It’s nigh-on impossible to search for ways of improving the growth of your website without having the concept of content marketing thrown in your face; ‘content is king‘, ‘content is the key to success‘ etc etc – heck, we like to throw this advice around every now and again too (check out our benefits of content marketing for business guide)! These statements are certainly true, but ‘content marketing’ as a whole can be somewhat perplexing for those without the know-how of us digital marketing folk.
Content marketing best practices are so much more than producing content that reads well and is posted online. Although creating well-written content is certainly half the battle and indeed important, content that is written without particular strategies in mind can be somewhat pointless.
If you’ve been implementing what you believe to be content marketing strategies but have yet to see any results from your efforts, it might be that you’re making a few mistakes. Don’t worry, failed content attempts aren’t uncommon and they are easy to do without the right content marketing advice and training, but if the following circumstances sound familiar, it’s time to reassess your content marketing strategy.
1. Your content isn’t receiving traffic
Are you producing quality content only for it to not be found online? This is a key indication that your SEO strategies aren’t as fine-tuned as they need to be, or perhaps you aren’t considering SEO at all.
Simply put, if you want your content and webpages to start ranking online, they need to be sufficiently optimised with relevant and achievable search terms; ‘achievable’ being important because broad and common terms are going to have a lot of competition that will make it hard for you to rank for. Instead, long-tailed and niche terms make it more likely that you can appear higher in the SERPs for these terms.
2. Your pages are ranking for the wrong search terms
This is a frustrating problem for many – perhaps your homepage is ranking highly for a term that you have a more suitable page for? It’s important to correct this issue to ensure that visitors to your site aren’t going to leave as soon as they land on a page that isn’t entirely relevant to their search query.
Don’t worry though, we have addressed this problem in a previous guide of ours, so head over there to find out how to stop the wrong page ranking for your target keyword.
3. Your page is high in the SERPs but no one is clicking on it
You’ve done it – you’ve managed to get one of your key pages to appear on the first page of Google’s SERPs – hallelujah! But where is all of the traffic you expected to flood in?
If people are seeing your page but choosing not to click on it, it’s likely that your SEO title and meta description aren’t enticing enough, particularly against the competition from other sites in the SERPs. The title and meta description of your page are the first thing that people see when coming across your content, so make it good. Your title needs to be relevant but intriguing, and your meta description needs to make people want to click onto your post using only 155 characters.
4. Your posts have a high bounce rate
Google Analytics is extremely important in tracking your content marketing efforts, and within this platform are various metrics that indicate how your content is performing and how users are engaging with your content. Included in these metrics is bounce rate, a percentage figure that tells you how many people immediately click off your content once landing on it.
A high bounce rate is pretty self-explanatory – people are leaving as soon as you let them through the door; not a good sign! There are a number of assumptions that you can make from this: your content isn’t as relevant as it could be, there’s too much writing and the formatting isn’t good, and/or your page is taking too long to load.
There are various other contributing factors too, but among the first things you should look at is whether your content is relevant to the search term, whether visitors can skim read the content to find their answer (numbered and bullet point lists are beneficial), and whether you can increase the speed of your page.
5. You’re not sharing new content on social media
It can take a while for optimised content to build traction on Google and start appearing for targeted search terms. In the meantime, sharing content on social media is important to drive immediate traffic to your new post. To make sure this is seen by followers and non-followers, using relevant hashtags is also important; Hashtagify is a useful platform to help you identify popular hashtags.
6. No one is linking to you
Something that is great at enhancing your domain authority, page authority, website rankings and more, is having a good network of links to your content from other sources. Whether this is from other brand websites, business blogs, personal blogs, online news outlets, etc, these show Google that your piece of content is of a high quality because it is linkable, and Google will start to favour your site in the rankings.
As well as utilising top SEO strategies to make sure that your content is actually found, a great way of making it more link-worthy is to produce authoritative and informative content/guides that offer valuable information. Restrain from posting a sales pitch as other websites are unlikely to link to this, and readers are likely to lose interest. If you want to make headlines, conducting research or carrying out surveys and sharing the results can also be extremely link-worthy, as long as you are researching a topic that is going to interest others.
Remember, although quality content can attract links organically, you could also implement outreach strategies whereby you show your content to people who are likely to find it useful and want to feature it in a piece of their content.
If you can relate to any of these content marketing mistakes and if any of our advice sounds like gobbledygook, it might be time to get the experts involved. If we know anything, we know how to do content marketing, so make sure to get in touch for some friendly advice and direction. Additionally, make sure you check out our other blog posts for some great content marketing resources.