B2B Content Marketer’s Guide: How to Thrive in the Era of Google’s Helpful Content Update

B2B Content Marketer’s Guide: How to Thrive in the Era of Google’s Helpful Content Update

Navigating the labyrinth of B2B content marketing isn’t for the faint-hearted or those resistant to change.

Google’s latest content update comes like a hurricane, upending the house of cards constructed by keyword-stuffed, SEO-overload strategies.

Ready to weather this storm and convert it into tailwinds for your content journey?

Let’s sidestep trivial, overused tactics and transform your narrative under the spotlight of Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ update. Like the after-effects of a supernova, this single shift in Google’s algorithm can ripple across your marketing cosmos, affecting everything from how you construct your blogs to the core of your brand storytelling.

Understanding Google’s Helpful Content Update: A Game Changer for B2B Marketers

Google’s October 2023 Core Update is a significant change in its search algorithm that aims to promote authoritative, trustworthy, and helpful content while downgrading low-quality sites.

This update follows the September 2023 Helpful Content Update, which targeted content primarily created for ranking well in search engines rather than to help or inform people.

For B2B marketers, these updates have substantial implications:

  1. Focus on quality and relevance: The updates emphasize the importance of creating high-quality, user-centric content that genuinely helps and informs the audience. B2B marketers must provide in-depth information about their products or services, offer expert insights, and address common questions or challenges their audience might have.
  2. Shift from SEO tactics: The updates are considered game changers as they shift the focus from SEO tactics to creating high-quality, user-centric content. This necessitates changing B2B marketing strategies, moving from purely SEO-focused content to content that provides real value to the audience.
  3. Impact on the site visibility: The updates also affect a site’s visibility on Google Discover and other Google platforms, further emphasizing the importance of high-quality content.
  4. Need for regular content review: In case of a traffic drop post-update, Google advises site owners to self-assess and improve or remove unhelpful content. This highlights the need for regular content review and updates.
  5. Adaptation to changing B2B buying journey: The B2B buying journey has become increasingly complex, with buyers engaging in a looping process across different buying jobs. B2B marketers need to adapt their strategies accordingly, ensuring their content addresses the various stages of this journey and meet the evolving needs of their audience.

Content auditing and updating are indeed game changers for B2B content marketers. They underscore the importance of creating high-quality, user-centric content that satisfies readers’ expectations.

What is Google’s Helpful Content Update?

Google, known for its regularly updated search algorithms, rolled out another update called the Helpful Content Update. A buzz-worthy jargon in the SEO world, it intends to favor the quality of content over mere keyword stuffing.

The Helpful Content Update lauds content that meets user intent over ‘optimized’ content that relies heavily on SEO keywords.

This significant shift values context, relevance, and utility above all. Simply put, Google encourages written content that gives users the answer they seek rather than redundant, keyword-heavy pieces.

Imagine a pyramid with three layers:

  1. Top layer (User intent): This is the most important layer in the context of Google’s Helpful Content Update. It represents the need to understand and cater to the user’s intent. This means creating content that genuinely helps and informs the audience, addressing their questions, problems, or needs.
  2. Middle layer (Content quality and relevance): This layer represents the need for high-quality, relevant content. The content should be well-researched, informative, and engaging. It should provide in-depth information about the topic, offer expert insights, and be relevant to the user’s intent.
  3. Bottom layer (SEO tactics): This is the base of the pyramid, representing SEO tactics. While SEO is still important, the Helpful Content Update emphasizes that it should not be the primary focus. Instead, SEO should support the creation of high-quality, user-centric content.

Why is this update significant for B2B content marketers?

Following Google’s new update, the rules of the game for content marketers, especially B2B, have changed significantly. While keywords remain essential, understanding your audience’s intent and providing them with valuable content must be your priority rather than the technical — although the latter has its use.

B2B businesses usually cater to specialized, knowledgeable audiences seeking specific, detailed solutions. Hence, informative, high-quality content that offers substantial value is likely to rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP).

Moreover, the Helpful Content update also offers an opportunity for B2B marketers with niche products or services. As Google prioritizes content that meets the user’s intent, even less-searched long-tail keywords can rank if they appropriately address the searcher’s query.

The Helpful Content Update sheds light on the significance of good, value-adding content and why B2B content marketers should quickly adapt and thrive in this new era.

Adapting Your B2B Content Strategy to Google’s Helpful Content Update

Now, search engines want to see content that speaks the language of your audience and addresses their pain points.

Going beyond your product or service, relevant content digs into the challenges your target audience faces. It allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the industry and present your offering as a solution.

Vague, generic content won’t cut it. Authenticity and specificity are the keys to winning over your audience and Google’s updated algorithm.

Optimize your content according to HCU guidelines

Success in the age of Google’s Helpful Content Update depends on your ability to align with its objectives. Focus on creating content that is not only engaging but also comprehensive and meticulously researched.

Here are some pointers to get started.

  • Use analytics to understand what issues your audience cares about and craft content that addresses these in depth.
  • Employ on-page SEO techniques like meta tags, alt tags, and internal linking. They make your content more legible for search engines and are critical for enhancing user experience. Optimizing for mobile compatibility also goes a long way, with a significant portion of B2B decisions now made on mobile.
  • Revisit old content. Update outdated information, enhance it with new findings or insights, and remove anything that no longer aligns with Google’s focus on relevance and quality.

Craft high-quality, relevant B2B marketing content

Crafting content that suffices these high standards of quality and relevance may seem daunting initially.

However, a few standard practices can pave the way.

  • Strive to go beyond the surface level and go deep into the subject of your choosing.
  • Make your content enriched with actionable insights, data-driven solutions, and innovative ideas. This level of detail not only makes your content compelling but also sets it apart from the rest.
  • Do not hesitate to experiment with different content formats. Infographics, podcasts, webinars, whitepapers, and engaging in these various mediums broaden your audience base and cater to their varying preferences.

With an intricate blend of creativity and strategy, high-quality and relevant content in B2B marketing can be an attainable feat.

Improve the user experience on your B2B website

But how can you ensure your B2B website delivers an excellent user experience?

The answer lies in addressing three main areas: relevance, accessibility, and functionality.

  • A site must offer high-quality, pertinent content that immediately meets users’ needs (relevance). It should also be easy to navigate, with well-organized content and device compatibility.
  • All elements of the site should perform effectively with little to no errors.
  • Consider adding tools such as contact forms, chatbots, and click-to-call widgets.

Also, visual appeal and load speed impact how users perceive and interact with your site. Allocate resources to design elements and site optimization to ensure a seamless, fast, and pleasing user experience.

Play it right, work with an expert to level up your B2B content strategy

Great content is more than just keywords and hacks — it’s about being genuinely helpful, presenting real solutions, and marrying your offerings with Google’s updated approach.

The B2B content world is shifting, prioritizing valuable, user-focused content above all. Mastering this new landscape is synonymous with mastering the Helpful Content Updates.

It’s power in your hands: better relationships with your audience, improved online visibility, and deep-rooted credibility in your niche.

Now, your plan is clear: Take a fresh inventory of your current content, align your strategies with Google’s new preferences, and invest in creating content that is evergreen, authentic, and laser-focused on solving your customers’ pressing issues.

A quick question: how will you use this understanding to personalize your B2B content strategy for next year?

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