Since Google’s Panda and Penguin shakedown, more and more companies are discovering the power of content-centric off-page optimisation strategies. Gone are the days of directory submissions and reciprocal link request emails and although the message has been slow to trickle through, the new concepts are now being adopted albeit slowly.
However, whilst the general principles are vaguely understood and tentatively accepted by business leaders, it’s clear that many are not clear on how exactly to implement these new ideas.
If your content strategy isn’t translating into increased business, it may be down to one of the following common reasons:
1. Your Content is Boring or Unengaging
There’s a wealth of content out there online, so if yours just doesn’t engage with your audience, it’s time to liven things up.
It’s difficult to be self-critical when you’re writing your own content, so here are a few ways to investigate and make a decision based on objective measurements….
a. Google Analytics – isolate the page on which your content is placed and look at how long people are spending on the page. Time how long it takes to read it though (or ideally get somebody to do this with a fresh pair of eyes). What can you tell from this?
b. Mouseflow – install software on the website like Mouseflow or Clicktale and watch people as they scroll down the page. Also, heat maps will tell you how far down the page people are actually scrolling
c. Get others the review it – friends and family may be useful, but they may be overly polite and fail to share their actual thoughts.
2. Your Content has no Hook
This largely relates to the above, but ‘hooks’ are the way in which we invoke an emotional response from your readers.
Common hooks include humour or controversy and essentially turn the piece into something that the reader will remember 24 hours after reading.
Choose a hook that fits your brand and suits the target readership and use it to make your article special.
3. Your Content is Unoriginal
The sheer vastness of the web means virtually every idea you come up with will have already been done. In this case, you have a number of options:
a. Add something to the already-existing piece
If the piece you wanted to write is out there, go one step further. Address some of the gaps in the original piece or bring aged facts up to date.
b. Contradict the existing piece.
If controversy is your hook, contradicting something somebody else has said can be very productive. As long as your argument has reasonable grounds, you’re welcome to challenge their opinion. A healthy, intelligence-led debate can begin which is mutually beneficial.
c. Approach from a different angle
Write a piece from another perspective. This would have to be thought about on a piece by piece basis.
4. Your Pieces have been Poorly Promoted
Once your content is live, you need to get it out there. There are hundreds of options and if this isn’t done correctly, chances are your efforts will be in vain.
If you’re unsure about what to do at this stage, I offer a one-hour consultancy session where I show you how to implement this. Just get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 514 8800 to find out more.
— Ben Young (@bycuk) August 8, 2015