Do you have a feeling that content marketing is working for everyone else but yourself?
There might be something wrong with your approach.
In this article, I’m going to go through the top 7 reasons why content marketing isn’t working for you and how to fix it.
1. Your content isn’t relevant enough
Relevant content is useful and it solves specific problems for targeted audiences.
When you create content on broad keywords and try to reach wide audiences, relevance tends to suffer.
Go broad and wide enough and the relevance gets diluted so much that content becomes relevant to no one.
Your content might even be sound, but your competitors are edging you out simply by creating a bit more relevant content to what searchers are looking for.
For example, you might create an article titled “best headphones for PC” but your competitor creates an article like “best noise cancelling headphones under $100” and beats you in the relevance game.
Can you see the difference in relevance?
Sure, the latter example caters to a smaller audience but it’s super-relevant to them while your article caters to a wider audience but it loses relevance, which isn’t a good trade-off.
Fix: Create more targeted content
Create the most useful content possible on long-tail keywords that targets smaller audiences and gives them all the information they need on topics you cover.
Actually converting potential visitors into customers is the name of the game.
And long-tail keyword content is the clear winner when it comes to conversions.
If you want to learn how to create relevant content, check out my article on the topic.
2. Your content isn’t comprehensive enough
Creating comprehensive content means covering topics from all relevant angles and providing the audience with everything they need to know on the subject.
There’s a catch, though.
Google’s algorithm also has an idea of what the “appropriate amount of content” for a subject should be.
This means there’s such a thing as articles that are just too long.
Not every subject warrants a 10,000-word article nor will overly long articles necessarily get you to the top of the SERPs.
To find out if your content is “too long” or “too short,” open all the first page results and see what kind of content is already doing well.
Fix for creating new articles: The Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper Technique means creating content that will tower over your competition when it comes to usefulness, relevance, and comprehensiveness.
For more info on this, check out this video from Brian Dean, the guy who coined the term Skyscraper Technique.
Fix for old content that’s not comprehensive enough: Combine multiple related articles into one
If your blog is full of short 300-500-word blog posts like bloggers used to crank out on a daily basis back in the day, don’t worry.
You can save your hard work by combining relevant posts into more comprehensive pieces.
You can even use 301 redirects and pass the link equity from old posts to the newly formed comprehensive post.
Fix for content that’s too long: Remove all the fluff and keep only the truly useful parts
This one comes down to common sense.
You need to be as objective as possible and decide which parts of your bloated content must go.
It doesn’t mean you have to strip down everything that makes your content fun and different.
Just remove the truly unnecessary parts and consider shortening the content by:
- Linking to another relevant post instead of adding 500 words to describe concepts that don’t need to be described
- Adding relevant videos and images that convey the same points
3. You’re impatient
It’s hard for new marketers to create content day in, day out and not see results for 8-12 months.
Because that’s how long it typically takes content from new and unproven domains to reach its peak placement on Google. https://tomislavhorvat.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-rank-on-google/
The same goes for Youtube channels.
It takes a long time for the search engines to test new content out and decide where to place it.
Fix: A blind trust in the process and picking topics that are interesting to you so that the necessary grind feels less like work and more like play
If your content is only a few weeks or even months old, don’t worry and keep creating more of it.
The one thing you should check is if Google is crawling AND indexing your content.
Because Google may not index your content after crawling it if the algorithm thinks the content is so bad that it’s not even worth indexing.
You can check this by opening the Google Search Console and inspecting the URLs of your articles.
Keep in mind that it might take Google days or even a week or two to index your newly published content so don’t panic if it’s not there immediately.
4. You’re not publishing high-quality content consistently
It’s no longer enough to just publish content no matter what.
Search engines now pay attention to publishing consistency too.
All other things being equal, the domain that publishes high-quality content consistently will curb stomp their competition that doesn’t.
Consistency doesn’t mean publishing “as frequently as possible,” by the way.
What does “publishing high-quality content consistently” mean?
It means publishing content that’s of high quality EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
Regardless of if you’re publishing the content daily, weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly.
Of course, you won’t hit a home run every time.
But you have to at least attempt to.
Important note: it’s also a good idea to publish high-quality content frequently.
There are studies out there that suggest more bloggers who publish the content daily report “strong results” from their blogging activity than the bloggers who publish less frequently.
Fix: flesh out a content marketing strategy
If you’re failing to publish high-quality content consistently, odds are you would benefit from more structure in your workflow.
Work out a system that will help you get quality results more consistently.
This means improving your keyword research, search intent research, content structure, writing, filming, editing, etc.
5. You’re not creating content with search intent in mind
I’m not just talking about optimizing content around the traditional search intent even though you should be doing that as well.
I’m talking about the advanced search intent that revolves around the “searcher-problem-solution” dynamic.
Let me elaborate.
According to this advanced search intent classification, there are 4 categories of searches:
- Problem Aware Searches – searchers recognize they have a problem and your job is to let them know there’s a solution
- Solution Aware Searches – searchers are aware of the solution and your job is to show them how ‘your’ solution can help them
- Product Aware Searches – searchers are aware of ‘your’ solution and your job is to show them why ‘your’ solution is the best for them
- Ready-to-purchase Searches – searchers are convinced ‘your’ solution is right for them and they want to purchase it so your job is to provide them with the necessary purchasing information
If you’re selling products/services or recommending someone else’s products/services through affiliate marketing, it’s a good idea to produce content covering each of these categories.
Otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.
Fix: Perform a content audit and map the results by categories discussed in this section
You might end up with a result that looks something like this:
If every dot represents a single piece of content that belongs to its respective category, a result like this would suggest that you’re lacking content in the “solution aware” category.
The next step for you would be creating more content in this category and fixing your vulnerability.
6. Your monetization is off
Let’s face it, everyone wants to monetize their content so they can potentially do more of what they like.
Succeeding with content marketing isn’t just getting traffic to your website.
It’s also making money off of it.
If you have thousands or even tens of thousands of visitors per month but you’re not making any money besides a few bucks from AdSense, you have a problem.
That’s a great problem to have, by the way.
Because getting traffic is the hard part.
Important: I’m not going to talk about monetization efforts like affiliate marketing, email marketing, premium ad networks, selling digital goods and services, etc.
I will only talk about monetizing your content by optimizing it to make more sales and leads.
Fix: Optimize content around transactional search intent
Transactional search intent is to make the purchase.
In other words, users are at the final step of the buyer’s journey and they’re ready to make the purchase.
Your job is to create content that facilitates this intent and helps users to get what they want.
This means creating content that:
- Is neatly designed
- Has clear and transparent CTA’s
- Has a compelling and targeted copy
- Puts visuals to work
When it comes to transactional content, it’s a good idea to A/B test a lot and go through as many iterations as necessary to discover true winners that convert well.
I go more in-depth on how to optimize content around transactional search intent in this article so feel free to check it out.
7. Your content has SEO issues
Content marketing relies heavily on search engines and organic traffic.
In fact, that’s why successful content marketing efforts cost less than paid traffic in the long run.
To make sure that search engines like your content, you have to play by their rules.
Luckily, the need to pander to the search engines is becoming less and less important as they become more sophisticated.
For example, Google’s algorithm is getting very close to reading and interpreting content as if a human would.
That’s why artificially stuffing keywords into your content and creating unnaturally keyword-dense content isn’t just less important but such tactics might even get you in trouble.
Writing naturally and creating high-quality content is much more important than how many times you use a certain keyword in your article.
Having said that, SEO is still very important and should not be ignored.
Fix: The 80:20 rule
I’m a big fan of the 80:20 approach to SEO.
Basically, do the basics and accomplish 80% of the results by doing 20% of the work.
Basic SEO things to pay attention to are:
- Main keyword in title and meta description
- Proper header tags in articles to mark the content hierarchy
- Mobile-friendly website
- User-friendly experience, avoid clutter
- Interlink your content
- Build backlinks
- Link to high authority content
- Use relevant images and videos in your content
It’s not the end of the world if you’ve made mistakes with your content marketing efforts.
Everything is fixable, but it will require time and dedication to learn how to recognize and fix the issues.
I hope this article sheds some light on the top reasons why content marketing isn’t working for you and gave you some ideas on how to fix things.
Are you making one or more mistakes from this list?
Let me know in the comments or send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll do my best to help.