Lately, content has been the predominant topic in digital marketing. Also, a lot of focus has been put on optimization and content analysis. Good quality content will play a significant role in positioning your page on the much-desired page one on Google. However, it is not, and it cannot be the only ranking factor. Namely, Google uses a list of 200 ranking factors when determining what will appear at the top. Their primary concern is the users and satisfying their needs. Therefore, although creating high-quality content is a good starting point, it shouldn’t be the only aspect you pay attention to. If you have noticed some of your pages have been experiencing a drop in organic traffic, there are ways to detect and improve underperforming content. Firstly, you should understand what underperforming content is and why it is falling short. Then you can take steps toward the improvement.
Why Is Your Content Underperforming, And What Does It Mean?
Good content is one of the key ranking factors, so Google’s algorithm will reward it. Underperforming content is every content that used to generate a lot of organic traffic but is now falling short, or it never attracted any. Usually, the cause for this is that it is just not good enough. And there are several reasons why that is. It is vital to know what makes content adequate and good enough to attract Google’s attention because then you can take steps to improve it.
1.) Weak Compared To The Competition:
Although length is not always relevant, longer articles will attract more attention. More importantly, relevance and comprehensiveness have to be on point. And finally, you should write compellingly. Readers should want to continue reading your texts rather than lose interest after a few sentences. Furthermore, perhaps your content is in the wrong format. For instance, if Google prioritizes video content for “How to” posts, and yours is text-heavy, you are bound to fall behind.
If the topics you are dealing with are subject to frequent changes, they can quickly become irrelevant. Some areas, such as laws and regulations, are more prone to these problems. Both Google and users prefer fresh content, and Google will reward pages that keep up to date. Moreover, if your content is seasonal or refers to past events, people will eventually start losing interest in it.
3.) Incongruous User Intent:
Perhaps your content is decent quality – relevant, fresh, and comprehensive. However, if it doesn’t match user intent, you will have a problem. There are three types of intent, depending on what the user is trying to do:
- Informational – the user is looking for additional information based on the keyword.
- Navigational – the user is trying to find a specific website.
- Transactional – the user is showing intent to make a purchase.
4.) Unintentional Changed And Duplication:
You may have accidentally put a no-index tag on your page, signaling to Google that you don’t want it seen. Also, if you have covered the same keywords in several pages, organic traffic will drop. It is also known as cannibalization. Moreover, SERP changes may cause visibility loss. Since SERP has changed tremendously over the years, and new features have been introduced, it could negatively affect the previous ranking. Finally, it may just be that your competition has grown stronger.
5.) No Backlinks:
Even if your content is high-quality, too few or no backlinks can hold you back, especially if your website is new. Backlinks are essentially signals to search engines that they vouch for your content and can, therefore, affect visibility.
There are several reasons why your content might be falling short. It is vital to understand those reasons if you want to detect and improve underperforming content.
How Can You Fix The Problem?
To begin with, make sure your page is crawled and indexed correctly. Then, check whether it is linked internally and present in the XML sitemap. Also, look at the top results for your keywords. You will see what kind of content and format Google prioritizes and how comprehensive your content should be. See if the top results on Google are ads or organic snippets. Finally, check the quality of the sites ranking the high and look at how many keywords they are visible for. When you do all that, you will detect why your content is underperforming and know how to address the issue.
When you start creating your content, pick two or three keywords, and try to write as relevantly as possible. Keyword research is a must. It would be best to reoptimize old pages with long-tail keywords, which are highly specific and less competent. Also, focus on writing good metadata – title tags and meta descriptions. Meta descriptions might not be among the most decisive ranking factors, but they are what will attract users to your site. When they read the informative and persuasive meta description, they will know whether they want to visit your page or not. Moreover, use keywords in your meta, but don’t be spammy because Google will punish it.
Additionally, try to add some “power words” to your headlines. Your headlines must be persuasive so that a reader leaves whatever they were previously doing to focus on your content. They must be captivating. The examples of power words are: results, authentic, proven, guaranteed, certified, etc. Finally, match user intent. Give your target audience the right answer to their question. You will do that by delivering the right content in the proper format. Keyword research will indicate what your potential clients or audience are looking for, so you will know how to respond.
Google will reward high-quality content in the right format that matches user intent. You must perform keyword research and competition scan to approach the task in the right way.
Now that you have learned how to detect and improve underperforming content, you can do more to help your page rise to the top. Building your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram audience and working on interaction with your followers can prove incredibly useful. After you have reoptimized your old content, you can share it on social media and aks your fans to read and share as well. And don’t forget, backlinks, aka inbound links, are vital. Depending on how competitive the topic you have chosen is, you may need a lot of links.