6 steps to help you decide whether to optimize your failed content

6 steps to help you decide whether to optimize your failed content

Updated on May 3, 2021

So your content fails. You’re not alone. Between the sections that have gained a clear focus, we’ve all published a few – or more than a few – that are missing.

There are a lot of tips on content optimization techniques to apply already pretty good articles. And so much more about how reuse, republish or reuse your top performing content . It’s a surefire tactic to include in your content marketing strategy, we’ve run many articles on how to do it.

This popular article from a few years ago covers how to use the data you can find in Google Analytics to decide the articles or the pages of the site are worth taking the time to improve. Michele Linn, who led the editorial team at CMI at the time, described five types of posts that take time, including ones that include:

  • High total traffic + high conversions + high search traffic
  • High total traffic + high conversions + low search traffic
  • Total high traffic + low conversions + high search traffic
  • High traffic + low conversions + low search traffic
  • Low traffic + high conversions

All five scenarios have one thing in common: at least one signal that the work resonates with your target audience. You know that it’s worth spending time optimizing these pages because the content already has at least one “high” rating. A few tweaks can result in more traffic or conversions.

But what about blog posts or articles that bring in little traffic and few conversions? Is it ever worth spending more time on content that doesn’t connect the first time?

Can you flip the # of the faulty content? Here’s how to decide if it’s worth a try, via @KMoutsos and @CMIContent @Sitecore. Click to Tweet

Should you try unsuccessfully to optimize content?

The answer is everyone’s favorite: It depends.

When you’re trying to decide what to do with a project that doesn’t go as planned, give it a tough, honest look. Put yourself in the audience’s shoes and read (or watch or listen to) the work. Then perform the following steps.


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1. Check Content Marketing Hotspot


  • Content about something really important, useful and relevant to the audience?
  • Is it about something that your organization has unique knowledge, skills, or expertise about?

If you answered no to either question , then this content is not worth optimizing. Continue.

If you answered yes to both questions , then the topic is at the heart of your content – ​​the overlap between what your audience is interested in and what your organization has the skills and expertise to educate them about. That should be enough to keep the content running for optimization. (If you need help finding your hot spot, try this exercise.)

Find the #content sweet spot – the overlap between your business’s audience and interests, @KMoutsos said via @CMIContent @Sitecore. Click to Tweet

2. Browse your own library

Before you spend more time on failed content, make sure you don’t have similar content work good. If you have something similar, you can stop evaluate here and focus on updating or optimizing the content that does the replacement.

3. Set your content skew

If you’ve decided the content is right for you and you don’t have similar content, now you need to understand why this section isn’t working. One reason could be that it plays too straight – in other words, your content lacks slant.

What is content tilt? Here is the definition from CMI Founder Joe Pulizzi:

Content inclination is the area of ​​little or no competition on the web that really gives you a fighter a chance to break through and become relevant. It’s not only what sets you apart, but it also gets you noticed by your audience. That audience rewards you with their attention.

When you just write what other people write about a topic, you’re begging to be ignored. When we ask marketers why some content “ so bad ,” one answer perfectly sums up what happens when you don’t find your content skew:

Not only has the subject been worked on, but even the angle of the shot is so familiar… I don’t need to read what’s been published 300 times. I’m not saying invent something new, just don’t share the same things 10 tips everyone is sharing. – Youness Bermime, content writer ,riterdo.com

If you suspect your content is failing because it resembles what people are publishing, see if you can reframe it with an incline. Find a gap in something competitors are writing on this topic and adapt your work to address it from a different angle. Search long tail search queries and make sure the article provides thorough answers.

If you can’t find the tilt, go back to the first step and ask if your organization is uniquely positioned to provide value on this topic. If you still think the answer is yes, keep looking for it single angle .

If your #content offers nothing more than what others have written, you’re begging to be ignored, @KMoutsos said. Answer? Find your incline (h/t @joepulizzi) via @CMIContent @Sitecore. Click to Tweet

RELATED CONTENT TO BE HAND-VIEWED: Discover the secret to successful content creation

4. Increase Visibility

Once you’ve confirmed or adjusted your inclination, address your audience’s potential challenge of finding content.

SEO plays an important role in discoverability; Now that you’ve committed to saving this section, take the time to optimize it. These resources can help:

But SEO is not everything. Your audience can find work while browsing your website, on social media, through backlinks or from your email newsletter. Try the ideas in these articles for better understanding:

5. Headline and Sign Sweat

You know that old saying: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. You probably rolled your eyes when your parents said it for the eleventh time. But it’s especially true when it comes to content. Your headline and leds are the first impression.

When content optimization underperforms on first appearance, work harder on the lede – and especially the headline. Try the tips and ideas in these articles:

6. CTA Optimization

If the content gets little traffic, then number of the torsion switch may be low. But if the ratio Of those converting from low content, you have a few things to do on your calls to action and other conversion triggers.

Start by exploring the ideas in these articles:

No sweet spot, no tilt, no use?

If you can’t find a sweet spot or an angle, do some (content) soul searching. Ask scary question Joe Pulizzi posed about what happens if your content disappears: “Did anyone miss it?”

If not, consider removing it from your site (and redirect the link to something more valuable).

That is it superfluous, obsolete, or trivial? ? Some brands experienced an increase in traffic after removing that ROT. Is old content bad for your brand? Remove it .

You have three options for #content that is redundant, outdated, or trivial. Ignore it, improve it or get rid of it. What do you do, ask @KMoutsos via @CMIContent @Sitecore. Click to Tweet

Andy Crestodina at Orbit Media has written a thorough article exploring the different perspectives on if and when to remove old content . Study it for clues on what to do with underperformers who don’t meet the “worthy” test described here.

How do you reach your less prominent content? Do you try to save them? Do you delete and redirect? Or do you save your energy for more promising prospects? Let me know in the comments section.

Want to learn how to do more with your existing content? We’ll talk about content testing and optimization at ContentTECH Summit June 8 to 10. View the agenda or Sign up today .

Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute

By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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