How to Fix Non-Performing Content on Your Blog
Having performing content can seriously enhance and encourage your blogging while poor performing slow down the realization of your goals and conversion. You put a lot of work into your website and the content marketing efforts you use to get more out of it. And yet all that work just doesn’t seem to be adding up to the kind of results you’d hoped for.
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On the one hand, you understand that getting attention online is competitive and content marketing is a long game. But on the other, you don’t want to keep throwing time and money at something that’s not working. At some point, any business doing content marketing has to step back and analyze if your website content is underperforming.
This post walks you through how to find your poor-performing content, so you can fix it and start enjoying SEO wins again.
How to Identify Underperforming Content
Whether or not your content is underperforming has everything to do with your expectations. It’s worth checking that your expectations are realistic and in line with what you really want your content to do before you assign it that “underperforming” label.
First, Clarify Your Goals.
Different content items should be developed to achieve different goals. For most businesses, a solid content strategy will include content meant to achieve three main types of goals:
- Driving traffic and raising awareness of your website or brand. This includes much of your blog posts and other educational or entertaining content you create for your audience.
- Driving leads and conversions. This includes your landing pages, webinars, and any gated content you create.
- Promoting your products or services more directly. This includes product pages, video tutorials about your products, and demos.
- Make sure to match the results you judge to the goals of the content to get an accurate measure of its performance.
- For the content meant to drive traffic and awareness, you should focus on metrics like number of visitors, search engine ranking, and how long visitors stay on your website after they click through.
- For content meant to drive action, the most important metric is how many people took the action you’re encouraging, whether that’s signing up for an email list, downloading an ebook, or setting up a sales call.
- For your promotion-focused content, your goal is getting new customers and sales.
Next, Research Content Marketing Benchmarks.
Even once you’ve clarified your goals and the metrics to track for your content, knowing what counts as success can be tricky. Is 500 views of a blog post good, or should you be aiming for 5,000? Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer to that question.
It depends on factors like how long your website has been around, how long you’ve been doing content, and who your audience is. If you’re just starting out and targeting a really niche audience, then expecting huge numbers is unrealistic and may not even be necessary. But even recognizing all the factors that make a difference here, it can be helpful to have some idea of what’s considered “normal.”
Organizations like Brafton and Pressboard Media have researched averages for some common website metrics like bounce rates and average reading time. With some digging, you may be able to find similar research that focuses more specifically on your industry or type of business.
What’s average may not be what’s right for you, so don’t let benchmarks be the only measure you use here, but they can be a helpful guide to setting realistic goals for over time.
Finally, Analyze the Relevant Metrics.
Now that you know what metrics to watch for each piece of content and some idea of what’s realistic to hope for, start analyzing your content pieces to determine if they’re performing as well as you want them to.
This isn’t as simple as looking at a number and labeling a piece a failure. You want to take time to understand what’s going on with each piece of content. Consider individual factors that play a role, like the quality of the headline and the different promotion tactics you used.
A lot of different elements go into what makes a piece of content successful or not and you want to analyze what specifically contributed to this one not working.
What are the Symptoms of Underperforming Content?
Here are six symtoms of underperforming content you need to workk on to improve the performance of your content.
1. You’re not getting many (or any) comments
If your blog allow people to comment on the post, then that can provide you some clue to judge your content performance. Comments are one of the best ways to measure reader engagement. If you have a few hundred readers and yet none of them are commenting, then it might be because they find your content unworthy of their attention. You need to look critically at your posts to win better reader attention.
2. Your visitors stay less than two minutes, on average
You will get to now about thts by using the analytics. We recommend that you install Google Analytics, and look at the average amount of time visitors are staying on your website.
For most traffic sources, anything less than two minutes is bad. If you are at less than one minute, then your content is repelling people and you need to tae some time to review your workk.
3. You’ve never received fan mail
If your content is good, people will go out of their way to tell you how good it is. If you are puutting up good content, people will take their time you write you a full page commendation.
4. You’ve never received hate mail
The opposite is also true. If your content is good, you’ll always have a small but vocal group of people who think you’re wrong, rude, or inconsiderate. They are the righteous majority for moral authority, and nothing you can say will appease them.
So don’t worry about the critics. Keep up with what you are doing. Their mockery and screams of outrage are merely signs that you’re headed in the right direction.
5. Your blog is about everything
One of the quickest ways to frustrate your readers is to write about everything that’s on your mind. Here’s why: people don’t come to your blog to find out what you think. They come to your blog for solutions to their problems. The moment you stop talking about them is the moment they stop reading.
6. You write less than 1,000 words in your post
This has also become an element of Google uality assessment. Your content must be detailed enough to provide value to your readers. Of all the warning signs, this is probably the biggest. If you’re not writing at least 1,000 words, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for you to write anything but mediocre content.
Try writing at least 1000 words in every post and see what an impact it has on your writing. You’ll be astounded.
How to Fix Underperforming Content
Identifying your underperforming content is just step one. Now you have to do something about it.
Diagnose the Reasons.
The analysis you performed above should be a big help with this, but also step back and look at the larger trends in what works and what doesn’t for your website. If you’ve found that a lot of your content is underperforming, it might be worth doing a full content audit so you can better see the big picture trends.
It’s not always easy figuring out why something did or didn’t work and unfortunately, some of this process will involve guesswork. But use the analytics you have and consider doing A/B testing or customer surveys to fill in the gap in your knowledge and get a better handle on what your audience does and doesn’t respond well to.
Obviously, this is where this was all headed. When you’ve figured out why a piece of content isn’t working, you’ll know whether or not you should scrap it altogether or make strategic changes to turn it into something that your audience is more likely to appreciate. Based on your analysis, it could be as simple as coming up with a better headline, or it could involve a more extensive overhaul of the whole piece.
A lot of the time, you’ll find you don’t have to start from scratch to turn an underperforming piece of content into something that does a better job of achieving your goals. You just need to identify that it’s not working and why so you can turn it into a better preforming piece of content.