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7 Ways To Tweak Your Content To Perform Better!

May. 06, 2014


7 ways to tweak your content for optimum performance 

 
Content is the cheapest, most effective, most long term, most transformative and most powerful tool you have to get your site ranking high in SERPs and to keep it at the top.

With good quality content on the appropriate site reaching the desired target audience you can relax, sit back and watch those social shares roll in.

But though it’s all very well to say that content is king, how can we actually know if our content hits home? 

The only real way to find out if your SEO is working is to conduct regular content strategy audits that take an honest, objective, and critical look at what you are doing in order to evaluate the effectiveness of your content marketing performance.

Without this type of analysis you can’t know what to replicate in the future and which pitfalls to avoid, and even which parts of your content need to be completely reworked.
Seven essential steps to get those links flowing in 
 
1: Assess your performance

When you set up your content strategy you probably identified various programme objectives (ie, what you hoped to achieve) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to show you how well you are doing in meeting those objectives. Perhaps your aim was to:
  • Generate interest in the product or service you have to offer 
  • Increase traffic
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Get more people to sign up, or
  • Stimulate more sales
The first step in content auditing is to take a cold, hard, objective look and honestly assess how far you have come in achieving your goals. 

There are plenty of both free and paid-for online, content auditing tools to help you analyze how your content is being received: Google and Twitter Analytics and FaceBook Insights spring instantly to mind and LinkedIn and other sites offer similar investigative resources, too. 

These analytical tools will give hard facts about various different parameters that you can compare and contrast so as to see which content is working best and where. These facts include specific information on:
  • which posts received the most likes, mentions or favourites, and where
  • which posts were the most shared or retweeted, and from where
  • which content generated the most engagement, and where
  • who are the people who visited each site (age, gender, work, interests, etc)
  • demographics of the people who visited your site
  • which pages were least liked and quickly abandoned!
Compare and contrast across all your online interfaces and you will soon see where your content worked best, and where it failed to achieve its objectives.

Remember - don’t just look at new content. It is also important to take a look at old posts to see what kind of interest or engagement they generated, and with whom. 

2: Manipulating Content to Work for You 

Once you have a clear understanding of who your user audience actually is and how they use your internet, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and any other sites, you can go about reorganizing and redistributing your content to try to improve your reach and engagement – and even get to the audiences you have still failed to entice. 

Start with your most active and popular interfaces. Move effective content material to your less engaged sites to see if it generates more interest in other places too. 

Rewrite, rework and reformat unpopular posts to see if a different approach with the same material is better received. 

Try including new content (text, photos, illustrations, blogs, videos, diagrams and more) to see if you can boost user interest and stimulate interest in the type of audience you are hoping to reach. Your competitors’ sites can be useful here in giving you ideas about what might work for you too.

Get rid of any content that is ineffective or rework the message into a new, more palatable format. 

Carry out A/B tests to compare what works and where. 

Analyze the effect of each new adjustment to help you fine tune your content to work best for you and your product or service. With time and patience you will be able to figure out which type of interaction works most effectively in each locale. 

3: Set benchmarks 

Setting benchmarks is important so you have a target to aim for. But be realistic. Initial spontaneous engagement (ie, not paid for but genuinely generated by user interest) may be as little as 0.5-1% in the beginning. 
Don’t worry if the numbers are low to start with. Your audience will grow as you nurture your content and get a clear idea of what works best for each interface. Natural, organic audience growth is far more valuable than paid for clicks since it is more likely that these people will continue to spread the word about your product or service and only ‘real’ users can actually translate into conversions.

4: Be prepared to make ongoing changes

Constant tweaking and manipulation of content is the only way to ensure that your audience numbers steadily increase. Make your content audits part of your routine so that you are always aware of what is working where and when.  Your aim is to give your audience more or what they like rather than hoping that they will eventually come around to liking the unpopular content that you offered in the past.

However, remember that content is an organic thing and that you need to constantly nurture it to keep it fresh and current in your audience’s minds. You need to be willing to adapt to changing trends and understand that what worked 4 months ago may no longer resonate with your increased user group. 

New content does not necessarily have to mean new text. Adding a captioned photo, illustration, diagram or even an appropriate new link to an authoritative site that somehow compliments your product or service is a good way to keep your site fresh. 

However, that seasonal photo you posted during the holidays may have attracted a lot of attention, but normally it is your fact-based texts that get the most likes. Be flexible and change your approach each time to help maintain user interest and keep your content foremost in their minds.

Monitor how these different types of content are received and concentrate your efforts in those that have the farthest reach.

And be prepared to respond quickly to any Twitter, FaceBook or other topical online conversations where your voice is relevant and you have something to add to the dialogue.

5: You’re only as good as your weakest points

Discouraging though it may be, knowing what is NOT working can be an excellent starting point for finding out what does work for you. You may think you have the best content on the internet but it is not much good if no-one ever sees it. Be prepared to prune out dead wood and rework content that engages only moderate interest.

However, remember that websites, Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Google+ and others all attract different types of audiences. It may be that you have good content but posted it on the wrong site. Keep moving things around and tracking its reception until you have a clearer idea about who your different audiences are and what they like best.

Try recycling your content to see if it works better on a second or even third viewing.

And always rework, rework, rework your content. You know your information is good – it is just a matter or presenting it in a way that appeals to your target audience. The more variations of the same content you can create, the better. This gives you plenty of scope for moving material around your various interfaces and refreshing your pages on a regular basis.

6: Don’t be afraid to try new things?

Monitor your rivals and see what tactics they use to stimulate interest. 

Perhaps they introduced a competition or a video blog that created a surge of interest. Or perhaps you posted a photograph or diagram that generated a lot of engagement. Try posting another one to see if this type of content is consistently popular or if it was a one off.

Always capitalize on what you see is working, even if it is not what you usually do. Content is like an organic being, ever evolving, ever changing and in constant need of nurturing and steady maintenance.  And, be willing to try new things to keep your audience growing. Think like a journalist and look for news-worthy items with which you can connect your product or service. Keep up to date with local and global trends on Twitter, Facebook and other social media pages – and be ready to step in whenever you see an opportunity.

7: Ongoing Testing

Content auditing is an ongoing process. Every time you make changes you need to re-assess how your data is received, and then tweak that content again to keep your audience expanding and to encourage those inbound links to come rolling in! 

When you see the numbers increasing steadily and your SERPs rank rising, you can be sure you are on the right track.

To Sum Up
Remember that excellent content and a varied supply of diverse incoming links from quality sites are two major keys to high SERPs rankings.

If you are willing to take the time  to constantly assess and adjust your content the number of good incoming links connecting to you will start to sprout organically as people discover your site and like, favourite, retweet, share, mention, or in any other way pass on your contact to their own network group. 

This type of natural link formation that connects with a wide diversity of different sites and users are the types of links that get you a gold star from Google and what will eventually lead to more traffic, more engagement and more conversions.


 

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