10 signs your content needs saving and how you can rescue it
You’ve seen the red flags, you know something’s wrong, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Why aren’t the conversions rolling in? Where are all the site visitors?
There are a number of reasons why your content might not be working (10, to be precise). If any of these ring true to you, it could be time to make some changes.
Read on to identify the warning signs and throw your content a lifesaver!
1. You don’t have a strategy or plan in place
In order to meet your goals you need to actually define them. Without a content strategy you have no measurables to track success and, ultimately, ROI. A documented strategy allows you to plan your content marketing effectively and then adjust according to what is working best for your brand. As a bare minimum, make sure you have Google Analytics set up for your site and start thinking about what metrics matter most.
When you’re ready, put pen to paper (so to speak) and outline what you want to achieve from your content marketing efforts and align them to your measurables.
2. You lack variety in your content
Variety is the spice of life! If all of your content sounds the same or contains the same information, your audience really has no need to continue reading it. To capture your consumer’s attention you need to provide something unique, interesting and helpful each time.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up and create different kinds of content or deliver your information in an unusual way. Keeping your content fresh will keep your audience coming back for more.
3. You’re only posting on your blog a couple times a month
Content needs to be consistent in order to build a following. If you’re not regularly updating your blog there won’t be enough to keep your audience interested, and they’ll likely go elsewhere to have their questions answered.
People tend to build trust with a brand if they know they can rely on it to provide the content they are looking for. Regular content equals engaged consumers.
4. You don’t share content regularly on social pages
Posting to your blog will help boost your page rankings in search results and keep your current audience interested, but without any activity on your social pages you lose an opportunity to reach out to a wider target market. Sharing content on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn encourages your followers to share posts with their friends and colleagues, allowing your content to reach even more people.
5. Your headlines suck
Sorry, but it’s probably true. Think of your headlines as a window display – if it’s not attractive and grabbing their attention, it’s unlikely passersby will want to enter the store.
A well-crafted headline is the difference between a consumer continuing to scroll by or deciding to click through. Including elements such as format type, topic of interest and a promise for the reader, you will increase the chances of your content being read.
6. Your competitor’s content is better
Blog posts thrown together with little thought or depth aren’t going to cut it. If you want your prospects to choose your content over the rest, quite simply, it needs to be better. 10x better.
To create high-quality content you need to find a unique angle and provide something helpful and interesting. Check out the search result pages for the topics you want to write about and see what the top ranking articles are like. Then make your content ten times better than your competitors. Make it difficult to replicate, write longer pieces, include exciting visuals like infographics or GIFs. Whatever you do, just make sure that it’s better than any similar piece of content so the consumer (and Google) will choose yours over the others.
7. Posts don’t contain images
You could be losing the attention of a large part of your audience by not supporting blog posts with relevant and engaging images.
8. You don’t support your content with authoritative sources
While it’s great to provide your audience with knowledge built upon first-hand experience, seeking out studies that support your points will help to bolster your content. Expert opinions, statistics and surveys can provide valuable insights for your audience and save time spent digging for the information themselves.
9. Your bounce rate is very high and time on page is very low
A quick glance at Google Analytics for your site will be able to show you this data. If the bounce rate is high then visitors are not travelling any further into your site after viewing only the one page. This is not necessarily a bad thing if they have spent a good amount of time reading your latest post before heading out, but if they haven’t, it might be time to reevaluate your content strategy and determine why you are losing so many visitors.
One trick would be to add ‘related articles’ to your posts. Ultimately, the longer people spend on your site, the more likely they will be to convert.
10. You don’t research your audience’s interests
Picking topics off the top of your head or writing about whatever takes your fancy is not the best strategy for reaching your audience. Yes, you do want to produce a regular stream of content, but if your audience isn’t going to read it there’s not much point.
Understanding your audience’s intent is crucial. Sites like BuzzSumo and AskThePublic are great for determining what topics to write about. BuzzSumo can show you what articles rank highly on social media, whereas AskThePublic can return data about what queries are being entered into search engines, so you know what questions your audience wants answered.