In the modern age of SEO, content is king. The best and most effective way to rank higher in SERPs these days is by churning out more and better-written material than your competitors. It’s not enough just to have a website with high-quality images; now you need articles that are interactive, and engaging for users – it really doesn’t get any easier.
Content is all you hear about nowadays. Content has been a consistent topic at digital marketing conferences for the past few years now; in fact, there are many tools that focus on analyzing your website’s content or optimizing it to rank higher.
Content is becoming the new king of SEO as it becomes increasingly important to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPS). How can you make your content stand out? Well, this article has all the pinpoints as to why your content is underperforming and how you can improve it to rank better and efficiently.
Underperforming content is any type of writing that doesn’t live up to its potential. It could be a piece of content with great organic traffic from the past, or just one without it at all–either way, there’s always room for improvement.
There are many types of content that could be considered underperforming. These include what was once an asset, but is now a liability; the idea behind this type of content is to optimize it for search engines and find new ways to make people want to read it. If your brand has seen a decrease in organic traffic over time despite efforts made on optimization or never experienced any success at all with SEO strategies – then you may have been dealing with low-quality content since day one.
Causes for underperforming content
You may have read that it’s not always about the content, but in reality, this is often true. You’re going to find yourself lost in a sea of mediocre competition if you don’t work hard and focus on your strategy from day one.
It can be easy to lose sight of how much time your competitors are spending making their content great while you continue publishing mediocre material into obscurity – just think for a second what might happen if they were doing as little as possible!
Down the line, I have described some of the main causes of underperforming content;
- Content does not match the user intent
You have to always keep in mind what your user will enter in order to get information about something similar to what you are writing about. Do keyword research, for both the user and Google intent, because where else would your user go and write their search query?
If you’re a marketer who is trying to get their content seen, despite the fact that it may be good and relevant for your users, there’s still one major thing that can keep people from ever finding what they need: not matching Google’s intent.
It might seem like an unlikely problem – but as someone whose job involves crafting compelling stories through words online all day long (and night), I know how tempting it can be to stay within comfort zones when writing about specific topics or brands. However, if you don’t take on new challenges in search of optimization opportunities with fresh angles and perspectives while staying true to your voice then chances are really high that no one will find your work at all.
- Content is way too “thin” compared to what is ranking
The size of your content is not the only factor that determines how well your site ranks in Google’s algorithm. Not all high-ranking sites have long and detailed articles, some are shorter but more relevant to a topic or comprehensively cover many different points on it which is why they rank higher than others. The best thing you can do for yourself no matter what type of website owner you are would be to focus less on writing lengthy pieces with little relevance and spend time researching topics thoroughly before starting work so as to create engaging content that readers will enjoy reading about.
- The page has duplication or cannibalization
When you have multiple pages that cover the same topic, this can cause a few problems. If one page receives more views than another or has higher conversion rates, then it will cannibalize the content on other pages and lead to low organic visibility for all your posts in general.
If you are writing about different topics but want them to show up together when people search online- be careful! This is not only frustrating from an SEO perspective but also confusing as well because they may think there’s just one post with everything included even if each of those individual articles had its own purpose and message.
- Content is not in the ideal format as the Google needs
You may feel frustrated and confused when you notice that your content is not being ranked as high for specific terms. It’s possible this could be the result of Google favoring a certain type of formatting, one which still doesn’t conform to what your blog posts have been formatted like so far.
Maintaining an appropriate structure will improve visibility rates across all formats by focusing on SEO best practices from start to finish, including format-specific guidelines such as heading tags or paragraph breaks between sections in a post.
- Content is not up-to-date
Google rewards sites that constantly strive to keep content fresh and up-to-date. If your topic heavily relies on information that may change over time, then it is imperative you make the effort to stay relevant with updates – search engines will reward this dedication! So not only does Google want websites that rank highly for a given query to have new or updated content; but users also care about receiving relevant news in their feed. Nobody wants an SEO Tips & Tricks article from 2016 when there are so many more recent tips out there today.
- content doesn’t have any backlinks
You should know that without adequate backlinks, even if your page content is compelling on its own, it can hold you back. This is particularly true for newer websites operating in competitive environments where many other sites are vying to rank high up the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The lack of backlinks can be a significant problem and one that is more difficult to overcome the longer you have been operating. If your website has no or too few links, don’t let it hold you back from competing in an already competitive environment.
How to detect the issues affecting your content
We’ve come to your rescue with a step-by-step guide on what to look for when determining whether or not something has gone wrong in our content.
Below is a list of tools or features which can help you to determine the issues and defects easily,
- Google Search Console
Do you want to see if your website is being crawled and indexed by Google? Use the URL inspection tool by Google Search console. The page will tell you: Have your web page been crawled and indexed, or not at all allowed for crawling or indexing yet? If so, you can simply request indexing.
- Chrome Extensions
With a click of the mouse, you can find out whether your page is indexable with Chrome extensions. They check things like canonical tags and meta robots tags so that all relevant information on pages isn’t missed in search results.
Two of these chrome extensions, that are top of my mind are;
A. SEO Minion
B. Portent’s SEO Page Review
How to fix underperforming content
If you’re not seeing the results that content deserves, then it’s time to take action. It may seem tough at first but we’ve got your back with a list of things to do in order to fix up those underperforming pieces.
- Make sure your page can be crawled and indexed properly
If you’re going to be using a search engine crawler, it’s important that your page doesn’t end up on the list of blocked resources in Robots.txt for the site; otherwise, it won’t be indexed. To make sure your webpage is being indexed, please don’t provide a no-index meta robots tag or canonical tag pointing elsewhere, or else it will simply confuse the crawler & Google ignores poorly-done canonical tags. Make sure to check whether other pages on your site have a valid, well-crafted tag pointing back at the URL of focus. Keep your website organized so that the content and pages are easily navigable. And you can make it sure by submitting it to Google with an XML sitemap.
- Understand search intent
The search engine giant Google provides a variety of information that can be used to make the most out of SEO. One way is by researching what your SERP looks like for topics of interest and analyzing all features, organic or paid.
By exploring how you rank on the first page as well as other pages when performing queries related to your business, you are able to better understand search engines’ intent matching capabilities because they provide more than just one result per query; rather there may be several results depending upon who links up with each keyword being searched.
- Map each page against the right keyword
You need to know what keywords you want your content, blog posts, or articles for. With the help of a keyword research tool like Keyword Explorer by Brand Overflow, you can find out which words are searched against and then add them to your list. Keyword optimization is a crucial part of any SEO strategy, but it’s important to be realistic about your ranking possibilities.
- Modify the right content
With the intent audit and keyword mapping insights, you’re now ready to work on your actual page content. You can confidently write about what it is that people search for when looking at your company or brand. Make your content readable and understandable, Old content which has been ranked on Google previously is a better option to revamp other than writing a whole new bunch of content on a new blog or page. As Google finds it really amusing if an old page is updated, it almost nearly gets ranked well.