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How to Fix Underperforming Content 

Does your business’s website feature a blog? Do you produce an email newsletter or have a social media presence? If so, you probably understand the benefits of content marketing. It serves your audience, builds trust, and improves conversion rates – all essential aspects of growing your business. 

But what if your content isn’t achieving the results you hoped? “What am I doing wrong?” might be your question on repeat. Don’t fret – underperforming content happens from time to time. Your content simply needs a boost to get it back on track.

At Content Journey, we help dozens of clients create content marketing that drives millions of dollars in sales each year. Read on to learn how we advise you to fix underperforming content to get the most from all your content marketing efforts.

What is Underperforming Content? 

Underperforming content hurts. If you ever feel underwhelmed by a past blog post’s analytics, see your newsletter’s unsubscriber count creeping up, or notice less engagement on your social media posts, that is an indicator of underperforming content. It’s essentially content that just doesn’t do as well as you expected.

Factors that affect content performance:

  • Keyword competition 
  • Lack of promotion 
  • Miscalculated user intent 
  • Out-of-date information or images 
  • Use of wrong social media platforms or content promotions

How to Spot Unperforming Content with Analytics

The easiest way to determine if the above factors are harming your content performance is by examining your key performance indicators (KPIs). Use analytics tools like Google Analytics or Semrush to discover if underperformance is due to user behavior, search engine optimization rankings, or a mix of both. 

Detect underperforming content by analyzing these key metrics: 

  • Page Views. Compare past and present page views – have you lost significant views on the blog post since this time last year? 
  • Bounce Rates. Is your blog post’s bounce rate high? If so, this reflects your audience’s behavior. They’re leaving your site immediately after reading the post, instead of exploring what more you have to offer. 
  • Conversion Rates. Have fewer people responded to your blog post’s call to action? Assuming your bounce rate is high, chances are your conversion rates also are suffering. 
  • SERPs Rankings. Search your blog post’s topic in Google. Is your post near the top of the search engine results page (SERPs), or are you continuously scrolling to find it? 

It’s frustrating to realize your content hasn’t made the impact you desired. The good news, however? Your content’s performance is possible to fix. 

woman in blue long sleeve shirt using macbook pro
Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash

6 Strategies to Improve Underperforming Content 

Now that you understand the “why,” it’s time to learn how to revamp your underperforming content with one or all of the following six strategies.

1. Optimize for Search Engines  

Have you heard the marketing term “SEO” thrown around? Search engine optimization (SEO) can land your content on Page 1 of a Google search, which attracts 71-92% of web traffic

How high your content appears is determined by SERPs rankings. These rankings are affected by keyword placement and other SEO content marketing best practices

The easiest approach to increase your SERPs rankings is by researching and writing with keywords. Keywords are the main descriptors of your blog post’s content. Using keywords helps your audience find what they need while aiding Google’s quest to prioritize content. No more hidden content in the depths of Google’s SERPs. 

For instance, if you Google “How to treat my sneezing cat,” you’re probably hoping to find an informative blog post written by a veterinarian. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense for your search to yield an article about adventurous experiences in Bora Bora (unless treating a sneezing cat is an actual excursion we’re unaware of).  

From the veterinarian’s perspective, let’s say keyword research reveals “cat sneezing” is a productive keyword. You would strategically place “cat sneezing” within your content’s title, introductory paragraph, and throughout your post. This word signals to Google your post should show up in searches related to sneezing cats. 

2. Leverage Content Promotion 

“Great content is wasted if your audience doesn’t know it exists.” – Allie Decker 

Search engine optimization isn’t the only strategy that lands more eyes on your content. Digital content marketing strategies get the job done too. 

Methods to implement to further distribute your content: 

  • Social Media. Research the platforms your target audience uses and meet them there with your content. You can also make it easy for your website audience to share their favorite blog posts by scattering social sharing buttons throughout your content.
  • Email Newsletters. Build an email subscriber list and send content straight to your audience’s inboxes. 
  • Influencers. Collaborate with industry influencers to spread your content to their loyal followers.
  • Paid Advertising. Share your content with audiences immediately by budgeting money toward pay-per-click campaigns, social media ads, or display ads. 

3. Repurpose Content 

You put hours of time and effort into creating valuable content for your business. This work doesn’t have to go to waste.

Transforming your content into different formats – infographics, videos, podcasts, or e-books – can potentially reach new audiences in various locations. A visual learner could skip a written article but engage with an infographic or video. Repurposing content allows you to reach new audiences with different learning styles.  

You’re not only saving money at the end of the day, but also expanding your business’s reach.

4. Refresh Content 

Let’s run through another quick scenario. 

It’s the beginning of winter, and you’re shopping for a new coat. You look at the point-of-purchase displays at the store to get a visual idea of what products are sold and how they appear on the models. Yet, the store’s ads display people in swimsuits. Even better, the swimsuits haven’t been in-style for more than five years. It’s safe to say that the store needs a content refresh. 

Content refreshes allow you to stay relevant for your audience. Everything from visuals and design elements to information updates, data changes, and the latest trends can be part of a content refresh. 

Determine what content could perform better with a refresh by conducting a content audit. An audit will help you determine if each post still meets your audience’s needs. Some content might need a substantial refresh, while other pieces might only need little tweaks to start performing well.

5. Encourage User Feedback 

Think of a time you didn’t book an Airbnb or buy an Amazon product because of a poorly written review. These are prime examples of social proof. Another way to think of social proof is word-of-mouth marketing. People trust others – even people they don’t know – to avoid bad products or experiences. 

The same is true if you have a great product. People won’t hesitate to click “buy” if they see rave descriptions paired with five stars. It’s also why influencer marketing works. 

Reviews allow your business to understand how the public truly views your service. Does your product need a major overhaul or only a few tweaks? You can learn that and more when you gather client feedback

6. Implement A/B Testing

Your content performance could also benefit from A/B testing, otherwise known as split testing. 

Simply change one element of your content and see which version captivates your audience. It’s as easy as changing out the header photo or altering the title by a few words.  

You might discover your audience interacts with your content more when the photo resembles your product rather than a group of people. The same could be true for any element – fonts, formatting, colors, or writing styles. Ultimately, which version is going to steer your business toward growth?

Let Content Journey Help Boost Your Content 

Content Journey is a content marketing agency with a team of experts who help clients (like you!) identify and enhance underperforming content. We can refresh your content, provide search engine optimization, and develop an overall content strategy for your business. Content support is only a phone call away. Book a call to learn if we’re the right fit for your content optimization goals.

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