Recently, I told you about how you can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help you do content marketing better and faster.

When used smartly, AI can generate blog content, social media posts, and website copy in a fraction of the time it takes a person to do it.

That's great news for real estate because so many Realtor®, team, and brokerage websites suffer in Google Search rankings due chiefly to their lack of regular, high-quality content.  

But I didn't delve into how you should write to ensure you get the most out of the time you spend producing content.

As it happens, what you write about - and who you write for - is more critical now than ever, especially for your website's rankings.

At the end of last year, Google significantly updated its website indexing algorithms, rolling out what is known informally as the "Helpful Content Update." 😮

Previously, your site's SEO ("Search Engine Optimization") was chiefly influenced by the keyword strategy chosen.

In the past, the better you chose words for your blog with the right volume of searches, relevancy, and competition in search, the better your site would rank when humans typed in those words.

The blog post's topic was, in some ways, immaterial when it came to boosting your search rankings.

Now, with the rise of machine-generated content and AI, Google has updated its own AI to reward sites with original, human-created content that's determined to be "helpful."

If you're reading all the buzz about ChatGPT and thought AI would make writing your blog posts trivial, it's not. 🫤

Read on to learn how to produce more content and do it correctly so your organic website traffic grows from Google Search - and you get more leads.

What is "Helpful Content" anyway? 🤔

Google wants you to write things that help people. Sounds stupidly simple, but that's what this update is all about.

From the official Google docs, helpful content is defined as:

Google's automated ranking systems are designed to present helpful, reliable information that's primarily created to benefit people, not to gain search engine rankings, in the top Search results.

But what does that really mean?

Instead of expanding on the definition in other ways, Google conveniently presents a kind of checklist you can use to determine if the blog post you're about to publish will help your rankings in search - or hurt you.

They divide the content checklists into three separate sections:

  • Content and Quality checklist
  • Expertise checklist
  • Presentation and production checklist

The idea is once you produce a piece of content for your blog, you run thru these questions to check that it meets all helpful content guidelines designed to improve your search rankings.

You can find all the checklists here, so I won't reproduce them in toto in this post (you'll find out why in a on).

Instead, I'll pick a few of them to illustrate how you can use each question to quality-check your post before you publish it (or even before you write it!).

For example, from the set of questions on content and quality:

Does the content provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis?

This "test" is meant to encourage you to write things that are not just rehashed from other posts or well-documented ideas.

For instance, I've advised hundreds of real estate pros about their content strategies via my web marketing firm over the last decade. Before meeting with them, I usually review their website content, including blog posts.

In a majority of cases, I find posts that go something like this:

  • "How to Qualify for a Home Loan"
  • "A Guide for First Time Home Buyers"
  • "How to get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan"

These items are so generic and well-documented on the web by large and small companies alike that putting out something like this isn't going to be seen as helpful when Google's automated ranking systems index it and score it.

As such, it's a complete waste of your time and energy.

If you want to put out info on one of these topics, it's best to come up with an original twist or unique angle on the subject.

For example:

  • "The 5 Things Gen Z Home Buyers are Missing When They Pre-Qualify for a Home Loan"
  • "If You're Under 30 and Buying a Home for the First Time, Don't Overlook These Items"
  • "Pre-Approval Doesn't Mean What You Think It Does - Here's Why"

As long as you take a new approach, offer new information, and ensure the info you're putting out is directly helpful to a human, Google will eat up your blog like bacon-wrapped shrimp at an open house - and ask for more! (btw: bacon is always helpful, whether it really is or not!) 🥓

Most of the time, I see real estate pros committing the sins of unoriginality and light plagiarism, all in the name of sounding "professional."

Taking an existing post and rehashing it into "yet-another-post-about-the-same-thing" won't help your clients see you as a more legitimate choice - and it will cause Google to disregard this content on your site completely (so no one will see it anyway).

Speaking of getting your visitors to see you as a legitimate choice...

Your real estate expertise is valuable - and helpful 💪

Being new, fresh, and original will help you check a big box with Google but also presents you as experienced, expertly qualified, and insightful.

That checks even more items off the "helpful content" list.

From the "expertise" section of Google's helpful content checklist, there's this gem:

Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site's About page?  

A big part of how Google sees your site and its content is wrapped up in an acronym, "EEAT," or your:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

For every blog post you're thinking of putting out, it's a great idea to scan it for content that tells the reader:

  • Who you are as a person
  • How long you've been doing real estate
  • How qualified you are as an agent
  • What others think of your performance  

Now, this doesn't mean you squeeze your whole bio into every post, but it does mean you should find creative ways to get these points across.

For example, in this very blog post, you may have read this above:

For instance, I've advised hundreds of real estate pros about their content strategies via my web marketing firm over the last decade. Before meeting with them, I usually review their website content, including blog posts.

It lets the reader know, almost subconsciously, that I have experience and expertise; thus, I'm also authoritative on the subject I'm writing about.  

If the blog post you're about to push "publish" on doesn't let the reader know who you are and why they should listen to you, Google won't know either.

Remember that AI stuff I mentioned in the intro?

I started this post by saying that Google rolled out this "Helpful Content Update" to combat non-human content from influencing how owners' sites ranked in search.

But that doesn't mean you can't use AI to help you write faster and more efficiently while still complying with Google's vital helpful content checklists.  

One of the best ways to use ChatGPT or any other AI tool to boost your content creation is to look at these new capabilities as "first-draft" generators that help you push out quality, helpful content more regularly so you improve your SEO (and get more web leads).  

For example, I used ReallyBlogIt's free AI blog creator for Realtors® to create this complete post in 10 seconds:

Considering it as a first draft, I might tweak the title to read something like one of these:

  • "Which Season is the Best to Sell a Home? It's Probably Not What You Think"
  • "Got Equity In Your Home? Pick this Season to Sell, and You Could Earn More"
  • "Why Fall is an Overlooked Time to Buy a Home for First-Time Buyers"

Based on the title you tweak, you then go through the article and add things like:

  • Quick re-wordings of key sentences to put them into "your voice"
  • Injections of your personal humor or principles
  • Information specific to your local real estate market
  • Examples of your personal experience with real buyers & sellers
  • Your personal viewpoint on the topics with examples/evidence/explanations
  • Short, new sections that expand on points the AI made to add even more value for your specific readers
  • "Calls-to-action" items such as buttons, forms, or "Learn more" links

Think about how much more helpful, quality content you can publish using AI to outline or frame your post before you put your personal spin on it.

Your SEO will thank you - and your wallet will, too, as more leads come in due to better Google Search rankings. 💵💵💵

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