is also kind of a representation of who you are, you know, and that's why I was saying we are both on the same page with this because you know,
some people think about content and they think about SEO as this way to trick a search engine into helping them show up, you know? And it's like, why would you wanna trick a search engine into helping you show up for something that you're not even a relevant, you know, response or, you know, result for, you know, like why would you want to trick a search engine to do that?
Because All you end up doing is frustrating. The people that are Searchie you show up. Exactly. And it's like, well, that's not what I constantly it's like, that's not what I was looking for. Or even the paid ads. It's like, I don't wanna have to scroll through five ads just to get to what I wanted to get to with the helpful information I've had this conversation with you.
And so many other business owner friends, it's just, it's so aggravating. Yeah. So helpful content is just duh, duh being helpful, being helpful, providing information, that's actually gonna help people. That's not just click bait, you know, and what a lot of websites do is RA like websites that maybe are not niche websites, websites who are just about generating traffic and just about generating ad revenue and just about,
you know, trying to generate this traffic so that they can sell the website to somebody else who wants to monetize it or whatever, you know, they'll write about anything and everything. They'll write about a thousand different topics that have nothing to do with each other. Nope. I'm sorry. No relationship to each other. And then the, and the content has really no authority because they're writing about so many different things that they know nothing about that it,
like you said, it ends up being a terrible experience for the person who ends up on that page. You know, I was thinking the other day, so you and I met in social curator with Jasmine star. She was always talking about how her blog helped her, you know, get to the top of the search results. And I got to thinking about it,
photographers are blogging. Like they've been in the blogging game probably the longest. And I think they've been doing it in the smartest way because what are they, they doing? They are sharing about their client stories. They are sharing about their process. They are sharing their actual work and deliverables. I think it's brilliant. And I think we probably many of us like should have been paying attention to what they were doing and hopped on that boat sooner at the same time.
You're not too late. And that's, you know, someone that you can kind of, I, I love looking at photographer's blogs. So it's something that you could always like consume or at least go get inspired by because they they're doing it. Right. Yeah. And I cringe because as a product seller, I used to think, you know what?
I should, you know, take a picture of whatever product someone bought this week and just write an article about it, you know? But then I got busy and I didn't do it. Yeah. But I mean those little ideas that come into your head of like, what is the easiest way to share about what I do a lot of times, that's the most helpful content.
That's the best content, you know, that you can create because it creates interest around what you're actually doing. You know, you don't have to go far from what you do to figure out what to write about on your blog. That's a good your website. That's a good line. Okay. So let's dive into this cuz we're kind of talking about it,
but the little bit around it. Okay. So let's get into it. So Google released an update it's called the helpful content update. I think I'm probably messing up the name. Am I messing up the name? Correct me if I'm wrong. Nope. That's right. So today we're really gonna talk about we're. We want to help you understand what Google considers to be helpful content.
So we're gonna dive into that kind of like why you should care, why this matters to your business and then some easy steps that you can actually implement to make your content helpful and keep things updated and you know, help humans and also feed the Google machine. Yeah. So Google did a lot of studies to like, you know, determine quality of different content.
And essentially it comes down to a couple things. Number one is Searchie know, does the article or you know, whatever people click on, does it satisfy the search intent of the user? And you know, we've talked about search intent before, but essentially it's like boils down to a couple different things, informational or transactional, you know? So it's like,
okay, if they're Searchie for information, do they find the information that they're looking for? And if they're clicking away quickly, that is an indication of, you know, poor alignment between certain and user experience. So that's one thing. And the other thing is, you know, like thin content, you know, content that's just like short, but not effective and not helpful,
not informative, you know, and content that is written more for a search engine than for helping people. So it's like we have to optimize for search engine and for SEO, but we have to write for human beings, which I feel like is, you know, one of your superpowers for sure. I mean, it's funny because the conversations that I've had this week,
I've had a lot, it's been a very full week, but the conversations that I've had really have helped me see what I was doing correctly back when, when I was blogging more, when I was writing, I'm writing more emails now. But like when I started my email list and even, especially being on social media, I, I was looking to build connections.
I was looking to just like connect with people and communicate with people. And that's kind of, I think served me really well. And you know, I got so frustrated and I felt really lost about like, what should I be sharing? Oh, I'm not talking about my offers or my services. Oh, I'm shooting myself in the foot. And really,
no, I'm not. I was, I was building those connections with people and that's helped me a lot. I wanna bring, I'm gonna go back to something that you said. So you were talking about search intent and if you are feeling like you don't understand what search intent is, first of all, go back and listen to our dictionary episode. I forget what number it is,
but we'll get in the show notes and two, go talk to your people, just ask your people, see and pay attention to what they're telling you. Unprovoked, what questions are they asking? What are they coming to you for? What are some things that are coming up in sales calls, in social media comments, in responses to your emails in,
you know, inquiries, whatever it is, wherever people are contacting you, what are they asking? What are they needing clarity around? And just marry that with your, your content plan, your blogging plan or whatever it looks like for you, ask your people. They are always going to have the answers that you are looking for. And if you feel like you're not getting the answer that you want,
ask a different question, ask a different way, come at it from a different angle. Even, you know, ask your people to, you know, I've, what's going on in my brain is like, I know that I have worked with my clients to figure out the better questions to ask, to get the answers that I'm looking for to get them the information that they want.
So ask your people. Yeah. And you know, the other thing is your favorite resource. You know, if you don't have clients already or whatever, you know, go to Google and just go see what people are already asking, you know, like what, what are, what are the people also ask questions? Yeah. You know, around,
around your topic, around your product, around your service and start answering those questions and eat is like this thing that Google came up with and it stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. So, you know, essentially your helpful content boils down to those things, right? It's like, you wanna, you wanna talk about things on your website that are related to what you do because that,
that demonstrates your authority, that demonstrates your expertise. And when you are talking about like one particular topic, instead of like, oh, these things are trending right now. Yeah. I'm gonna try and get those, those easy clicks or whatever, you know, that doesn't build, you know, trust with anyone, whether it's a robot or a human being,
because it's like, you're jumping around so much. It's like, I don't, how, how do you know all these things? You know, like if you're talking about helicopters yeah. You're talking about helicopters and you know, SEO, it's like that, I guess maybe that could happen, but it's not likely. Right. So if you're jumping from product to product service,
to service, topic, to topic, you know, you're not going to be seen as an expert for your thing. So just focus on your thing. Yeah. And if I can add, so I'm, I feel like Crystal's gonna guide this and then I'm coming in with like the little tidbits, the authority piece of the E a T can be a real mindset thing.
Right. So I shared in another interview recently that, you know, even when it came to changing over my Instagram content, I was all about massage therapy. And this is what I do. And these, the clients that are that I help. And I was really confident in that information when it came time that I was like, all right, I really have to embrace this copywriter thing.
Because if I don't tell people how I can help them with that, they're not gonna come to me for that. So embrace and just kind of step into and embody that authority even before you feel like you have it, because I guarantee that you know, more than you think you do. And even if you only know 10% more than the people that are coming to you,
listening to you, buying from you, signing up with you, that's all they need. They just need that little bit of extra guidance to get them to the next step, because they don't know what you know. Exactly. And I heard recently on a podcast, gosh, I wish I could give this guys name and credit for what he said. Hopefully I can do that in a show description later.
Yeah. But you know, he basically said creating your authority on the internet is like training a child because that's what Google is. Google is not a human being. Yeah. It's you have to tell Google what you're about. You have to tell search engines, what you're about. You have to explain to Google, this is how you crawl my site.
This is how you, you know, share information with the right people, because this is the most important information. So I'm thinking in my head, I'm like, okay, I did give the example of the helicopter and SEO, but we're, we're right here as living examples. If people who have expertise in multiple areas, you know, who are authorities in multiple areas?
And so what do you do if you have multiple authority? Well, I'd like to give example really quick from my e-commerce shop. And this started back on social media. It started with Instagram because I was like, you know, I make wooden letters. I make signs. I make senior night gifts. I make photo props. I make all sorts of stuff.
I have the capabilities to make names for nurseries, you know, so, and they're really every day on Instagram things. So, and for businesses. But so every day I was promoting a different piece than my business. But think about it from this perspective, if you are a mother of a senior in high school and you see my senior night photo collage and you're like,
Ooh, that's cool. I'm gonna follow her. I like that or whatever. But then the next day you see a nursery sign pop up. You might think, huh, I must have followed her on accident. You know, like this has nothing to do with my life. So I realized then that it was like, okay, look, I can still make nursery signs,
but I have to focus on one area of expertise to really show Google, Instagram, whatever, any platform that this is my expertise, that I am an expert in creating special gifts for seniors in senior year. And do I still sell when letters, signs, baby nursery signs, all that stuff. Yes. I still sell those. And I still get those sales on my website,
but you focus on one topic so that Google understands where your highest level of authority lies. The second thing I wanted to say is another way to prevent this in content creation is by creating multiple blogs. And this is what I've done for my Shopify store. So choosing, you know, a content topic, a cluster of topics around one piece of, you know,
either a product type or, you know, just a, you know, just a, a product topic that, or topic that relates to the products that you sell. That's the way that I approach it. So I have one blog for nursery ideas. I have one blog dedicated to senior night, one blog dedicated to wooden letters, that type of thing.
And then that way I'm training Google and other search engines, how to navigate my site. It's like, okay, if you are looking for senior night, this is the direction that you go. This is the direction you go. So I just wanted to give those examples because I feel can't breathe so excited. I feel like, you know, that is how you create helpful content.
You make it easier for people to find what they're looking for. I think that's all brilliant. And you touched on so many different things that I, I would love to go down, but I know that we're trying to like stand on topic today. So I think the things that really stand out to me are making sure that everything you're doing really with anything,
your business, your website, your life is intentional. And it's very clear. There are a couple of my mentors that always talk about how you wanna be clear over being clever. Like you have to be clear because the robots need that. And the humans need that. Like our brains are just so inundated with so many things we need to know instantly.
Yep. I'm in the right place. This person can help me. They have what I need. They have what I'm looking for. Cool. So you have to build everything and just be intentional with everything. The other thing I thought was brilliant was, yeah, you have to explain it like you're talking to a child because it helps you the business owner and it helps your client and it helps the search engines.
The more, it just goes back to being clear, the more simple you can make things. And the more like, boom, boom, boom building blocks that you can present the better. Like it's gonna help you again. It's gonna help your client. It's gonna help the search engines. Right. And so there's a couple other tangible ways that you can,
you know, create helpful content in the IAS of a search engine. So, you know, again, from the eCommerce perspective, product reviews are essential, you know, some sort of, you know, outside validation yeah. That your product is trustworthy. So those are important. Also adding images, structuring your content in a way that makes sense, like using H one S using these SEO elements that we talk about,
what, you know, page titles, product titles, meta descriptions that H one S the H two S and just following a format that is structured within your content, that's helpful. And then also adding images and videos. So, you know, that's, that's another way to demonstrate your authority or your deeper understanding of a topic is through images and a video that explains it further or shows it in a different way.
Yeah. And I would even add links, whether it's an internal link or a back link leading to some other website, some other thing that's gonna build your authority and that's gonna do it pretty quickly. So do not overlook the link building again, even if it's just somewhere else in your site, if you're talking about, you know, if I'm talking about testimonials and how you wanna gather testimonials,
I've got a testimonial template, guess what? I'm gonna link over to the testimonial template, where they can get more information and excuse me, put that in their card. If they want, now I'm tripping over my own full LIBO. And then the other thing was structuring your content. So that might seem like a big, broad idea to you. So I'll just give you like a quick,
this is what I do when I write blogs. So you want, again, wanna have like one H one, I actually start with thinking about, what do I want to write about what is the topic I wanna write about? I'll put that at the top of the Google doc, then I'll come up with an H one. That's gonna have a keyword in it.
That's going to catch someone's attention, going to really direct the entire piece. Then you go into having the H twos and H threes. I'll just break it out by like other questions that I'll find when I do my Google research, you, you have that section that's called people also ask which we were talking about earlier, or even answer the public, if you wanna go over there and just kind of think logically through like,
okay, if I am this person that I'm coming to this blog post or this article, and I want to have this H one, this top question answered, what are some of those building blocks? And how can I easily, you know, help someone go down this path of like, this is what you're wondering, this is what, what will get you there?
This is what that looks like. And here's how I can help you. You know, that might even be a way to kind of structure that blog piece. Absolutely. And so, you know, I'm thinking about like, okay, well, why should we as business owners care? Okay, well, you know, we want, we want Google and any search engine to view our website as a trusted authority,
you know? And it matters because you want people to trust you at the same time as they enter your world. So another thing to think about when you're considering, okay, what type of content can I create for my website? That's helpful. That makes sense. And you know, can build trustworthiness is, think about what people need right before they actually need you.
Yeah. You know, like what, what are the steps of the customer journey and what questions are they asking before they actually need your services? And if you can establish yourself in that journey and in that process, and cuz kind of insert yourself, you know, as an answer to the questions that they have along the way, then they trust you as an authority,
then you're creating helpful content. And the ultimate goal of all of this, you know, is essentially getting people to your website so that you can number one, obtain first party data, number two, get these people on your email list. Number three, make sales. And I guess I have a bonus one too, which is kind of like what we talked about yeah.
On our last podcast. And that is being able to retarget people because it's, it's related to that first party data. But you know, you want people within your ecosystem, you want them to come to your website, interact with your website so that you can then go back and retarget them and say, Hey, remember when you came and visited us,
we either have something new that you might like, or, you know, in the world of e-commerce it's like, Hey, abandoned cart, you forgot this thing, you know, or whatever. But that's, that's why this matters. It all leads up to, you know, the relationship that you have with someone that they, at the end of the day,
they trust you enough to invest in your service or your product. And this might sound like a lot of work. It might sound like you're gonna have to sit down for a whole day with a notebook and map this all out. And you might, you also might break it up into different steps, but it's not as simple as I learned this, it took me a few years to learn this.
But when I did, I was like, oh duh, it's not something that you can jump from. A stranger sees you to, they're instantly buying from you. I, I see this a lot with people when they want sales page copy. They're like, but they just need to like know about the things that they could click it and buy. They might not know you.
They might have never heard your name. They might not have a clue what you're doing. They might not know about your background. You don't know how many touchpoints they're coming to you with. Like, you don't know how many stepping stones they blocked on. So you also don't know their background. Like you don't know these people at all. So what do they need to see?
When do they need to see it? What do they need to know about you and your offer so that they do feel good and feel confident in their buying decision? Right? So I wanna kind of jump back to, you know, creating content. Like let's say you've already created content, you know, the, the best way to really get started on,
you know, understanding what, what to make better or what to focus on is to, you know, hopefully have Google analytics. But if you can pinpoint, you know, that touchpoint, that most PE or the, the window that like you like to say, the window that people come through or The door Of the door that people come through into your site and optimize that,
you know, whether it's a product page, you know, of all things or a blog post or a pillar content post or whatever you wanna make sure that that piece of content is as helpful and as awesome and well-rounded as possible because that's, that's, what's really getting people's attention. So optimize what's already working well. Right. And then number two, if you're ready to start creating new content,
you know, you wanna go beyond just optimizing what's on your site. There are so many tools out there that can really help you get started. Yeah. And I'm a, I'm a huge fan of AI tools. You know, I've talked about Jasper and then the other one I wanted to mention is surfer SEO. And the reason why I really enjoy these things is because within surfer you can put in a keyword and say,
Hey, this is my realm of expertise, or this is the keyword that I wanna be known for. So let me put this keyword in and tell me all of the related topics and articles that I might need to write to be seen as an authority for this particular keyword. And so that is a great place to start because when you don't really know how to get started,
a tool like that can give you direction and help you kind of see your path. And then as you, as you start writing, you'll get more clarity, you know, and that's, that's just the process. You have to get started to get clarity on how to take the next step. Yeah. And don't forget too, that if you don't feel like you have the money to invest in these things,
there are some budget friendly options. There are free tools. I know. Is it keyword surfer that surfer SEO? Is that their tool on Google Chrome? Yes. I think I wanna say it's keyword surfer and then there's, I mean, there's just Google. Like I always go back to just like use Google. Like they, they do give you a ton of information on that search page,
things you would pay, want to pay attention to would be the people also ask section, even just noticing what other headlines, the, the page one articles, like, what are they using? What are they saying? What are they asking? What are they getting into? And then at the very bottom, there's another section where other keywords will, will show up.
Also when you go into the search bar and start typing in a keyword, pay attention to the autofill options. So you have a lot, even just within Google, if you don't wanna invest in tools. Absolutely. And it's amazing when you, when you type those words in, or, you know, when you just see a keyword opportunity and a word that relates to your content,
you are the authority. So because you are the authority, you're gonna recognize a word or term or a question that people ask and you're thinking, oh, I totally know the answer to that. I can answer to that. I can expand on it. I can do it better than anybody. And then once I've done that, I realize, oh,
people might also need to know this. And then that is how you create linking within articles. That make sense without, you know, a special tool, because it's like, oh, if I talked about this, but you also might need to know about this, I'm gonna link from that one article to the next article so that you can find out more about the thing I was talking about in the first article.
And the last thing I wanna say about that is when you have that really strong piece of content, that's bringing people into your website and into your world. That is the article that you wanna use to link to other articles or to other things on your website. Because again, you're showing Google, you're taking Google's hand and, and walking them to that,
you know, really powerful content page and then saying, Hey, well, follow me over here. You know, or follow me over here. This is how these things are related. So, you know, just a couple things to kind of piggyback off of that. Yeah. I mean, and don't worry if you have already done content, like,
it's good. If the, if you have content that's performing really well, like I'm even thinking my brain went to, I have Squarespace. So even if you didn't have something tied in with like Google analytics or any of that, just go to your website host and more than likely, you'll find some information in there for where your traffic is going, where they're hanging out,
what's performing really well. You may even have some insight into keywords that are performing really well. So go optimize the ones that are already working well. And you'll, you know, it's kind of gonna feel like just taking advantage of an opportunity that's already there. And I think so frequently we just ignore that and we overlook that because we're like, oh,
we've already been there, done that. I've already shared that. Like it's already out there. Yeah. But you can make it better. Yeah. Well, and, and to offer some words of encouragement, the, the best performing article that I have on my website is one that I wrote before I knew anything about keyword research. Yeah. You know,
it's the craziest thing. It's like, it brings in more people than all of this, you know, specialized content that I'm creating, because it's an article that I am an expert on, you know? And I answer a question that my people have and I can give them all sorts of information and resources and pictures and whatev, you know what I mean?
So, you know, that's the thing you have the, you have the knowledge to do it. You know, you have the knowledge to bring people in. You just have to write it and let them come and then let them tell you how to make it better. Yeah. And I'll say this before we, we wrap. But I think the reason that all those things are performing well is because also you gave it time.
It's had the time to grow. It's had the time to be searched and show up in results and really help people and gain that traction. So that's even more reason to go back and optimize those pieces that have had that time to actually build the authority and help people and direct them to different places on your website. All right. Should we, should we put a bow on this?
Well, I did wanna say one thing. I didn't say this before to you, but as we're talking about it, I'm like, okay, look, if someone doesn't have these tools, you know, we, we are offering a couple different things. So the first one is we have the SEO audit. So there's gonna be a link in the show description about,
or you know, where you can click to fill out a form. If you're interested in that SEO audit. And then we can also do a content audit. So let's say you don't want to invest in surfer SEO, but you're interested in like the content cluster of articles that you could create in order to be an authority around that particular keyword. We can do that as well.
So, you know, either one check out the showed description, if that's something that you're interested in and that you want, you know, us to walk with you through, we'd be happy to do that. Okay. So, you know, you don't, don't have to do it alone. You know, we're laughing, but I think that's something that's really important to both of us.
I, I was listening to one of our other episodes where you were talking about how you felt so alone in the business world before we connected him before you got connected, even with any other groups. And that's something to me as a kid that moved around a ton, that's like really important because like, I don't like feeling alone and I don't ever want anybody else to feel.
It's almost more important to me that someone else doesn't feel alone versus me. I'm like, I'm cool. I'm an introvert. I'll find a book. I'll be happy. Yeah. But like you're not alone. Yeah. Yeah. You're so right. Okay. Yep. I tight. That's the bow. That's the Bow. That's a key little bit,
My friend. I like it. All right. So we do want to remind you, we totally appreciate all of your support. And I know that I get a ton of messages. Crystal gets a ton of messages with you sharing just like how impactful these episodes have been. And that makes us just smile and so happy. And it makes us, yeah,
it makes us excited to come back and record more. But what we would love is if you would share that excitement with other people. So before you leave, just take some time or maybe carve out some time in your week, couple minutes, just go right. And review the show. If you could do that, that would mean the world to us.
And it would help somebody else know that we exist and that we're out here sharing some knowledge and answering questions. That's right. So we do appreciate you guys. You appreciate you so much for listening and we can't wait to see you again next time. Bye Bye guys. Thanks For joining us today. If you like this info subscribe before you go. So you never miss out on something related to SEO.
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