42 Ways Your Content Performance Suffers

Online, your content is your brand, UVP, and lead funnel all in one.  So when it isn’t performing well, you must do something about it.

A survey from Brightedge found found that 70% of marketers reported that less than half of their content is actually consumed. This means most of their content was never seen or visitors bounced off it quick.

That seems depressing, and it’s easy to get gloomy and discouraged, and then react to it wrongly.

In reality, there is usually a select group of pages, videos or content pieces that do the lion’s share of creating customers.  The rest of your content is on less vital topics usually, and it’s just top of funnel material that helps collect prospects and support Google rankings.  Look at your content as a whole, and fixing the poor performance is easier.  Because satisfying visitors today is a challenge.

What is the Top Reason Your Content isn’t Performing?

The key question overall is that if your content isn’t performing, what is wrong? If you had to write it down right now, what is the top reason it’s not doing well? Is it a poor brand, confusing service/product promise, the wrong audience, or is your online content pointing them nowhere?  It’s not easy to know.

In fact, the pursuit of that knowledge is one of trial and error. The real cause seems to evade awareness and may turn out to something surprising. So, it’s wise to be brave and launch that journey to awareness.

Big picture solution: You’ll need a good funnel analytics solution to discover why you’re not generating leads and to discover the critical content path that creates sales. Without software tools, it’s difficult to understand — after all it’s just data.

Determining what is wrong will take some time and may be uncovered during a digital marketing audit or just a content audit. In that assessment, a consultant may find the weakness. If the content is of good quality, and is useful, then the issue is likely reach and impact with a quality audience. Reach and impact come from promotion.

Are you Marketing Your Marketing?

Power Wins: Guns Ablazing Promotion

Weak promotion is likely the culprit for most who have decent content.  You must market your marketing.  How would you expect to compete against a company with a strong promotional budget gunning for victory? They dominate awareness leaving you with the bottom of the barrel.

And running Facebook ads isn’t a solution for many companies. Facebook gets rich on the mistargeting while you fritter away your budget.

Most companies lack confidence to spend sufficiently to promote their content. Some feel it should happen like magic.  Others feel their product/service/brand simply can’t stand that kind of exposure — a test of its real value to consumers. Yet a good blitz promotional campaign isn’t so expensive and will generate feedback to help you improve. Any brand can win, with adjustments.  That feedback helps to collect precious customer input too.

Why Does Old Content Work So Well?

It’s a fact that older blog posts generate the most leads and sales. Why? Because it took many reminders (repeat views) to finally get the customer prospect to believe and then act. Visitors rarely convert right away, especially in B2B sectors. Customers check out competitors, industry sources, reviews and more to gather an understanding of the value they should get.

Old content ranks higher on Google and often, it’s been refreshed and improved so that it is now very good content. Over time, value gets improved.

Your new fresh content may just be another fresh reminder of your old content.

We need to do a quick roll call of factors to keep in mind as we rebuild our content strategy going forward.

Here’s 42 performance dampening issues your content might suffer from:

    1. poor Google rankings means your page shows up way down the rankings pulling in less qualified visitors
    2. your search engine optimization is underfunded, not done professionally and you’re not reaching the best prospects on Google
    3. your website draws traffic via Google on many irrelevant keyword phrases thus pulling in the wrong visitors (and obscuring the key traffic flows)
    4. low distribution impressions on Facebook/Linkedin/Instagram (low visibility) means a weak social media strategy
    5. Google curtailing exposure in search result pages (reduced impressions and visibility, zero click searches, head games with SEOs)
    6. Google/Bing are favoring in-depth long form content (thin content downgrade)
    7. content is poorly aligned with SEO requirements (advanced SEO)
    8. poor alignment with the brand and the value proposition
    9. the company brand is weak, confusing and not believable
    10. content is poorly edited, has poor flow of ideas, inconsistent to visitor’s preference
    11. it doesn’t keep visitors engaged continuously when they begin to lose interest
    12. videos have low quality images, presentation, voice scripts, or scammy appearance
    13. material looks hyped, is political or contains spam signals
    14. Google reducing exposure of blog posts (due to trend of selling guest post links)
    15. content topic is not popular or is irrelevant to the audience
    16. content lacks authoritative, credibility, and trust signals (Google high quality guidelines)
    17. content lacks depth, useful insight, to solve customer’s specific pain points
    18. headlines are boring or irrelevant (excite your customer)
    19. your content is passé, and everyone has read these topics already (fresh content and ideas needed)
    20. copy is hacked after being rewritten and strategized over time (evergreen maintenance)
    21. content is simply outdated and irrelevant (content pruning)
    22. content is not aligned with current user intent (customer intent)
    23. content isn’t engaging, exciting and doesn’t make an impact (content impact)
    24. lacks multiple types of information formats: charts, video, photos, illustrations, quotes, fonts which enrich the content experience for greater impact and retention
    25. web site has too many distractions, pop ups, or something on the page is annoying to visitors (clarity and simplicity)
    26. your website slogan or brand message doesn’t support the content (content strategy)
    27. content has few links leading to it, and it’s not within the current conversation on your site (almost orphaned)
    28. content is not informative with weak value (doesn’t really solve a problem)
    29. content is not visually attractive and entertaining (designed by a designer with flair)
    30. is slow loading, with high MB bandwidth elements, especially on 3G smartphone connections (what Google uses to rank pages)
    31. chosen website font is ugly and hard to read (need one that audience likes)
    32. topic hasn’t been developed properly over time for your audience (education, introduction, emphasis)
    33. content treatment on company website isn’t sufficient to be taken seriously by Google or customers (doesn’t cover the topic well – thin content and lacks authority)
    34. content pieces aren’t exposed on the website or promoted properly – everyone’s content needs a boost
    35. user experience and path to fulfillment is poor for visiting prospects (content gaps, narrative flow, internal linking of content so they can progress)
    36. visitors today are tired, jaded, distracted, and can’t concentrate (simple messages need to be present)
    37. your copywriting is too complex, high level, and too much patience and a high reading comprehension level are needed — tone it down to recommended grade 8 level
    38. copywriting isn’t emotionally activating and encouraging and may use a passive voice — spice it up with real stories, interesting analogies, expert quotes, humor, and contrasts
    39. more readers are using mobile device screens making viewing and content consumption difficult –  (simplify copywriting and make it scannable)
    40. content is unfocused, assembled by multiple contributors which ruins a clear, branded experience
    41. content attempts to inform, when users instead prefer to be entertained, and be assured that you can deliver the value promised and deliver good feelings
    42. your content lacks storytelling which makes your content personable, emotional, relatable and engaging

Trillions of Documents on the Web

Consider how much content is published and accessible today.  Low performing content isn’t a surprise given the mountains of content published today (with automation too) especially by major media and news sites with privileged placement on Google.

There’s less likelihood your marketing pages, posts, videos and graphics will get seen. And big companies do more active promotion  and often the promotion itself generates results, regardless of content quality. Getting attention is difficult so we must do more.

You may need to spend strongly on Google ads, Facebook ads, etc. to build awareness, familiarity and excitement about your brand.  Consumers know that when promotion occurs, there’s is something important to see, and they may get a better deal.  Promotion and excitement go hand in hand. Excitement is what the buying experience they want.  Everything else is second class.

That’s just how it is.  If you’re relying completely on Google search for traffic and leads, then your content better be of market leading excellence.

More companies are marketing their marketing, and you need to be one of them. All claims of brand superiority and significance aside, you cannot stop competitors from reaching your audience. Erosion of loyalty happens. A strong promotion budget lets you leverage some powerful online real estate to get front and center with the best prospects.

If your content performance isn’t good, you might present your brand value differently to build impact and engagement. Dig into building a competent, respected brand because people buy your brand, not your content. Dig into your customer’s current pain points deeply because they’re overly focused on them in the moment that they’re on your website. Reward prospects for any steps they take toward becoming your customer.

Design, enrich, and align your content better to the customer’s purchas path and their touchpoints in the buying journey. Better customer research is needed, and a content path optimization platform might be your most important software subscription. Try them out.

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