To rank on Google, content must be useful. But what does useful content mean? According to Google, useful means helpful. They use the word helpful 122 times in the Search Evaluator’s Guidelines. Here’s how to make sure your content is useful and helpful.
Table of Contents
A helpful article Answers the question.
When creating content, the writer should think about what people are searching for and answer those questions. If this is done helpfully, the article will be much more successful.
Helpful might include current-day examples, a video, case studies, screenshots, or other visual aids for the readers.
Jamal Ballouk created a Medium story about how to get more followers without begging. His story is helpful because it answers the question: “How to get more followers.”
His article included a personal story and a specific list of how to achieve the goal.
The best way to maintain accuracy in content is for the writer to go back and verify the information. If the audience can’t depend on the content for accuracy, they will quickly tune out. I see writers making one mistake using AI tools like Jasper without fact-checking.
Most AI writing assistants can add content, but their facts are purely placeholders and are entirely inaccurate.
Rick had to focus on accuracy in an article like this, or he’d lose his trusted followers quickly.
He included the rate per article, the publication, and even where to send your pitch with each suggestion.
A helpful article is up-to-date.
An article must be updated with the most current information to be helpful. As soon as new information arises, the writer should update the article and provide that information to the audience.
One way to keep content fresh is to use Twitter lists. Lists are a great way to monitor who’s talking about a particular topic. Often, the influencers in the field will tweet out new articles that you can share with your followers.
Not only was her article correctly formatted, but she included formatting requirements for Illuminations which included items such as:
Formatting for mobile
Creating easy to read paragraphs in the body
A helpful article is designed for various types of readers.
To be most effective, a writer needs to know their audience and how they best learn new information. An article might be helpful to one person, but not so much to another.
I chose a video and article I did on a case study in this example. In the case study, I tested an AI writing tool called Jasper to see if it could rank on Google. Once I achieved the goal of getting an AI-assisted written article to rank on Google, I made the video and wrote the paper.
It explained the goal, how the goal was achieved, and details about how I used the tool specifically to achieve the goal. It also linked to resources to a trial of the tool, plus another step-by-step tutorial video.
The video has done well on my channel, along with the article on my blog, and this is how I know that it was helpful.
A helpful article is sourced correctly.
When providing information in an article, it is essential to include the source of that information. Sourcing allows the reader to verify the information and makes them more likely to trust the content.
She starts with a sourced statistic and then gives four clear and concise steps to achieve the goal.
A helpful article is original.
Lastly, an article needs to be unique to be truly helpful. If the writer rehashes information that can already be found on another site, it isn’t worth reading or sharing.
Instead, an article should always add something new and worthwhile for the audience to read.
Article spinners are not helpful. Useful content shares a unique point of view, entertains, provokes thought, or includes personal experience.
Natasha Nichole Lake published an article about quitting her job and moving across the country. She provides her unique perspective and experience and then shares the questions she had to ask herself that set her free.
Readers may find her article inspirational, informational, and insightful.
Useful content is helpful. That means that it is organized, easy to read and follow, well-written, includes appropriate visuals when necessary, properly formatted, contains sources, is up-to-date, accurate, is designed for the right audience, and is original.
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