There isn’t a one-size-fits-all fix to underperforming blog content. Instead, a variety of factors can lead a blog post to perform beneath its potential. In most cases, this is a highly fixable issue; all you need to do is build a better understanding of the factors behind the performance. Then, you’ll be able to uncover the cause of your underperforming blog content. Once you make the necessary fix, you’ll see your content receive the attention you’d hoped for.
To start, how might you go about identifying underperforming content in the first place? What factors determine whether your content is performing as it should? There are a few key identifiers to look out for:
- There’s been a drop in, or a lack of, organic traffic to your blog. Has a post of yours ever received significant attention, only to suffer a plummet in traffic? This is a situation that many bloggers have experienced. Or perhaps you didn’t simply lose that traffic — it just never came. If your content is poorly optimized, then this scenario is almost certain to occur.
- A lack of direct engagement. It isn’t enough for your post to receive high traffic. It’s also important that your blog sees sufficient engagement with its audience. This is why a call to action comes in handy, urging the visitor to engage with your content. A lack of engagement could also point to a disconnect between the content people expect from your blog versus the content that they receive.
- The metrics on your content are poor. For example, you might see a low average session duration with a high rate of drop-off. If this is the case, people just aren’t staying on your blog — they’re showing up, but they’re leaving shortly after that. This is far from ideal if you want to encourage growth in your blog. There’s a good chance that the audience isn’t even finishing the post they came to the blog for, which is a red flag. Plus, you want the visitor to explore your blog further, past the page that led them there. You don’t want the landing page to be the exit page.
Let’s take a closer look at a few common causes of underperforming blog content and tips on how to best avoid them. Use this knowledge to aid you in enhancing your blog content in the future. It’s simple, but it can make a world of difference!
Your Content Doesn’t Match Your Audience or Align Well With User Intent
The answer really might be as simple as this: the content you’re posting just doesn’t match the wants or needs of your audience. It’s important to consider why users typically come to your blog and what they’re expecting to get out of your content. If you’re catering to these wishes, you’re less likely to see content flop or receive very little traffic.
For content to be at its most successful, it’s important that it sees a specific need and caters directly to it. However, it’s vital that this content truly provides what the reader is searching for. Maybe you hit the nail on the head in choosing a topic, but your post leaves out some core information. Whenever readers find themselves on your blog, they shouldn’t discover that their search intent doesn’t even match your blog’s content. You want to drive traffic for the right reasons: providing an audience with the content they’re looking for.
As necessary, make adjustments to existing posts. This way, you can continuously add better or new targeted information based on your audience’s current needs and interests.
The Content Is Out of Date or Seasonal
If you’ve spent any time at all in the blogging sphere, you’ve likely heard about “evergreen” content. However, you may or may not understand the idea and how you can apply it to your own blog content.
As a concept, evergreen content is quite simple. When content is “evergreen,” it remains relevant year-round and over a more extended period. This contrasts highly seasonal content — meaning it’s only relevant to your audience during a select time of year. Any other time, and it’s unlikely to receive substantial traffic.
Content might also be relevant for just a limited span of time before becoming obsolete. When you post content of this nature onto your blog, you’re severely limiting the potential for long-term traffic. As a blogger, it’s important to emphasize creating evergreen content as often as you can. This is the kind of content that can remain on your blog for lengthy periods while continuously receiving traffic and attention.
Your Blog Has Recently Lost Visibility Due to Google SERP Changes
A Google search query page is considered a search engine results page (SERP). Many bloggers strive to have their content appear somewhere within the first page of the SERPs for a particular search for traffic and performance. Most of the time, searchers don’t bother clicking over to the second page. Usually, people aren’t even going to look past the first few results.
The earlier your content appears in a search query, the more likely it is to receive traffic. For this reason, bloggers need to remain aware of SERP rules to ensure that their content ranks as highly as possible.
Sometimes, however, Google may make changes to how it handles SERP rankings. If you recently saw a substantial drop in traffic for once-popular content, this could be the reason. So, make sure you’re staying informed on how SERP rankings are determined. If Google makes changes, then there’s a chance you may need to make adjustments to your content to regain lost traffic.
These are just some of the reasons why content may underperform on your blog, but it’s important to remember that all of these are correctable. Whenever you find blog content to be underperforming, you must examine the potential reasons why before going in to make the fix. Stay on top of performance and search engine optimization (SEO), and your blog is far more likely to flourish.
Alyssa Anderson, Content Manager
Alyssa Anderson is the Content Manager at Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM), a digital marketing agency in Madison, CT. ZGM is known for developing overarching marketing strategies and specializes in Pay-Per-Click, SEO, content marketing, social media, development, design, and eCommerce services.