SEO: How to Craft Unique and Helpful Content for eCommerce Success with Carolyn Shelby, Yoast (episode 198)

by April Buencamino-dy

Carolyn Shelby has been in digital marketing since 1994 (yes, it was a thing even then) specialising in SEO since 1997. She’s now Principal SEO at Newfold Digital and Yoast, continuing to develop innovative SEO strategies, and focused on enhancing the online visibility and engagement for Newfold Digital’s brands.  

Carolyn Shelby Yoast SEO

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[04:54] Search engines have matured in significant ways. 
[07:02] eCommerce brands find it easier to reuse content. 
[12:04] AI can’t generate targeted copy without human input. 
[13:23] AI anticipates, needs creative prompting for variation. 
[17:49] AI’s diverse role in content creation evolution. 
[19:28] Helpful content should be the focus and target. 
[20:47] Insider Tips from Carolyn! 

The Importance of Unique and Helpful Content  

For Carolyn, creating unique, helpful content is important. This is content that addresses the needs and questions of the target audience. This is critical in the wake of search engine updates like the “helpful content update,” which aims to prioritize content that provides real value to users over thin, duplicated, or sales-focused content. For eCommerce brands, this means moving beyond simply listing product features or reusing manufacturer descriptions. Instead, brands should focus on how their products solve specific problems, improve lives, or fulfill needs. This helps in aligning with search engine guidelines and differentiating the brand in a crowded marketplace. 

The Evolving Relationship Between SEO Professionals and Search Engines 

A continuous adaptation and evolution characterize the dynamic between search engines and SEO professionals. Search engines strive to deliver the most relevant, quality content to users. This leads them to refine and update their algorithms frequently. In response, SEO professionals must continually adapt their strategies to these changes. This will ensure that they are optimising content for visibility, genuine relevance, and value. The emphasis has moved from simply manipulating rankings to genuinely grasping and fulfilling the user’s search intent.

The Role of AI in Content Creation and SEO 

While AI offers promising capabilities in content creation, Carolyn gives a balanced view of its role in SEO. AI can assist in generating content. However, it can’t fully replace the human insight and understanding needed for crafting targeted and engaging content. The quality and effectiveness of AI-generated copy heavily depend on the guidance it receives from human prompts. Carolyn says that while AI can be a valuable tool in the SEO toolkit, it should be used to enhance human creativity and insight rather than replace it.

Plus hear Carolyn’s SEO Insider Tips in the episode right now

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