21 May, 2024

How Keyword Optimisation Changes with Google’s Helpful Content Overhaul

Keyword Optimisation Changes

Optimising web content for your target keywords has always been one of the go-to strategies for achieving better visibility and a higher search ranking on Google. But as the search giant continues to change the rules of the game, we find ourselves adjusting our SEO strategies to ensure our websites remain search engine-friendly. And with the recent major update to Google’s helpful content system, keyword optimisation changes to focus on creating user-centric content.

A Quick Background on Google’s Helpful Content Update 

Over the last several years, Google has been underscoring the importance of providing web visitors with valuable content that matches search intent rather than those optimised for specific keywords. With the release of its March core algorithm update, the search giant reiterated the importance of focusing on a more user-centric approach to SEO and publishing content that benefits your audience. 

As part of the core update, Google overhauled its helpful content system in a bid to eliminate poor web content in search results by 40%. It also improved the search engine’s capabilities to differentiate high-quality web pages from those that are spammy and offer poor user experience.

The Shift from Keyword Optimisation to Search Intent Optimisation 

As you know, keywords play a crucial role in SEO. They make a webpage more understandable for search engines and relatable to potential clients. While optimising your web pages for your target keywords can help boost conversions (since you’re essentially speaking your audience’s language), Google’s recent update proved that keyword optimisation should no longer be your top priority and sole go-to SEO strategy. 

Instead, you should focus on understanding your target audience’s search intent. Find out what they want to achieve when using a particular search term on Google. Are they looking to buy a specific product/service or merely seeking help or valuable information?

Developing a keen understanding of your audience’s search intent can lead to the natural incorporation of relevant keywords throughout your web content. At the same time, it enables you to use essential keywords in ways your target customers would use them. This eliminates the need for keyword stuffing and publishing web content with awkward and weird-sounding text.

Tips on Creating Web Content Optimised for Search Intent

As keyword optimisation changes to search intent optimisation, here are several tips to help you create web content that provides value to your target audience and ticks all of Google’s boxes.

1. Craft keyword-informed content

While keyword optimisation is no longer a top priority, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should stop adding relevant keywords to web content altogether. Search engines still need them to gauge the relevance of web pages. 

That being said, start your content creation process by carefully selecting relevant keywords that match your audience’s search queries. However, avoid the temptation to over-optimise by excessively repeating keywords throughout your content. Instead, use them as a guide to understand your audience’s language and intent. This would enable you to create valuable, engaging content that resonates with them.

2. Prioritise user-centric content

Shift your focus towards addressing the needs and questions of your audience rather than solely optimising for specific keywords. By speaking a language your audience understands and providing potential solutions to their problems, you can establish a deeper connection and trust with them. Not only can this approach help improve user engagement, but it can also increase your visibility and search rankings.

3. Create a natural content flow

Integrate keywords naturally throughout your content to maintain readability and coherence. Avoid keyword stuffing and repetitive phrasing, as this can detract from the user experience and may even result in penalties from Google and other major search engines. Instead, aim for a seamless and natural integration of keywords that enhances the overall flow and value of your content.

4. Test content readability

Gauge the readability and effectiveness of your content by having an outsider read it, be it a friend or a random stranger at a cafe. Look for signs of confusion or repetition, as these may indicate areas where keyword optimisation has been overdone. With meaningful feedback from unbiased readers, you can identify areas for improvement and ensure your web content effectively communicates your message.

5. Utilise real-world feedback

Tap into real-world feedback from your customer support and/or warehouse team to identify common issues and customer concerns. Incorporate this feedback into your web content to provide relevant solutions and address customer needs effectively. By leveraging real-world insights, you can create content that resonates with your audience and fosters meaningful engagement.

6. Optimise content architecture

Structure your content in a way that enhances the user experience and guides visitors towards relevant information. For example, you can incorporate elements such as FAQs and additional information on product/service pages to provide a comprehensive resource for your audience. Optimising your content architecture allows you to improve navigation and ensure that users find the information they need quickly and easily.

7. Maintain topic relevance

Stay focused on providing comprehensive information that matches the topic of your content. Avoid straying too far from the main topic, as this can confuse readers and dilute the effectiveness of your message. In doing so, you can ensure your audience will find your content valuable and engaging.

8. Emphasise trust and transparency

Highlight trust-building elements such as money-back guarantees or return policies where relevant to build trust with your audience. Provide clear, accurate information and address their concerns openly and transparently. By emphasising trust and transparency, you can foster stronger relationships with your target clients. At the same time, you can encourage them to engage with your content more deeply and ultimately convert them into a paying customer.

9. Focus on user experience over keywords

Remember, the ultimate goal is to provide a valuable, user-centric experience rather than simply optimising for keywords. Therefore, you should prioritise user experience and relevance when crafting content to ensure long-term SEO success. This would enable you to create web content that resonates with your audience and drives meaningful engagement.

It’s Time to Adjust Your SEO Strategies 

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it’s crucial to adapt your SEO strategies accordingly. While keywords have traditionally been the focus of optimisation efforts, the recent shift towards prioritising user search intent underscores the importance of delivering valuable, user-centric content. By embracing this change and implementing the tips outlined above, you can create web content that not only resonates with your audience but also enhances their experience and drives meaningful engagement. 

At Springhill Marketing, we can help you craft highly optimised content that can help you achieve long-term SEO success. Get in touch with our team, and we’ll provide you with solutions tailored to your business.

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