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What is Helpful Content? How to Optimise Your Shopify Store

Google’s March 2024 Core Update has placed a significant emphasis on ‘Helpful Content,’ making it more important than ever to create content that genuinely benefits users. 

If you own a Shopify store, this update presents both challenges and opportunities. At Kia Ora Digital, we’re here to guide you through these changes and help you optimise your store for success.

Understanding Google’s ‘Helpful Content’ Update

The March 2024 Core Update is one of Google’s most impactful algorithm changes since the Panda and Penguin updates. The focus of this update is clear: prioritise original, useful content that enhances user experience. 

Google aims to reduce low-quality content by 40%, targeting articles that are repetitive, unoriginal, or error-ridden. Consequently, content that fails to meet these criteria will be penalised, potentially causing a drop in search rankings or even de-indexing from search results.

What is ‘Helpful Content’?

Google’s definition of ‘Helpful Content’ revolves around its E-E-A-T principles – Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Here’s how you can align your Shopify store’s content with these principles:

  • Experience: Share insights and information based on real-world experience. For example, if you sell skincare products, write about how specific ingredients benefit different skin types, backed by personal or customer experiences.
  • Expertise: Showcase your knowledge and expertise in your niche. This could be through detailed product descriptions, expert reviews, or comprehensive guides. 
  • Authoritativeness: Build authority by earning high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. Engage with industry leaders and participate in relevant online communities to enhance your store’s credibility.
  • Trustworthiness: Ensure your content is accurate, reliable, and free from errors. Transparent business practices, customer testimonials, and clear policies also contribute to trustworthiness.

How to Optimise Your Shopify Store

Now that we understand what Helpful Content is, let’s dive into practical steps to optimise your Shopify store in line with Google’s March 2024 Core Update.

1. Create Original, Engaging Content

Originality is key. Avoid duplicating content from other sites or using overly generic descriptions. Instead, develop unique content that resonates with your audience. Here are some ideas:

  • Product Descriptions: Write detailed product descriptions that highlight features, benefits, and usage tips. Use storytelling to connect with your audience emotionally.
  • Blog Posts: Regularly publish blog posts that address common customer queries, provide how-to guides, and share industry news. This not only keeps your site updated, but also positions you as a thought leader.
  • Videos and Tutorials: Create video content demonstrating product usage, care instructions, or behind-the-scenes looks at your business. Videos are highly engaging and can significantly enhance user experience.

2. Leverage Social Proof

Encourage your customers to share their experiences through reviews, testimonials, and social media posts. User-generated content adds authenticity and helps build trust with potential buyers. Highlight these reviews on your product pages to provide social proof.

3. Improve On-Page SEO

Ensure your on-page SEO aligns with the latest best practices. This includes:

  • Keyword Optimisation: Use relevant keywords naturally within your content, titles, meta descriptions, and headers. Avoid keyword stuffing as it can lead to penalties.
  • Internal Linking: Create a well-structured internal linking strategy to help visitors navigate your site and discover related content. This also aids in distributing link equity across your pages.
  • Mobile Optimisation: With mobile traffic continuing to grow, ensure your Shopify store is fully responsive and provides a seamless experience across all devices.

4. Enhance User Experience

Google prioritises websites that offer positive user experiences. Here’s how to ensure your Shopify store meets this criterion:

  • Fast Loading Times: Optimise images, use efficient coding practices, and leverage browser caching to reduce page load times.
  • Intuitive Navigation: Design a clean and organised layout with easy-to-find product categories and filters.
  • Clear Calls-to-Action: Use compelling and clear calls-to-action (CTAs) to guide visitors towards desired actions, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter.

Google’s update also targets unethical link-building practices. Focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks naturally:

  • Guest Blogging: Contribute valuable content to reputable blogs in your industry. This not only cultivates backlinks to your site, but also exposes your brand to a broader audience.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers, industry experts, and complementary businesses to create mutually beneficial content and linking opportunities.
  • Content Marketing: Produce shareable content, such as infographics, eBooks, and research studies, that others will want to reference and link back to.

6. Regular Content Audits

Perform regular content audits to identify and improve low-performing content. Remove or update outdated information, fix broken links, and refine your overall content strategy. This proactive approach ensures your site remains relevant and valuable to users.

Recovering from SEO Penalties

If your Shopify store has been adversely affected by the March 2024 Core Update, don’t despair. We provide SEO Penalty Recovery services to help you regain lost rankings and traffic. 

Our team of experts will conduct a thorough analysis of your site, identify areas for improvement, and implement strategies to get your store back on track. Plus our Revenue Forecast Tool will give you a visual indicator of every improvement we make.

Restore Your Rankings Today

As an official Shopify Expert, we have the knowledge and experience to help you optimise your store for SEO success. We understand the intricacies of the platform and can tailor our services to meet your specific needs. From content creation to technical SEO, we’ve got you covered. 

Contact us today to find out how we can assist you in achieving your revenue goals.

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