Content is king – heard that phrase before? Coined shortly after search engines came into being, it was all content publishers needed to flood the internet with as much content as they could churn out. Pushing out as much content as is possible – like casting many nets at sea – was the sure-fire way to pull in the haul (read internet traffic), or so they thought.
As it turns out, churning out content in droves was not the secret to driving engagement. For that, you’ll need a healthy dose of informative, educative, and more importantly, relevant content. To help guard your steps and help keep you within the confines of relevance, here are five warning signs that pop up when you’re producing irrelevant content.
Your content is not picking up organic steam
How much of organic engagement do your publications attract on their own? If the number edges towards the lower limit of the average traffic statistic for your niche, then you’re most likely producing content that’s inapplicable to your audience – in other words irrelevant.
It’s important that you understand just what your audience wants. When you debut content that falls outside the scope of their interest, it’s less likely to convert into clicks regardless of how superb such content checks out to be. Think about it, it makes no sense, for instance, to throw scientific articles at an audience that’s begging for a daily rundown of the gossip mill.
It fails grossly at answering any specific questions
The internet, and more especially search engines, are rife with users searching for answers to a myriad of questions. It’s no surprise that a huge bulk of Google search queries revolve around, how-tos, where-tos and what-tos. When you produce content with an intent to strike the bells of relevancy, it should ideally provide answers to the questions members of your target audience are most likely to posit.
You have visitors all right, but none of them stay for long enough
The amount of time visitors spend on your content, measurable with KPIs like bounce rates and time on page, paints a vivid picture of how relevant your content is to the viewing audience. If they spend very little time, implied from a high bounce rate, then it means you’ve failed to grab their attention. If your content is not getting their attention, then it’s by all means irrelevant to them.
Your SERP ranking is tumbling
Search engine algorithms pay keen attention to vital signals that point them to what people like to see. If people shy away from your content (indicating that it’s irrelevant to them) search engine algorithms take note. And the penalty for that is that your publications get relegated to the back burner, far off from the top of search rankings.
So next time you search for keywords you’ve blended into your content and your page fails to turn up in search engine listings reassess yourself, it could be that the material was irrelevant in the first place. And speaking about keywords;
Your keywords don’t reflect your audiences’ habits
In drumming up a viable content strategy, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of creating keywords that sound good to you as opposed those that mirror your audiences’ search patterns. For instance, a business that deals on food might assume that ‘good food’ would check out as a valid keyword when in the real sense its customers were mostly searching for things like ‘cheap food.’ Publishers who fail to incorporate keyword research as part of their content creation strategy usually make this mistake. Often, the result is irrelevant content.
It’s simply not unique
If your content appears to be a toned-down mash-up of what’s available elsewhere on the internet, then you’re merely providing your audience with what they’re already tired of seeing. Web users want something unique, a different perspective on that subject of debate, advice that goes beyond cookie-cutter, or news that’s broken first by you. When you’re are able to provide them with a relatable spectrum of any of these information sets then you’re well set up to scale through their subconscious relevance filter.
In all, the common theme that can be inferred from these signs (and their underlying causes) is that contents drummed up without putting the audience in perspective will not appeal to its target demography. If your goal is to get people hooked, try to know what they want and how they want it presented.