How to Identify and Turn Around Non-Performing Content

The larger the company, the greater the amount of content it puts out every year. To optimize the non-performing content that lurks inside that mountain of blog posts, news articles and other static content, you need to first identify your poorest performers.

Start with a Content Audit

The easiest way to find these underperformers is to conduct a thorough content audit. Just as your company’s financial audit detects areas that need improvement, a comprehensive audit can uncover content assets that don’t get the traffic and conversions you hoped for.

Use Your Corporate Goals to Measure Content Effectiveness

Let your corporation’s overall business goals be the measuring stick to identify low-performance content. Then, evaluate your content for its performance in meeting those goals.

Let’s say that your content analytics program turns up a blog post that isn’t getting much traffic or shares. It’s a top-of-the-funnel post to build awareness of your company in a new market, so you pull it up and give it a read.

Obviously, it’s not meeting your corporate goal of grabbing the lion’s share of your new market. Reaching new markets always starts with awareness, after all.

Evaluate What Went Wrong

About halfway through the article, you sense your eyes glazing over. The blog post, although well written, overflows with technical detail you’d need a Ph.D. in engineering to decipher.

Do you throw the post out? Not necessarily. You might be able to repurpose it into a masterful piece of content – or several of them.

Look at Ways to Optimize Your Low-Performance Content for Maximum Value

Assign your resident tech writer the task of turning the post into a white paper for your bottom-of-the-funnel segment. For B2B teams, content collaboration with your engineering and development teams can yield the kinds of detail your prospects’ technical staff will want to know.

Then, track down that one writer that can always put things into language so easy that a fifth-grader could understand. Assign her the task of translating all the geek-speak into copy that points out a problem that your new gadget could solve for them.

Since the original post’s writer already did all the research, it should be easy to repurpose it to meet two goals instead of one: building awareness and converting prospects into customers. In fact, you could probably even use the information to create an infographic or video that compares your gadget with your competitors’ model, a perfect choice for your middle-of-the-funnel segment.

Getting three likely top-performing posts from one gives you the ultimate bang for your content marketing buck. That’s something that always will align with your company’s corporate goals.

Is Your SEO as Outdated as Parachute Pants?

Your content audit might turn up some pieces of content that hit the mark with their target audience way back in the day. The writing is spot-on, and it has images to break up the monotony.

But they’re old. When you created those posts, Google and other search engines had a whole different way of ranking them. As Neil Patel points out, you might need to re-optimize that dated content with long-tail keywords and natural language search.

Today’s audience is more likely than ever to search for something on their mobile devices. Approximately 60 percent of all searches occur on them, with some wide variance between sectors.

share of mobile searches by industry

Image Source: The Search Review

Additionally, with the advent of Alexa and her voice-powered sisters, a lot of searches have changed from “best accounting software in Saskatoon” to “Where can I find accounting software tailored to Canadian tax laws?”

Voice searches usually incorporate questions, and they often include details that make them perfect for long-tail keyword optimization. Instead of the generic “accounting software in Saskatoon,” today’s searchers would be more likely to ask for more detail, such as “accounting software tailored to Canadian tax laws.”

Revamping content to incorporate questions and answers, as well as the kinds of long-tail keywords that people will use to search for your products, is a quick fix that can boost your search engine results. If you’re aiming for a top-of-the-funnel audience, it’s essential.

Additionally, as your audience progresses down the sales funnel, they’ll search with even more detailed terms. Optimize your low-performing content for those terms, and you’ll likely experience better results.

First Impressions Matter

When you search for something online, what are the first things you see? The headline and the meta description, of course.

Maybe it was your headline or meta description that turned your audience off. If these first impressions were off, it’s a fairly easy fix, once you know what to look for.

If you’re like most people, it’s not always the number one search result that gets your attention. It’s the one with the irresistible headline and a meta description to match.

There are a few tricks to nailing headlines and descriptions.

Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Think about the types of headlines on clickbait articles. What about them makes you want to click, despite the fact you already know you’re chasing fake news?

Without going off the deep end, adopt some of their strategies to your needs. Here are a few tips:

  • Engage your readers’ emotions: Studies show that emotional ads outperform non-emotional ones by nearly two to one. When something in your headline grabs readers by the heartstrings, they’ll likely click through to your content. Boosting your clickthrough rate can help you rank higher in searches, so it’s essential to get their attention in seconds.
  • Aim your headline at your target customer: You might not think of “optimize” as an emotional word, but to a marketer, it’s like seeing the Holy Grail. Since marketing leaders are our target customers (duh – we make their lives easier), that’s the perfect way to get their attention. Do the same with your target market.
  • Convey a benefit with keywords: Your audience is searching for something to satisfy their curiosity or solve a problem. Using keywords strategically can get their attention – and that of search engines – a win-win tactic.
  • Use numbers: Using phrases like “10 Tips” or “7 Reasons Why” indicates your promise to deliver a specific number of valuable bits of information. For that reason, they’re highly effective.
  • Pique curiosity with questions: People are naturally curious. If the topic is in any way of interest to your audience, there’s nothing like a question mark to get them to click. In addition, if your content answers that question better than any other content on the topic, you can get to Position Zero – even above paid ads.
  • Promise a solution with “how to”: If your audience needs to solve a problem and you can provide instruction on how to solve it, the “How to X” headline will capture their attention.

Meta Descriptions That Drive Clicks

Like with headlines, meta descriptions need to be so compelling that people can’t resist clicking. Keep them short and sweet, around 155 characters, lest Google cut them short.

  • Use your primary keyword: People need to know that your content will address the topic they searched for. Using it will get their attention – and that of search engines.
  • Summarize your content: Emphasize what you’ll talk about and make sure that your content lives up to the description’s promise. People lose trust if you disappoint them.
  • Use a call to action to drive them to your content: Use action verbs that invite people to explore what you have to offer. “Learn more on this post by (your company name),” “Discover more here,” “Find out more,” or a similar invitation will drive interested people to click.

Finding low-performance content and transforming it into high-converting copy goes a lot faster when you have a single place where you can analyze older content, revamp it into a top performer, and measure the results.

DivvyHQ’s content marketing platform is a one-stop-shop for all phases of content production and analysis. The time you’ll save and the headaches you’ll lose will make you wonder why you’ve never checked it out.

The best news? You can give it a free test drive for 14 days and discover the difference for yourself. Start your free trial today!