When you’ve spent hours and hours perfecting a piece of content, it can be hard to see it fail. You do everything correctly and tick all the boxes, but sometimes, content falls flat on its face. In this situation, ceasing content production is not the answer. Instead, you need to pick it up and figure out what went wrong.
In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the steps you can take when content fails. Apply this to your own website and see if you can boost the performance of some of your worst-performing articles. Leave us a comment below to let us know how you get on!
What counts as a failure for content?
The best part about auditing your content is that you get to decide what is a failure. It would be impossible to say that anything under 5000 views is a failure, for example. Every site is different, so you should be the one to decide what is underperforming and what is over performing. Once you get to grips with the average hits for your blogs, you’ll easily be able to see the outliers.
How do you spot failing content?
Keep an eye on your website analytics to spot underperforming content. If your article isn’t performing well for organic search traffic, there could be something amiss with your SEO. You may have also missed the mark in your keyword research.
You can also get an idea of what isn’t working well by looking at your social media stats. Does one article always seem to fall flat? Try refreshing the article title and image to increase your click-through rate. Or use the Coschedule Headline Analyser to find out if you could improve your article title.
What to do when your content fails
Double-check the SEO
Have you missed something really obvious, like a meta description or an alt tag on an image? Go back over the basics and make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes. If you’re using Yoast, you’ll easily be able to see if your SEO is up to scratch.
If everything is correct and your content still isn’t performing well, it might be time to revisit the keyword research. If you’re targeting long-tail keywords, this might not generate a lot of traffic if you ignore the intent. You can read more about search intent here.
Make sure it’s still relevant
Sometimes content underperforms because it’s simply out of date. If this is the case, you need to update it to make sure you are offering the most comprehensive resource. If your website visitors are looking for answers, they want to see that the answers you are providing are relevant to today. Don’t assume that your evergreen content will stand the test of time, even that will need to be updated once in a while.
Tackle it from a new angle
If updating it doesn’t work, try approaching the topic from a new angle. When content fails, it’s because it doesn’t deliver value to the end-user. In most cases, it’s because the content has been created with the wrong intentions. The problems that you see with your product are often not the same as the ones your customers see. Tackle the issue from their perspective if you want to be able to solve their problems. Return to your customer profiles and make sure you are aiming at the right group of people.
Give it time
Some of the best content marketing campaigns take a while to get established. Scrapping the content or removing it from your site before it has had a chance to flourish could damage your long-term goals. Having poor-performing content on your website isn’t going to damage it, particularly if it is well-written and valuable to your customers. Sometimes content just needs a little bit of time to gain authority and build its traffic.