Stay with us in this article to learn how to identify ineffective content and optimize content.

Content, content, and more content! This is what SEO is all about nowadays, isn’t it? Compared to when I started SEO (2014), today content is consistently one of the most popular topics covered at digital marketing conferences, there are so many tools to focus on content analysis and optimization, and It seems to dominate SEO news in the world. But why is content dominating the world’s SEO scene? How critical is content to your SEO strategy? Most importantly: how can you be consistent with the content of your site? This post tries to help you understand the possible reasons why your content is not performing well and how to optimize your content.

Identifying ineffective content and optimizing content

Why is the role of content in SEO key?

Content is one of the most important factors in SEO. Just looking at what Google has told webmasters over the years, it’s clear that they’ve put more emphasis on content as the deciding factor.

For example, take a look at this post from August 2019 that talks about Google’s frequent updates and what webmasters should focus on: “Content Focus: Pages After an Update” They decline, they have no problem to fix. We suggest that you focus on making sure that this content is the best you can offer. This is what our algorithm seeks to find and reward.

This article continues with a list of questions that may help webmasters when they want to evaluate their content. That being said, content alone cannot and should not determine a website’s ranking, but it is a very good starting point! Also, in the digital marketing course, in addition to gaining skills in knowing useful content, which is part of the title of this course, you will get to know all digital marketing channels and expand your business with them.

What is low-yield content?

When we say low-performing content, we are talking about content, either transactional/promotional pages or editorial and article pages, that are less productive than their potential. It could be content that used to attract a good level of organic traffic and now doesn’t, or content that never managed to generate decent organic traffic despite all the efforts you put into it.

More than 90% of content does not get any traffic from Google. ninety percent! That means 9 out of 10 pages are probably not getting any traffic.

What are the reasons for creating low-yield content?

There are many reasons why your content isn’t performing well, but the hard truth is usually pretty simple; In most cases, your content just isn’t good enough and doesn’t deserve the top organic rankings.

However, in this section we will look at some common reasons for content not performing well, these reasons are in no particular order and we will highlight the most important ones from our point of view.

Your content does not match user intent

In my experience, this is a very important issue that even experienced marketers get wrong. Your content may be good and relevant to your users, but it doesn’t match the intent of Google’s SERP for focused keywords.

As SEOs, our goal should be to match user intent, which means we first need to understand what and who before we can define how. Whose intent are we targeting and what is displayed in the SERP defines our strategy to get there? For example, webmasters hope to rank for an informational keyword or navigation with a transactional page or vice versa.

Your content is not in the ideal format that Google prefers

Google may place more emphasis on a certain format that your content doesn’t conform to, so it won’t be seen as much as it should be. For example, you’re hoping to rank for a keyword-rich how-to blog post with a text-heavy task, while Google prioritizes video content.

Your content is too small to rank

It is not necessarily about content length but about relevance and comprehensiveness. Maybe this is the reason that your content is not as attractive as other sites, and as a result, Google prioritizes them more than you. For example, you hope to rank for highly competitive informational keywords with a 200-word blog post.

Your content is not up-to-date enough

If your content is highly topical and highly dependent on information that changes over time, Google will reward sites that focus their efforts on keeping content up-to-date. Apart from the search engines themselves, users also care a lot about fresh content; No one wants to read an SEO guide to optimizing low-performing content written in 2015!

A series of subjects seem to be more exposed to this problem, but in general, anything related to regulations, rules, and guidelines that change at certain time intervals falls into this category.

Your content is highly seasonal or tied to a past event or experience

If your content is about something that happened in the past, overall interest in that specific topic will decrease over time. Of course, there are some exceptions, but you get what we mean. For example, topics such as historical events or experiences or news content are included in this category.

Your technical administrators have changed the indexing status of pages

If something happens to your page that causes it to be removed from Google’s index, the most common problems can be unexpected no-index tags, canonical tags, irrelevant hreflang tags, changing page status, deleting the page with the Google search console removal tool, and more. to be, For example, after a series of SEO suggestions, your officials mistakenly placed a no-index tag on your page without realizing it.

Your page is a victim of duplication or cannibalization

If you cover a keyword with the same or similar topic on multiple pages, it may cause duplication or cannibalization, which ultimately leads to less organic visibility. For example, you create a new service page along with your previous offers, but the on-page focus is not very different or unique enough which ultimately leads to losing your reach.

Your page has been subject to JavaScript changes that make it difficult for Google to index your content

Here, we do not want to get into the technical discussions of JavaScript and we want to examine this issue in the simplest possible way. If a series of JavaScript events happen on your page and change a few on-page elements of your SEO, it may affect how Google indexes your content.

For example, think about when your site goes through a redesign process, heavy JavaScript is already happening on your browser, and it’s changing a key part of your content that Google can’t easily render. , this will be a problem for you.

Your page is no longer visible due to major changes in SERP

The SERP has seen a lot of changes over the years, meaning that many of the features that exist today did not exist before. This may cause changes in previous rankings or cause your page to fall off the first valuable page of Google. Also, don’t forget that the competition may just have gotten tougher over time and that could be the only reason your page isn’t as visible as it used to be. Some topics (jobs, flights, and hotels) have been affected more than others, where Google’s snippets and tools are reaching the top of the SERPs.

Your content has no backlinks

Without going into too much detail in this section, because it can be a whole blog post in itself, for topics that have a lot of competition, not having backlinks or having few backlinks can act as a hindrance for you. Even if the content of your page is attractive enough. This is especially true for new websites operating in a competitive environment.

For example, for a challenging domain like fashion, it’s very difficult to rank for top keywords without a good number of quality backlinks to support your transactional pages.

How to find the influencing factors on the content?

In the above section, we covered the why, now it’s time to address the how. How to identify which problems are affecting your page and content. This section is especially relevant to the audience who are not very involved in SEO.

technical issues

Google search console

You can analyze the status of your page using the URL Inspection tool, which can help you answer questions like the ones below.

Has my page been crawled? Do we allow Google to crawl our page?

Is my page indexed? Do we allow Google to index our page?

By checking the Coverage section, Google shares information about the crawlability and indexability of your page.

Pay close attention to the indexing section, where it refers to user-referred Canonical and Google-selected Canonical. If the two are different, it’s worth investigating why, because it means Google isn’t respecting the Canonical directives placed on the page.

Google Chrome extensions

I love Chrome extensions and have quite a few on my browser. A series of Chrome extensions can give you a lot of information about the indexing status of the page with a simple click, checking things like Canonical tags and Meta robot are among these tasks.

My favorite extensions to do this are:

  • Portent’s SEO Page Review
  • SEO Minion

Check JavaScript

JavaScript is very key in today’s environment because it adds a compelling interactivity to the page. By doing this, it may change a series of HTML elements that are very important for SEO. You can easily see what a page can look like without JavaScript, using the WWJD tool.

Realistically, you only need one of the following tools to check if JavaScript could be a problem for your on-page SEO:

  • Mobile friendly test
  • Rich snippet results
  • URL Inspection tool

All three tools above are very useful for troubleshooting because they show the rendered DOM resources in real time. Once you’ve done the test, click to see the rendered HTML and try checking the following:

  • Is the main part of my content visible?

A quick way to do this is to find a phrase in your content, use the search feature, or press CTRL+F to select the phrase to see if it’s present in the rendered version of the page.

  • Are internal links visible to Google?

The quickest way to figure this out is to find an internal link on the page, use the search function, or press CTRL+F on that link to see if it is present in the rendered version of the page.

  • Can Google access other key elements of the page?

Check things like titles, products, pages and their arrangement, reviews, comments, etc.

Duplication and Cannibalization problems

Use various SEO tools to gain a better understanding of the following:

  • For interesting tracked keywords, two or more ranking URLs are swapping places. This is a clear sign that search engines are confused and cannot properly decide which URL to rank for the given keyword.
  • For tracked keywords, two or more URLs appear at the same time. This is a clear signal of Duplication and Cannibalization.
  • Check your SEO status in terms of being seen by the landing page; If different URLs are ranking for very similar keywords, there’s probably a problem.
  • Do a simple on-site search for selected keywords to get a basic idea of how many pages are indexed by Google. This is a very useful exercise that can remove many of your worries.

Content optimization: How to fix low-yielding content?

We have discussed the most common problems with low-performing content and how to identify them. Now it’s time to talk about how to make it.

Below is a list of our recommended activities for optimizing low-performing content, along with a series of valuable links to other resources that can help you develop individual patterns.

Make sure your page can be properly crawled and indexed

Make sure your page doesn’t hit any of the blocked resource paths in the text.

Make sure your page doesn’t have a no-index meta robot tag or a canonical tag that points to another location.

Check if other pages with canonical tags are pointing to your original URL. Irrelevant canonical tags are ignored by Google, you can check this with the URL Inspection tool.

Make sure your site doesn’t have any non-SEO JavaScript that can change key on-page elements.

Make sure your page is linked internally and is in your XML sitemap.

Understand the intent of the search

Search intent is a wonderful topic in itself and there are many wonderful resources on the subject that you can read.

Simply put, you should always see what the SERP looks like for your topic of interest; By analyzing the SERP and all its features, you can gain a much better understanding of what search engines are looking for to match search intent.

By examining the SERP, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What content model does Google prefer in this section, transactional, navigational, or informational?
  • How competitive are the chosen keywords and how much more valid are your competitors who have high rankings for this keyword?
  • What content format is displayed by Google in SERP?
  • How comprehensive does my content need to be to have a chance of appearing on the first page of results?
  • What keywords are used in competitors’ metadata?
  • What organic features should be used to refer to my content?

Fortunately, all of the above questions give you a realistic view of your chances of ranking on the first page of Google results. Don’t be afraid to shift your focus to PPC for a series of highly competitive keywords when your chances of organic rankings aren’t high.

Map your pages against the right keywords

This is an essential step to ensure that you have a good understanding of not only the keywords you want to rank for but also the keywords you are allowed to rank for.

Don’t focus too much on this step and be realistic about your ranking opportunities; It’s not realistic to map your pages against several different keywords, each showing different SERPs and search intent.

My suggestion is to take two or three main keywords and focus on associating your content with these keywords as much as possible.


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