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SEO Fundamentals

A Guide to Creating Helpful, Reliable, People-First content

By December 25, 2023February 13th, 2024No Comments

In today’s world, creating content that resonates with audiences and adds genuine value has become more critical than ever. Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of creating people-first content is, putting people first.

Behind every click, like, and share is a real person with real needs, desires, and emotions. Understanding your audience – their preferences, pain points, and aspirations – is paramount. By empathizing with your audience and tailoring your content to address their specific interests and concerns, you demonstrate that you’re not just another faceless entity vying for their attention – you’re a genuine ally committed to enriching their lives.

First and foremost, let’s address the foundation of this approach: being helpful. The digital space is inundated with an abundance of information, often leaving users feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about where to turn.

Prioritizing helpfulness in your content, position you as a trusted resource – a beacon of clarity amidst the noise. Whether you’re offering practical advice, solving problems, or simply providing insight, the key is to genuinely enrich the lives of your audience.

Equally essential is reliability. In an era plagued by misinformation and fake news, establishing credibility is non-negotiable. Your audience relies on you to deliver accurate, well-researched content they can trust. This means fact-checking, citing credible sources, and upholding the highest standards of integrity in everything you publish. By consistently delivering reliable content, you not only bolster your reputation but also cultivate a loyal following built on trust and authenticity.

Google’s automated ranking systems are created to prioritize valuable and trustworthy information, with a focus on benefiting users rather than solely aiming to boost search engine rankings. The purpose of this page is to assist creators in evaluating whether their content aligns with these principles from optimizing for search engines to engaging with your audience.

Focus On People-first Content

focus on people first contentIn this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential elements of creating content that genuinely resonates with your audience and the strategies, techniques, and best practices for creating content that truly puts people first.

  1. Understanding Your Audience: Successful content begins with a deep understanding of your audience. Who are they? What challenges do they face? What are their aspirations? By empathizing with your audience, you lay the foundation for content that addresses their needs and concerns.
  2. Research and Authenticity: Reliable content is rooted in thorough research. Fact-checking and providing accurate information not only build credibility but also establish trust with your audience. Authenticity is key; be genuine in your communication, and your audience will respond positively.
  3. Clarity and Simplicity: Keep your message clear and straightforward. Avoid unnecessary jargon or complexity that might alienate your audience. A people-first approach means making your content accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or expertise.
  4. Engagement and Interactivity: Foster engagement by inviting your audience to participate. Encourage comments, ask questions, and create interactive elements. This not only enhances the user experience but also makes your audience feel valued and heard.
  5. Visual Appeal: People are naturally drawn to visual content. Incorporate eye-catching images, infographics, and videos to complement your written content. A visually appealing presentation enhances comprehension and makes your material more shareable.
  6. Consistency Across Platforms: Maintain consistency in your messaging and branding across different platforms. Whether it’s your website, social media, or email newsletters, a cohesive approach reinforces your identity and makes it easier for your audience to recognize and trust your content.
  7. Empower with Solutions: Helpful content doesn’t just identify problems; it provides solutions. Whether you’re offering how-to guides, tips, or step-by-step tutorials, empower your audience to take action and apply the information you provide.
  8. Responsive and Inclusive Design: Consider the diverse ways people access content. Ensure that your website and content are mobile-friendly and accessible to individuals with disabilities. A people-first mindset means making your content available to everyone, regardless of their devices or abilities.
  9. Feedback and Iteration: Foster a feedback loop with your audience. Encourage them to share their thoughts, and be open to constructive criticism. Use feedback as a valuable tool for continuous improvement and refinement of your content strategy.

Creating helpful, reliable, people-first content is not just a strategy; it’s a commitment to building genuine connections. By understanding your audience, maintaining authenticity, and prioritizing user experience, you can craft content that not only stands out but also leaves a positive and lasting impression. Embrace the principles outlined in this guide, and watch as your content becomes a trusted resource in the lives of your audience.

We recommend prioritizing the creation of people-centric content to achieve the search intent of your audience with Google Search, as opposed to content tailored primarily for search engine rankings. If you find yourself answering yes to some or all of the questions below, it’s a clear indication that you should reassess your content creation approach:

  • Was the content primarily created to attract traffic from search engines?
  • Does your content feels forced or unnatural?
  • Are you generating a plethora of content across various topics, hoping that some will garner favorable performance in search results?
  • Are you heavily relying on automation to generate content across a wide range of topics?
  • Are you primarily condensing the viewpoints of others without contributing substantial value of your own?
  • Are you writing or choosing topics solely because they appear to be trending, rather than because they genuinely align with the interests of your existing audience?
  • Are you adhering to a specific word count because you’ve come across information suggesting that Google prefers content of a certain length?
  • Did you choose a niche topic area without genuine expertise, primarily motivated by the expectation of attracting search traffic?
  • Are you altering the publication dates of pages to create the appearance of freshness, even though the content remains largely unchanged?
  • Are you extensively adding new content or removing older content with the belief that it will enhance your overall search rankings by giving your site a sense of “freshness”?

Understanding E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and the Quality Rater Guidelines is paramount for anyone seeking to excel in online content creation and digital marketing. E-A-T serves as a foundational framework established by Google to evaluate the quality and credibility of web content.

It emphasizes the importance of demonstrating expertise in your field, establishing authority within your niche, and fostering trustworthiness among your audience. By adhering to E-A-T principles, content creators can enhance their online reputation, improve search engine rankings, and ultimately provide greater value to users.

Similarly, the Quality Rater Guidelines offer invaluable insights into Google’s standards for assessing the quality of web pages. These guidelines are used by human evaluators to evaluate the relevance, usefulness, and trustworthiness of search results.

By aligning with the principles outlined in the Quality Rater Guidelines, content creators can ensure that their content meets Google’s standards and resonates positively with both users and search engines. In essence, familiarizing oneself with E-A-T and the Quality Rater Guidelines is essential for optimizing online content and maximizing its impact in creating a great user experience.

Google’s automated systems was created to use different criteria to rank exceptional and relevant content. Once relevant content is identified, Google automated systems prioritize those that appear most beneficial to users. To achieve this, they use a combination of factors that contribute to determining the level of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, collectively referred to as E-E-A-T.

Among these factors, trust holds the highest significance. While the others contribute to building trust, content is not required to exhibit all of them. For instance, certain content may be deemed helpful due to the experience it conveys, while others may provide value through the expertise they offer.

Recommended Read: How Google Search Works

In content creation world, it’s not just about what you produce, but the deeper questions of who, how, and why that truly shape the narrative. Welcome to the art of asking “Who, How, and Why” about your content—a journey that delves beyond surface-level creation to uncover the essence and purpose behind every piece.

Firstly, “Who” addresses the audience—the individuals for whom your content is crafted. Understanding the demographics, interests, and pain points of your target audience is crucial for tailoring content that resonates deeply and fosters genuine engagement.

Next, “How” delves into the methodology behind content creation. It encompasses the mediums, formats, and strategies employed to effectively convey your message. From captivating storytelling to visually stunning imagery, the “How” dictates the delivery mechanism through which your content comes to life.

Lastly, “Why” ventures into the heart of purpose—the driving force behind your content. Why does it exist? What value does it seek to impact? Whether it’s to educate, entertain, inspire, or provoke thought, every piece of content should serve a clear purpose that aligns with your overarching goals and values.

By embracing the “Who, How, and Why” of content creation, you embark on a journey of intentionality and authenticity—a journey where each word, image, and interaction is infused with meaning and significance. So, let’s embark together on this exploration, as we uncover the stories waiting to be told and the connections waiting to be forged through the power of content.