The future of SEO lies in understanding and meeting the needs of users, and it’s time for brands, marketers and content creators to seize this opportunity, writes Sam Singleton (lead image), SEO manager at digital marketing agency, Tug…
In the ever-evolving landscape of SEO, change is the only constant. This year has brought about a seismic shift in content marketing for search engine optimisation. Google’s introduction of the ‘Helpful Content Update’ has ushered in a new era where user value reigns supreme.
To remain relevant in this dynamic environment, it is imperative that marketers adapt and embrace these transformative trends.
Understanding Google’s helpful content update
Google’s guidelines for creating ‘helpful content’ clearly signal a departure from the traditional ‘search engine first’ approach towards a user-centric model. Simply put, content should no longer be created solely for the purpose of manipulating search engine rankings; it should serve a specific audience’s needs.
One of the most noteworthy changes in Google’s content quality guidelines is the emphasis on ‘Experience.’ This new addition to the well-known E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trust) framework is a significant shift that underscores the importance of real-life experiences related to a topic.
This shift benefits both users and content creators in several ways:
- Reinforces the ranking of content authored by authoritative figures in the field.
- Allows experts to share their personal experiences, enriching the discourse on a topic.
- Provides opportunities for smaller businesses and websites to contribute to the conversation by sharing their own experiences.
What does this mean for content creation? It implies that collaboration between content marketers and clients is now central to crafting effective content strategies. Brands, as experts in their respective domains, hold the key to generating fresh and authoritative content targeting relevant keywords.
The future of content marketing
In the past, content creation often involved identifying a target keyword and filling a page with relevant content, hoping for favourable rankings. However, with advancements in natural language processing (NLP) and Google’s search algorithms, the focus has shifted away from keyword stuffing. Google now understands the intricate relationship between keywords and their broader topics.
Google’s goal is to place user queries at the heart of SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) results, and to achieve this, it prioritises content that comprehensively addresses user needs. Content creators must grasp the pain points associated with a topic and provide a holistic user journey experience for their target audience. One effective approach is to employ topic modelling tactics.
Compare the difference: Keyword List v Topic Model
- How to play guitar v How to play guitar
- How to learn guitar v Guitar music theory for beginners
- How to play guitar for beginners v Guitar chords for beginners
- How to learn guitar at home v Guitar scales for beginners
- How to play acoustic guitar v Guitar rhythm for beginners
Topic modelling is a straightforward yet powerful strategy for establishing topical authority. It involves identifying a parent keyword and creating a map of related keywords pertaining to the topic. The keyword, “How to play guitar” is a competitive keyword, and establishing topical authority on this subject is essential for ranking. By using “How to play guitar” as a pillar page and strategically linking to the other target keywords from this pillar page, content creators can create a robust content structure that covers the entire topic comprehensively.
The SEO landscape in 2023 has demanded a shift towards user-centric content strategies. Google’s update prioritises user value and experiences, making it essential for content marketers to adapt and thrive in this evolving environment. By embracing topical authority and employing topic modelling, content creators can not only rank higher in search results but also provide more valuable and enriching content experiences for their audience.
The future of SEO lies in understanding and meeting the needs of users, and it’s time for brands, marketers and content creators to seize this opportunity.
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