Full disclosure, I am a 100 percent bonafide content fanatic. I’m that person in the meeting or a bar who will happily wax lyrical about content marketing, SEO, and so forth for hours on end. When it comes to content performance, I am truly on a roll. Finding new ways to create and distribute the content that cuts through the noise, that really gets under the skin of your target audience — it’s a great feeling.
So, it gives me pleasure to introduce this ultimate strategy guide to improving content performance. Over the next few dozen page scrolls, you’ll discover actionable ways to transform your online presence and get the attention and conversions your brand deserves.
Content is not only my topic of choice, it is the lifeblood of your online presence. Whether your goal is to boost your website’s Google ranking, increase conversions, or engage your audience more effectively, the key to success lies in improving your content’s performance.
By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to:
- Elevate your content by improving quality for reader engagement and search engine rankings.
- Develop a holistic content marketing strategy aligned with business goals to drive growth and excellence.
- Boost your website’s visibility, attracting a targeted audience.
- Craft captivating content to engage and retain readers while reducing bounce rates.
- Optimise content for conversion, turning visitors into loyal customers.
- Improve the effectiveness of your campaigns to resonate with your audience, resulting in higher open rates, and increased click-through rates.
- Strengthen your social media presence, enhance engagement, and expand your audience across platforms.
It’s a pretty tall order to cover in one guide but I promise, I’ve got your back. Get yourself that coffee you’ve been meaning to grab for ages and let’s get started with your guide to improving content performance.
Why is it important to improve content performance?
Any marketer who takes pride in their work knows that performance is everything. Let’s delve deeper into why it matters particularly for content marketing and what benefits improving content performance offers:
- Increased visibility: In today’s fiercely competitive online landscape, enhancing content performance ensures your voice gets heard amidst the digital noise. It’s the key to standing out and attracting your target audience.
- More effective lead generation: When your content performs well, it becomes a powerful tool for generating leads. Engaging content captures the attention of potential customers and nurtures them through the sales funnel.
- Audience engagement: This kind of carries on from the previous point. High-performing content makes an instant connection with your audience, encouraging them to stay longer, explore more and potentially convert into loyal customers and advocates.
- Better SEO ranking: Well-performing content usually ranks higher on search engine result pages (SERPs), driving high-value organic traffic to your site. With 68% of online experiences beginning with a search engine, SEO and keyword targeting are strategies you definitely want to pursue and prioritise.
- Data-driven decisions: Content performance metrics provide valuable insights, empowering you to make informed, data-backed decisions and maximise your return on investment (ROI). Understanding what works and what doesn’t allows for continuous improvement.
- Competitive edge: In a crowded digital landscape, high-performing content sets you apart from competitors, establishing your brand as a trusted authority.
- Enhanced user experience: High-quality, engaging content creates a positive user experience, encouraging visitors to stay longer and explore more. A seamless user experience can lead to increased brand loyalty.
- Higher conversion rates: Content that resonates with your audience is more likely to convert visitors into leads or customers.
- Improved brand reputation: Consistently valuable content enhances your brand’s reputation, fostering trust among your audience.
What are the challenges of improving content performance?
Though the above benefits are enticing, improving content performance comes with its own set of challenges. These include:
- Content saturation: The internet is flooded with content, so standing out can be a daunting task.
- Changing algorithms: Search engines update their algorithms with relative frequency. This can impact your content’s visibility and mitigating these impacts is tricky without specialist technical SEO knowledge.
- Content quality: Maintaining high-quality content consistently can be resource-intensive but as a survey from Semrush reveals, over half (53%) of marketers are focusing on improving content quality in 2023 and beyond, so this should be high on your to-do list.
- Audience expectations: Meeting evolving audience expectations is always going to be an ongoing — but worthwhile — challenge.
- Data overload: Analysing content performance data can be overwhelming without a clear strategy.
If these challenges are starting to make you feel nervous, please don’t worry. We are going to offer clear, actionable advice (and some handy tech and tool recommendations) that will help you tackle these challenges head-on and provide you with strategies to navigate them effectively.
How to measure your content performance
Before you can enhance your content performance, you need to know how to measure it effectively. Let’s explore the essential steps.
Types of metrics to track
Traffic metrics: Monitor metrics like page views, unique visitors, and sessions to gauge your content’s reach.
Top tip: Use free tools like Google Analytics to track these metrics. Look for trends and correlations between your content and traffic spikes.
Engagement metrics: Metrics like bounce rate, time on page, and scroll depth reveal how engaged your audience is.
Top tip: High bounce rates may indicate content or user experience issues. Keep in mind, however, that high bounce rates aren’t always a cause for alarm. If it is a page like your contact info the visitor might simply have found what they need.
Conversion metrics: Track conversion actions, such as form submissions or product purchases, to assess your content’s effectiveness in driving desired actions.
Top tip: Implement clear call-to-actions (CTAs) and use conversion tracking tools to monitor performance. You could also try A/B testing different types of buttons or CTA messaging to see what hits the right notes with your target audience.
SEO metrics: Keep an eye on keyword rankings, click-through rates (CTR) and organic search traffic to measure your content’s SEO performance.
Top tip: Regularly update your content with the most up-to-date keywords and meta tags to maintain SEO relevance.
Social media metrics: Metrics like likes, shares, comments, and click-throughs on social media platforms provide insights into your content’s social engagement.
Top tip: Tailor content for each social media platform to maximise engagement.
How to optimise your content based on your test results
To improve content performance, testing, and optimisation are vital. The process involves analysing data, identifying areas for improvement, implementing changes, and retesting. Here’s how to do it effectively.
- Prioritise changes based on their potential impact: To enhance content performance, it’s crucial to prioritise changes effectively:
- Implement changes systematically: When making changes to your content, adopt a systematic approach by implementing them one at a time. This allows you to identify the individual impact of each change.
- Conduct further keyword research: If you find that some of your content isn’t driving sufficient traffic, performing keyword research to identify high-potential keywords in your niche can be highly effective.
- Carry out a content audit and refresh: To breathe new life into older content, consider refreshing and updating it with the latest information to make it more relevant and appealing. More on this later.
- Review your content promotion strategy: Sharing your content on the right social media platforms and relevant online communities can significantly boost its visibility and traffic potential.
Optimising your content performance
Now let’s look at some of the different strategies and tactics for improving content performance.
We’re covering a lot of bases here so we have included just some of the most effective activities. If you want to find out more, contact our team today who will be more than happy to discuss your content marketing strategy. You can also keep an eye on our blog for more tips and advice.
What are the best strategies for increasing website traffic?
We’ve mentioned some tried and tested strategies for increasing website traffic above. Here are a few different ones to consider.
Influencer collaborations: Partner with influencers or industry experts in your niche to co-create content or have them promote your content to their followers, leveraging their credibility and reach.
Long-tail keyword optimisation: 56% of buyers use search queries of three or more words, which is known as a long-tail search. Target long-tail keywords in your content to capture specific, high-intent search queries that may have less competition, driving more qualified traffic.
Content syndication: Syndicate your content on platforms like Medium, LinkedIn, or industry-specific websites to reach new audiences and gain backlinks to your site.
Quora and forum participation: Engage in relevant forums and Q&A platforms like Quora. Provide valuable answers to questions and link back to your content when it’s contextually appropriate.
Repurposing and updating: Repurpose your existing content into different formats (e.g., turning blog posts into videos or infographics) and update older content to keep it relevant and appealing to both new and returning visitors.
What are the best strategies for improving a high bounce rate?
A high bounce rate can be concerning, but there are strategies to address it. These include:
Check the content quality: Review the quality of your content to make it more engaging, informative, and relevant to your audience’s needs.
Direct the right traffic: Make sure your headings, metadata and promotional messaging are directing the right people to the content. The reader should have an accurate and realistic idea of what they are going to get after being directed to the page. Sending a false message could result in damage to the trust you are trying to build with your potential customer and no one likes having their time wasted.
Optimise user experience: Improve the overall user experience by enhancing website navigation, optimising page load times and ensuring mobile-friendliness. Check out this free page load tool to get useful insights.
Internal linking: Implement internal linking strategies to guide visitors to related content and keep them engaged on your site. Think about what stage of the buyer journey the visitor will be at and what they will need from you. For example, if they have just read an in-depth guide perhaps they would now benefit from a video case study or testimonials to build trust.
What are the best strategies for improving poor time on site?
To increase the average time visitors spend on your site, try these strategies:
Review and improve your headlines: Make sure you are crafting attention-grabbing headlines that spark visitors’ curiosity and encourage them to explore your content further.
Multimedia integration: Enhance your content by incorporating multimedia elements like videos, infographics, and interactive features to make it more engaging and bring the story to life.
Reader-friendly formatting: Format your content for optimal readability with clear subheadings, bullet points and concise paragraphs.
What are the best strategies for improving poor keyword rankings?
If, like many marketers out there, you’re facing challenges with low keyword rankings, consider these strategies:
Keyword optimisation: If you notice that your content isn’t ranking well for your target keywords, it may be time to revisit your content and ensure that your keywords are naturally integrated. This free keyword tool from Wordstream can help you discover new opportunities and check how existing search terms are performing.
Backlink building: Backlinks are great for showing search engines that you are an authoritative site that is producing and publishing useful content. They aren’t easy to come by but it is well worth trying to reach out to industry influencers or reputable websites for backlinks. Check out Moz’s domain authority checker to check potential sites. A domain authority score of about 40 to 50 is considered average, 50 to 60 is good and above is excellent.
What are the best strategies for improving low conversion rates?
If you’re grappling with low conversion rates on your website, consider these strategies:
Review your CTAs: To enhance your calls to action (CTAs), focus on clarity, compelling copy, contrasting design, strategic placement and mobile optimisation.
Optimise landing page design: Streamline your landing page design for higher conversion rates. Simplify the layout, make CTAs stand out, ensure the design looks great on all devices and include trust signals like real-life testimonials.
A/B testing and iteration: Utilise A/B testing to identify what works best for your website. Test various elements, set clear goals, run experiments, implement improvements, and continue testing for ongoing optimisation.
What are the best strategies for improving weak social media engagement?
If your social media engagement is falling short of your goals, try these strategies:
Platform customisation: Many marketers find that their content doesn’t resonate as well on certain social media platforms. If this is the case try customising your content for each platform so it meets the needs of that specific audience and the formats and content types people expect to get there.
Make sure the timing is optimal: If you notice low engagement on your social media posts, analysing your audience’s activity patterns and posting content during their most active hours may improve engagement. Think about where your reader will be consuming the content and when and choose a format that will work. For example, a lively but informative blog or video promoted at commuting time could work wonders.
What are the best strategies for improving poor email open and click-through rates?
Email marketing is a challenge. Knowing when the best time to arrive in people’s inboxes is a gamble and getting the messaging right is tough. However, there are a few things you can try to improve your open and click-through rates.
Segmentation: Segmenting your audience by demographics, purchase history, behaviour, or interests can help you send more targeted and relevant content. It might take time to get your lists in order but your efforts should be worth it.
Personalisation: If your email open and click-through rates are below par, personalising your emails by addressing recipients by name and tailoring content to their preferences and past interactions can make a significant difference. Don’t over-personalise however, as this can come across as robotic, overly familiar or downright creepy!
What are the best techniques for improving content quality and readability?
Quality and readability are vital for content performance. Here’s how you can enhance these aspects:
Professional editing: Investing in professional editing and proofreading services can help eliminate errors and improve overall clarity. A second pair of eyes is also hugely valuable for pointing out opportunities and ways to improve overall content performance.
*Pssst — Contentoo can help with professional proofing, editing, rewriting, and content creation. Get in touch if you need some support.*
Effective formatting: If you want to enhance content readability, breaking your content into digestible sections with descriptive subheadings, bullet points and numbered lists makes it more accessible to readers.
What are the best techniques for improving my content marketing strategy?
A well-structured content marketing strategy is the foundation of content performance. Here are some techniques to consider:
Document your strategy for clarity and alignment
A documented content marketing strategy is the backbone of your content performance efforts. It provides a structured framework that outlines clear objectives, target audience personas, preferred content formats, distribution channels and an editorial calendar. Here’s why it’s crucial:
- Clear objectives: Documenting your strategy forces you to define clear and measurable goals. It helps answer questions like, “What are we trying to achieve with our content?”
- Audience personas: Understanding your audience’s needs, preferences and pain points is essential and ensures your content resonates with the right people.
- Content formats: Specify the types of content that work best for your brand and audience. This could include blog posts, videos, infographics and podcasts.
- Distribution channels: Determine where your audience spends their time and tailor your content distribution strategy accordingly, whether it’s social media, email marketing, or other platforms.
- Editorial calendar: A calendar helps you plan content creation and publication, ensuring consistency and timely delivery.
Conduct regular content audits
Content audits are like health check-ups for your content strategy. They involve evaluating the performance of existing content and optimising older pieces for relevance and accuracy. Here are some of the activities they cover and why they are helpful.
Performance assessment: Analyse how each piece of content is performing in terms of traffic, engagement, conversions etc. Identify top-performing content to replicate its success.
Content gap analysis: Discover areas where your content may be lacking or not addressing your audience’s questions and needs. This insight can guide future content creation.
SEO Optimisation: Update older content to align with current SEO best practices and keyword trends to improve its visibility on search engines.
Check relevance: Ensure that your content remains up-to-date and relevant to your audience. Remove or update information that is no longer accurate and remember to redirect any content you remove to the most relevant page.
Consistency and brand alignment: Check if your content aligns with your brand’s messaging and values. Maintain a consistent brand voice and style across all content.
Need a bit more help and info (and a free template for organising URLs)? Check out ahref’s guide to content audits.
Focus on content personalisation
Personalisation is a powerful technique for tailoring your content to individual audience members or specific segments. It involves using data and insights to create content that directly addresses unique needs, interests and behaviours. Effective content personalisation strategies include:
- Audience segmentation
- Dynamic content implementation
- Recommendation engines for suggesting relevant content
- Customised email campaigns featuring recipients’ names
- Tailored product recommendations
- Content aligning with their interests and past interactions.
Encourage and build community engagement
Fostering a sense of community around your brand and content can profoundly impact your content marketing strategy. Encourage customers and supporters to create user-generated content (UGC) and showcase it on your platforms. You could also ask them to establish online forums and groups for discussions, host live events and webinars, define community guidelines and offer exclusive perks. These strategies not only boost engagement but also cultivate loyalty, trust and long-term relationships with your audience.
Tools for improving content performance
Staying ahead of the curve and making sure you have time to get all that content performance-related work done requires leveraging the right tools to optimise your content performance. Here are some of the best current tools to consider integrating into your strategy.
Who uses it: Marketers and website administrators.
How it helps: Google Analytics offers invaluable insights into your website’s performance, tracking visitor behaviour, traffic sources and engagement metrics.
Top tip: Set up conversion tracking to measure the impact of your content on specific goals, such as sign-ups or purchases.
Who uses it: SEO specialists, content creators and digital marketers.
How it helps: SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO toolkit that helps you identify keywords, track rankings, analyse competitors and optimise your content for search engines.
Top tip: Use the “Keyword Gap” tool to discover keywords your competitors rank for but you don’t then create content around those keywords.
Who uses it: Content marketers, social media managers and influencers.
How it helps: BuzzSumo helps you identify trending content in your niche, analyse social engagement and find key influencers to promote your content.
Top tip: Create content that resonates with your audience by identifying top-performing articles and analysing their shared keywords and formats.
Who uses it: Content writers, editors and bloggers.
How it helps: Grammarly is a powerful writing assistant that checks for grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, ensuring your content is error-free and professional.
Top Tip: Use the tone and style suggestions to tailor your writing to your target audience, whether it’s formal, casual, or persuasive.
Who uses it: Graphic designers, social media managers and content creators.
How it helps: Canva simplifies graphic design, allowing you to create eye-catching visuals and infographics to accompany your content.
Top Tip: Utilise Canva’s templates and design presets to maintain a consistent visual identity across your content.
Who uses it: UX designers, marketers and website owners.
How it helps: Hotjar offers heatmaps, session recordings and user surveys to understand how visitors interact with your content and identify areas for improvement.
Top Tip: Use heatmaps to see where users are clicking and scrolling the most on your content, helping you optimise layouts and calls-to-action.
These tools, when used strategically, can be game-changers in improving your content’s performance, whether you’re focused on SEO, engagement, design, or user experience. Remember to regularly evaluate and adapt your toolset and don’t be afraid to test new tools or ditch ones that aren’t working.
Now it’s your turn….
Well, that was quite a journey! We’ve covered a huge amount of information in this guide to improving content performance. We’ve looked at various tactics for optimising content for search engines and measuring engagement and retention. We’ve looked at tips and tricks for conversion optimisation, leveraging social media, implementing personalisation and segmentation in email marketing, ensuring a fast and mobile-responsive website, and crafting a well-defined content strategy — all while maintaining a continuous improvement mindset.
All these methods will help you improve your content’s performance which will not only strengthen your online presence but also help you build enduring and meaningful connections with your audience, drive growth and help give your brand a competitive edge.
There’s a lot to take on board here and potentially quite a bit of extra work (which will be more than reflected in the rewards!). Creating original, high-quality content takes time and that isn’t always possible when you have a million other things to do.
If you need extra support with producing content or assistance with your strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help.
Good luck and let us know how you get on. 🙂