Most coaches aren’t SEO experts, so if you’ve approached this post with curiosity and wariness, don’t worry – we’re here to keep it simple.
Most coaches tend to shy away from the intricacies of the platform, but in order to improve your website’s ranking there’s a certain amount of technical know-how that’s good to have.
Google has a long history of famous algorithm updates, search engine index changes, and refreshes that change the way they rank content on their results pages. The most recent Google SEO Update came on August 25, 2022 called ‘the helpful content update’ which rolled into the core update that eventually concluded on September 26, 2022.
The basics of the update
The Google ‘helpful content update’ in August 2022 was rolled out with the intent to help the end consumer connect better to helpful and relevant information – to help people see more original, helpful content that’s written by people, for people.
What it comes down to is essentially the following 2 things when you’re creating content for your website:
- Focus on creating people–first content
- Avoid creating content for search engines
Why coaches should care
While the Google Algorithm update of 2022 does not target any specific niche, Google has announced that apart from arts & entertainment, shopping, and tech-related content, online educational material will be impacted the most. And since a lot of coaching involves providing informative and educational content for the benefit of educating potential clients on how they can improve their lives and get on the path of growth, this update is vital for coaches hoping to reach the right audience through search optimisation.
In the past, due to the way its algorithm was built, Google would put quite a bit of focus on content that was written keeping the search engine in mind more than actual humans (by stuffing the content with plenty of keywords, for example). This has eventually, over time, resulted in a rather mediocre curation of content for users when they search for a particular topic. With the Google algorithm update of 2022, that is estimated to shift in the coming times.
Strategies coaches can employ
1. Create original, high-quality, people-first content
“If you search for information about a new movie, you might have previously seen articles that aggregated reviews from other sites without adding perspectives beyond what’s available elsewhere. This isn’t very helpful if you’re expecting to read something new. With this update, you’ll see more results with unique, authentic information, so you’re more likely to read something you haven’t seen before.”– Google
With this kind of statement, the question Google wants you to answer is this –
“Is the content primarily to attract people from search engines, rather than made for humans? Am I offering added value to readers with this content?”
If, on your website, you are using extensive automation to produce content or you are mostly summarizing what others are saying on their channels and websites without adding much value of your own, it’s not going to help you gain SEO points from Google. Which means Google is not going to prioritise your content and push it to rank on top of their results page, which means your potential clients aren’t going to find your content.
So, stay away from AI-generated content as much as possible and bring in original thought pieces into your blogs, web stories, and website to push Google towards helping your content perform well. Even if you are curating research from other sources, make sure to add in your own insights and perspectives to each piece.
2. Remain in your lane
When you are creating content for your clients, ensure to keep your primary TG in mind. If, for instance, your website is ranking on queries that aren’t directly related to or relevant to your niche or core value proposition, then you might want to change up your strategy.
To help you understand the kind of content you need to produce going forward, Google wants you to ask yourself the following questions:
“Do you have an existing or intended audience for your business or site that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?”
“Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?”
If the answer to this is yes, then the wise thing to do would be to simply continue on the same path! If the answer is no and you find that your content varies and tries to speak to many different audiences with their diverse sets of needs and goals, then you need to make some changes.
“Are you producing lots of content on different topics in hopes that some of it might perform well in search results?”
With this question, Google wants you to re-assess the intent behind what you are doing. If you are a health coach primarily and wish to only work with clients looking for health coaches, then having content targeting people looking leadership coaching or career coaching may get your content pushed down the ranks or even possibly flagged. So, stick to your niche and expertise and ensure that the content you create reflects exactly that.
3. Demonstrate first-hand experience
Not everyone is a writer or content creator, and thus, it is not uncommon for coaches to outsource that work to those who have the requisite skills. But if your content lacks your unique expertise and is solely relying on the research put in by the creators you have hired, you may want to rethink the approach.
Even if you do not involve yourself in the process of creation from start to finish, find ways to incorporate personal expertise and depth of knowledge of coaching to let the algorithm know that there is real expertise behind the content from a professional. This can be done by carving out time to educate those in your team who are helping you build your website and its content about the intricacies of your profession and industry, so that without needing to be coaches themselves, they can still incorporate your insights and views and values into the content.
Help them understand what coaching entails, what your niche is all about, what your clients’ pain points and struggles are, the methodology you use…and more.
4. Answer doubts & questions
“After reading your content, will someone leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?”
When a prospect or potential coaching client comes across your content, it is vital that they gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic you’ve chosen to expand upon.
“Does your content leave readers feeling like they need to search again to get better information from other sources?”
Once a prospect or client is on your site, they should ideally leave feeling content with the amount and quality of information they have received. To ensure this happens, think of all possible doubts and questions an individual may have regarding a topic and find ways to seamlessly integrate it into your content.
If you find that not so easy, there is a more straight-forward approach: Have a section of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) under a piece of content and populate it with all possible questions you feel one could have regarding that topic and answer it as completely and succinctly as possible.
5. Focus on your entire site and not just a single piece of content
Unlike many Google algorithms that get applied on a page-by-page basis, the new helpful content update rolled out in 2022 will be applicable sitewide.
This essentially means that if Google considers that your website is producing a relatively high amount of unhelpful content and is being primarily written with the intent of ranking high in search, then your whole site will be impacted – and not just a single piece of content.
Another way to look at this is that when you think of content, consider not just your obvious content pieces like blogs, guides, web stories, videos, etc., to follow good content practices – pay the same amount of attention to the rest of your pages like product/services pages, pricing pages, and the company profile page as well.
6. Pay attention to the overall UX
Will someone who reads your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?”
This is Google’s way of letting you know that while content sure is king, it also needs to be presented like one in order for it to perform well! Oftentimes, the design and presentability of a piece takes a backseat over the content itself. That is understandable to some extent, but content has evolved over time and with exposure to such great content via written posts, short bytes, interviews, podcasts, videos, the expectation of the average user has also evolved.
So, when you create your content, also consider how it’s all going to flow, look and feel to the user. Does it have images and figures to supplement the written words? Can you incorporate videos or infographics to make it even richer?
Small details like the search button or share options are also important to consider to make the user experience as smooth, seamless, and satisfying as possible.
7. Prune out existing unhelpful content
While creating and adding content to your website is of course a priority, also think about pruning out content that is not helpful.
“This update introduces a new site-wide signal that we consider among many other signals for ranking web pages. Our systems automatically identify content that seems to have little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches.”
Any site that is determined by the Google algorithm to have high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well on Search, so removing unhelpful content will help your site rank better in the long-run. If you already have large amounts of old content, consider repurposing and updating it to become relevant to readers today.
Search Engine, Google, Go Fish, Google Developers, Google Developers, Search Engine Land
1. When was the latest Google algorithm update launched?
The latest Google Algorithm update 2022 started with the release of the helpful content update on 25 August 2022, which got completed as of September 9. This was followed by the Google core update rollout which was released on September 12 and completed by September 26. The product reviews update was released on September 2022 and was complete as of September 2026. And finally, on October 19, Google released its spam update which was completed by 21 October.
2. What is the latest Google SEO update of 2022?
The latest Google SEO updates consists of some major algorithm changes that aim at ranking high-quality, people-first content by prioritising pieces that have been created keeping a particular target audience in mind, displaying original expertise and knowledge that is unique and valuable to the reader. With this update, Google plans to prune out content that has been created solely for the search engine and is low in value and quality.
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