Google and b2b PR: Why its ‘helpful content update’ hits the mark

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By in Blog
On August 25, 2022

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Our main goal at the lorries is to help clients cut through the noise and get noticed by their target audiences in a way that drives business results. We predominantly do this through content. High-quality, impactful, engaging content that gives b2b tech brands a voice. 

But making sure these voices are heard by the right people isn’t easy. In fact, it’s bloody hard. Whether via traditional PR tactics or digital marketing campaigns, there’s a huge amount of competition for airtime – particularly in verticals like cyber-security and blockchain. 

This makes the searchability of content – ie how likely it is that people will find it on Google – critically important. But I’ve always believed that searchability shouldn’t come at the expense of readability (cue many ‘spirited debates’ with our digital team on the balance between SEO and prose). B2b PR and marketing content should be just like any other form of content. Above all, the long-form bylines and thought leadership articles we produce should be enjoyable to read. They should educate and inform. Engage and excite. Elicit some kind of emotional reaction. 

This brings me on to Google’s latest Search update.  

A helping hand 

Google releases hundreds of updates to its search engine ranking algorithm every year, but its latest one is particularly interesting for anyone working in PR and content creation. The Google Search ‘helpful content update’ has been released to crack down on SEO-first content designed to perform well in search rankings instead of directly addressing the needs of human readers. 

It will incentivise original, helpful, people-first content to better connect readers with useful information. As Google explains: “Our systems automatically identify content that seems to have little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches.” 

It’s all about prioritising pages that are as helpful and relevant as possible, while penalising content that has been designed to attract clicks rather than inform readers. It comes as part of a “broader, ongoing effort to reduce low-quality content and make it easier to find content that feels authentic and useful in Search.” 

But what does this mean for us b2b tech PR and marketing pros, and our clients?  

Putting the onus on people-focused content 

In short, this ‘helpful content update’ is good news for our industry. It confirms the direction Google has been heading in for the past few years – favouring a strategy of content quality and originality instead of relying on keyword manipulation and other SEO tricks. It puts the focus on adding value to conversations and demonstrating true sector expertise over chasing clicks.  

For us and our clients, this means addressing target audiences’ needs and concerns, providing solutions to their biggest business challenges, and meeting their expectations in every piece of content we publish. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean we can all forget about SEO. PR and SEO are still and will always be inextricably interlinked. But the goal of any b2b tech PR agency should be to help clients tell their stories in an authentic and relevant way. That’s what will build brand awareness, credibility, and, ultimately, drive more leads – which is why we talk so much about corporate storytelling here at the lorries. 

To achieve this, we always ask these five key questions: 

  1. Who’s our target audience for this content? 
  2. What are their most pressing business concerns? 
  3. What challenges are they looking to solve? 
  4. Does this content clearly demonstrate a depth of knowledge and expertise? 
  5. What will the reader take away from this content? 

This is by no means an exhaustive list. But going through these questions is a great way to ensure that you’re creating impactful content relevant to your target audience. And, thanks to Google, that’s exactly the type of content that they’ll see. 

Do you need a hand creating high-quality content that differentiates your brand from the rest? Get in touch with our content team today at content@rlyl.com.   

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