How to Optimize Underperforming Content: SEO Best Practices
Content marketing is a vital part of a company’s digital marketing strategy; however, it can be challenging to get it right. Not everything you publish performs as well as you would expect, and it’s critical to understand the root cause so you can address the issues and optimize your content.
Here are some of the most common causes of underperforming content and how you can implement optimized content marketing into your marketing plan to fix them.
Potential Reasons Your Content Is Not Performing Well
Before you begin optimizing your content, it is crucial to understand what’s holding your content back from performing well on search engines.
1. Your Content Does Not Match The User’s Intent
One of the most common reasons a piece of content underperforms and fails to reach its intended audience is that it doesn’t match the user intent. What does that mean? Every time a user looks for something online, they have a specific purpose. They’re looking for something specific, and the results they see must match their intent.
You may have used all the right keywords to rank higher than your competitors, but if you don’t tailor your content to match the user intent — it’s highly likely that your content won’t perform well.
For example, when users search for “how to tie a tie,” it’s likely that they’re looking for a guide or a tutorial. Similarly, a query like “where to buy running shoes” means they’re likely looking for websites or stores that sell running shoes.
However, sometimes keywords can be vague. For example, search queries like “best vacation spots” could mean anything from a list of popular destinations to tips and advice on how to plan a trip.
Therefore, alongside keyword research, it’s vital to focus on optimized content marketing and analyze competitor content as a part of your digital marketing strategy. It will give you insights into the search intent behind each keyword and optimize your content accordingly.
2. Your Content Isn’t In The Ideal Format Google Is Prioritizing
Google is constantly changing its algorithm and the way it ranks content. That’s why the professionals at Outreach Monks recommend ensuring an optimized content marketing strategy in addition to matching user intent. It means, when you are writing guest posts keep the reader-first approach in mind. Also, use powerful in-content links to amplify your articles in the format that Google currently prioritizes.
Google takes various factors into consideration when ranking content, like page speed, website authority, and content format. If your content isn’t in the ideal format, this can lower your website’s SERPs rankings. Google favors content that is well-structured and organized and content that uses the latest HTML5 and CSS3 technology.
At the moment, video content is becoming increasingly popular, especially with queries where users are looking for guides or tutorials. Google favors content that is in this format. Therefore, your article or blog may not reach users looking for the type of content that a video can provide.
There has also been a massive demand for audio content like podcasts and audio downloads. Hence, it’s critical to include audio content within your optimized content marketing strategy. One good idea is to add an option for users to access your content as audio on the move via their phones.
The best solution is to revamp your content into the Google-preferred format and optimize your content accordingly.
Additionally, if you have a blog post that’s text only, throw in a few images and a video (if you can) to make the content a bit more engaging. Not only does it make your content more digestible in the eyes of the reader, but Google also prefers to display content that applies to a wide range of people and their content preferences.
3. Your Content Isn’t As Up-To-Date
One of the primary causes of underperforming content is that it’s simply not up-to-date. In the era of fast-paced digital marketing and rapid changes to algorithm updates, content can become quickly outdated.
When it comes to content, staying current is critical. Your content should reflect the current market trends and customer needs.
It’s easy to slip into the trap of thinking that you’ve got everything covered when the topics you cover may have become outdated.
Therefore, it’s vital to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to topics, technologies, and trends. If you’re not keeping up, then your content may not be as relevant and engaging as you believe it is, which could be causing you to underperform.
Furthermore, if you have a piece of content that you haven’t updated in years, understand that Google and other search engines will prioritize content that is more up-to-date. Minor tweaks like adding new and recent statistics and including fresh and relevant quotes can help uplift your content.
4. Your Content Is Seasonal Or Bound To A Past Event/Experience
Another reason your content may underperform is that it may be heavily seasonal or tied to a past event or experience. After the event has passed, the content may no longer be relevant or interesting to your audience and may be pushed down in the rankings.
Furthermore, with content pieces like these, it can be challenging to optimize them according to the latest trends and ensure that it constantly stays relevant to your audience.
To maximize the success of your content, build an optimized content marketing strategy where you create content that’s evergreen and relevant to what your target audience is looking for. This will help your content remain visible and successful over time.
5. Your Content Is Way Too “Thin” Compared To What Is Ranking
1500 words is a decent word count for a blog post, but does that mean your content will rank? It depends.
If the top-ranking results are comprehensive guides of 3000 words or more for a search query, the reason your content is underperforming is quite apparent. If your blog isn’t substantial enough, it will struggle to compete with blogs that are ranking in the SERPs.
In addition to the word count, optimize your content keeping quality and value in mind to rank higher than your competitors. Make sure to research the topic in-depth and provide detailed and thorough answers to the questions you’re trying to answer.
6. Your Content Is Not Digestible
Content should be easy for users to digest. If your content is too long, complex, or filled with jargon, then it can be challenging for your audience to understand and engage with it.
It’s essential to break down topics into smaller, easier-to-digest sections in order to ensure that readers can absorb the information quickly and easily. Additionally, using visuals and videos to break up text and make the content more engaging and easier to read should be a part of your optimized content marketing strategy. Especially if you are writing about complicated topics, using a process flow diagram, charts, and graphs can help you present information in a visually appealing and comprehensible manner.
Additionally, ensure that you use simple language to ensure your content is accessible.
7. You’re Getting The Timing Wrong
When it comes to optimized content marketing, timing is critical. It’s essential to ensure that you publish the right content at the right time and in the right places.
Timing is especially important on social media, where content can quickly become outdated if posted at the wrong time. If you’re not getting your timing right, your content may not reach your target audience, or they may be too distracted to engage with it.
For example, if you’re targeting a B2B audience, the best time to post content is during business hours when most potential customers are online. If you’re posting too early or too late, your content could be missing out on potential engagement.
To ensure your content is posted at an optimal time, research the best days and times to post content and create a content calendar that outlines when content should be posted. Additionally, pay attention to important holidays or events that may affect your target audience and adjust your content calendar accordingly.
You should also keep in mind that different social media platforms have their own peak times. For instance, engagement on Twitter tends to spike in the afternoon, while Facebook is more active in the evening. Knowing when your content should be released on different platforms is essential if you want to make the most of each forum.
Furthermore, consider the timezone of your target audience while building your content calendar.
8. You’re Making It Far Too Broad
Another critical reason that’s causing your content to underperform is that you’re simply making it too broad. The content you create should be to the point and tailored to your target audience.
If you include multiple topics within a single piece of content, it may be too broad for your users to engage with, making it easy for them to get overwhelmed and not digest any of your content.
Content that’s too broad would not target the right audience. For example, if you’re creating content for a topic that’s too general, it can be challenging to capture the attention of a specific group of people.
Therefore, it’s vital to focus on a single topic within each content piece and break it down into smaller chunks rather than trying to cover everything at once. Remember to keep your content relevant and exciting to ensure your audience stays engaged.
9. Your Tech Directives Have Altered The Page’s Indexation Status
With the ever-evolving technology landscape, page indexation can be quickly impacted. Another reason for your underperforming content could be that your tech directives have changed the page’s indexation status.
If you’ve recently made changes to your website’s back-end, such as adding new tags, updating the page’s headings, implementing a new CMS, or altering the HTML structure, this could be the root of your content underperformance.
Changes to your site’s coding can make it harder for Google to index the content, resulting in lower rankings and fewer visitors. To fix this, make sure you are using the latest SEO best practices and that your tech directives don’t impede Google’s ability to crawl and index your page.
In conclusion, optimizing underperforming content can be achieved by following some of the best practices in Search Engine Optimization.
These include making sure your content matches user intent, using the ideal format that Google prioritizes, keeping your content up-to-date, updating seasonal content, sharing content that’s laser-focused on a topic, making it digestible, getting the timing right, refining content topics, and ensuring your tech directives do not alter the page’s indexation status.
By following these SEO best practices, you can expect to improve your content’s performance and gain more organic traffic.
Jaya is an SEO content writer and has worked for businesses in over 27 different niches. She has written over 150+ blog posts to date and loves creating content in the SEO and Digital Marketing niches. When she’s not writing, she can be found obsessing over a book!
LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thejayaiyer/