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What the Google Helpful Content Update Means for Your Treatment Center

The content you create for your mental health or addiction treatment center has to rank well in search to be seen. But that doesn’t mean you can write content geared toward search engines or use tricks to help it rank. In fact, Google will penalize you if you do. 

Google regularly changes how it ranks content. As one of the changes in the past year, it favors and prioritizes content written with readers in mind rather than that written for the search engines. So, how does this apply to your treatment center? Read on to learn how the Google helpful content update is probably more relevant to you than you thought.

Understanding the Google Helpful Content Update

You want to be on the first page of Google search results because most people don’t look past those first results. The Google helpful content update changed the algorithm that decides which content ranks highest in Google search. 

To deliver the most relevant and helpful results to users, Google evaluates various factors, including the quality of the content on a website.

According to Google, the objective of the helpful content update is to provide greater recognition of content that delivers a satisfying experience to visitors. This objective means content users click on and stay on because it meets their needs — it’s geared toward them.

This update is why it’s crucial to ensure that you’re providing valuable and informative content to users, so when people search for specific terms, you’re more likely to show up in their search results.

The Impact on Treatment Centers

The Google update emphasizing helpful content can significantly impact your visibility and rankings in search results. By providing valuable and informative content that meets users’ needs when they’re searching for treatment-related information, you can help your posts rank, attracting potential clients.

Enhanced Visibility and Rankings

The update focuses on rewarding websites that offer high-quality, helpful content while downgrading sites with low-quality or irrelevant content. Treatment centers that invest in creating informative and valuable content have a better chance of ranking higher in search results. This ranking can increase organic traffic, improve visibility, and provide a competitive advantage.

User Intent and Searcher Satisfaction

User intent and searcher satisfaction are vital in Google’s search algorithm and ranking process. Google strongly emphasizes understanding user intent to ensure that people searching find the most relevant and valuable results for their queries. Tailoring content to meet user needs is crucial for treatment centers because your content can impact a person’s health and well-being. 

To ensure that people find value in your content:

  • Offer resources that educate users about mental health conditions, symptoms, and available treatment approaches
  • Provide insights into evidence-based therapies, medication options, and holistic approaches to treatment
  • Use clear and accessible language to help users understand complex concepts
  • Create content addressing common questions and concerns people may have when seeking treatment 
  • Compile a list of frequently asked questions and provide detailed and informative answers

These types of content can help to alleviate any anxieties people may have about their treatment and establish your treatment center as a reliable source of information.

Establishing Expertise and Trustworthiness

The acronym E-E-A-T stands for “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” It’s how Google ranks content. 

The E-E-A-T acronym means:

  • Experience. The content creator’s first-hand or life experience related to the topic.
  • Expertise. Quality content shows your expertise because it gives valuable information with the necessary context to make sense. 
  • Authoritativeness. This trait means you have established yourself as an authority on this topic by creating a lot of content around it and showing up in other well-known spaces.
  • Trustworthiness. Looks at how well-respected your site is. It’s why getting links from other well-respected sites matters – it shows you’re worthy of trust.

Google recently added the “experience” section to ensure it ranks original content, not AI-generated. Google prioritizes content that can demonstrate each of the concepts in the acronym.

Ways you can show your content has E-E-A-T in mind include:

  • Experience. Demonstrating your experience treating various mental health conditions can show potential clients you can help them. You can highlight your experience using anonymized case studies and examples from previous clients.
  • Expertise. Showcase your knowledge, qualifications, and understanding through the content you provide. This expertise can include featuring staff biographies and highlighting their professional backgrounds, certifications, and specializations. You may also want to publish content with their names and professional titles.
  • Authoritativeness. Building authority involves establishing your treatment center as a reputable and reliable source of information. You can accomplish authority by sharing accurate, evidence-based content, citing reputable sources, and referencing research studies or clinical guidelines. 
  • Trustworthiness. Building trust is paramount in the healthcare industry, including in mental health and addiction treatment. Trust online means getting links back from other well-respected sites and having people search for your clinic by name.
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Photo by Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Creating Helpful Content for Treatment Centers

Now, more than ever, creating helpful, original content for treatment centers is crucial. We know that people search online when they’re seeking help. About 226,000 people search for mental health treatment and related terms each month. You can reach these people and encourage them to start mental health treatment by providing valuable information that ranks well.

Research User Needs and Intent

Start by clearly defining your target audience, including their demographics, interests, and pain points. This information helps you tailor your content to their specific needs and the intent they have when they search online. Are they looking for information? Are they searching for treatment options? Knowing who your audience is and what they’re looking for helps you create content that fits their needs.

Optimize Content for Search Engines

Although your main focus should be on the people you’re creating content for, optimizing content for search engines is still important. Without this optimization, search engines are less likely to be able to find your content, regardless of how helpful it is.

Ways to optimize content include:

  • Keyword Research and Placement. Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant and high-traffic keywords related to your treatment center’s services. Write with these keywords throughout your content, including in headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and meta tags (title tags, meta descriptions).
  • Meta Tags. Optimize your meta tags, including the title and meta descriptions, to provide concise and compelling content summaries. Include relevant keywords while maintaining a clear and enticing description, encouraging users to click through to your website in search results.
  • Headers and Subheadings. Structure your content using descriptive and keyword-rich headers (H1, H2s, and H3s). Headers make your content more readable and provide search engines with clues about the structure and relevance of your content.
  • Readability and Formatting. Write in a format focused on readability. Break up your content into smaller paragraphs and use bullet points, numbered lists, and formatting (bold, italics) to make it more scannable and readable. Use clear and concise language accessible to a wide range of readers.

Providing Valuable and Informative Content

Creating engaging and educational content for treatment centers is crucial for attracting and informing potential clients. Remember, you’re not just marketing your services. You’re also trying to make a difference by leading people to treatment.

Incorporate multimedia elements to make your content more engaging and accessible. Consider using videos, infographics, podcasts, and interactive elements to present information differently. This approach helps cater to different learning styles and enhances user experience.

Highlight real-life examples of people who have benefited from your treatment services. Case studies and success stories provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your treatments and build credibility and trust among potential clients. Ensure you obtain appropriate permissions and anonymize any sensitive information to protect your clients’ confidentiality.

Collaborate with experts, therapists, or professionals to contribute to your content creation. Expert insights and perspectives can add depth and credibility to your content, demonstrating your treatment center’s commitment to delivering high-quality, evidence-based information.

Being Aware of Algorithm Changes

Google’s search algorithm is always evolving and updating to ensure that people find the most useful content when searching. You’ll want to stay on top of these updates to ensure your content is there when people go looking.

Stay informed about the latest Google algorithm updates and industry news by subscribing to reputable SEO blogs, podcasts, and newsletters. By monitoring these updates, you can ensure your content and website comply with the latest guidelines, avoiding potential penalties that could negatively impact your search rankings.

Monitor and Alter Your Approach as Necessary

Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can provide valuable insights into your site’s performance and help you identify areas for improvement. Regularly monitor your site’s traffic and rankings to identify any fluctuations or trends that algorithm updates may influence. 

Monitor your competitors’ websites and SEO strategies to understand how they adapt to algorithm updates. Analyze their content, keywords, backlinks, and user experience to identify areas where you can improve your own site and gain a competitive advantage.

Let Content Journey Guide Your Content

Creating helpful content is vital to leading people in need to your treatment center’s website. The Google helpful content update also means it looks for information online that people find most helpful and ranks it better, making it easier for others to find. If you need SEO content writing services, but don’t have the resources to become a search expert, Content Journey is here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we can help people find your center’s website.

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