You’ve put together a website with interactive content, videos, and informative blog posts. Your team has spent countless hours selecting and researching topics, performing keyword research, and promoting content to selected audiences. Your search engine rankings have been steadily increasing, but you’d like to rank even higher.
Getting your content to the top of the search engine results is what SEO is all about. Your site gains more organic traffic when your blog posts, videos, and web pages rank higher. And additional exposure means many more opportunities to convert leads into sales or readers into customers.
However, maximizing your content’s search engine rankings doesn’t stop once you’ve published it. Making improvements is something you can do as your site gains traction and you look to expand its substance. It all starts with examining what you’ve already got on your site and what you can add to it. Here are some ways to analyze your onsite content to help it rank better.
1. Start With the Numbers
You won’t know where your opportunities are unless you’ve got the data on your existing content’s performance. Most content management systems have customizable dashboards that break down organic versus paid traffic and click-through rates. Traffic data will reveal what search terms and keywords drove visitors to your pages. Click-through and bounce rates can show whether a piece of content is converting or is irrelevant to the audience’s search intent.
A more sophisticated content audit tool has the power to expose what’s known as “unrealized value.” This is the content’s current value subtracted from its potential value. Typically, tools measure value according to traffic or volume estimates for a keyword or topic. Apps also factor in an additional metric for paid traffic, such as cost per click. This is what it costs you to gain a single visitor to your site from a paid listing or ad.
Say you have a blog post about fiber internet that you regularly boost on social media. The post is currently ranked number nine in the search engine results. Based on the search terms “fiber internet benefits” and “how fiber internet works,” the blog post still has unrealized value. You could reduce the post’s cost per click by optimizing it for traffic associated with those terms.
2. Survey Your Audience
You’ve probably got a loyal following if your content has been out there for a while. You may have an email list of visitors who’ve signed up to receive alerts about new blog posts. Perhaps you have a digital newsletter with a list of subscribers. You might also have online video channels and social media accounts with subscribed audiences.
Those already engaging with your content are a potential gold mine of information and feedback. This data might be more subjective, but it can reveal things the numbers can’t. Reader comments and other forms of feedback may also supplement or explain what you’re seeing in your metrics.
Email surveys, interactive polls, discussion threads, and surveys at the end of posts are ways to gather your audience’s opinions. Find what they like and don’t like about different content on your site. Your visitors will probably be more than happy to tell you that they want to see more about a topic. They might suggest subjects you haven’t thought about and provide insights on how to make your onsite content more engaging.
3. Look for Duplication
Duplicate content doesn’t hurt your site’s overall search engine ranking. However, duplicate or identical content across a site can become less visible. Major search engines won’t drop your site’s ranking for multiple copies of the same content, yet only one of those pages will rank. The others won’t show up in the search engine results or rankings.
If you want those other pieces of content to reach an audience, you’ll need to revise or tweak them. Let’s say a company has a network of over 40 store locations. Part of the business’s website contains pages for each store so customers can verify hours and addresses. Another purpose for creating those pages is to reach smaller geotargeted audiences who live near the stores.
Using identical templates and copy across all the store pages can create problems from an SEO perspective. Mixing up the designs and content for each location helps ensure all pages have the best possible chance of ranking. Adding unique photos of each store and information that’s specific to each location can prevent or fix identical content. This tactic also applies to product descriptions for similar items or duplicate pillar content that was previously overlooked.
4. Examine Your Competitors’ Content
Thorough content analysis should also include scoping out your competition. You can use tools to see how your rivals’ content is ranking and what keywords and topics they’re targeting. Once you know what topics and keywords competitors are ranking for, visit those site pages and blogs.
Is there something you can expand on and write about from a unique perspective? Maybe there’s a gap in the topic the competition isn’t addressing. Also, take note of what type of content they’ve got. Is it mostly blog posts and videos? Or do they also produce podcasts, host webinars, and write gated reports and white papers?
By comparing what you’re doing to the competition, you’ll get a sense of their content strategy. There might be a smaller or niche audience segment you can target that others aren’t. Engagement with another site’s topics might signal the potential for further development or a fresh take on your end. While you don’t want to copy the competition, examining their content can spark ideas and expose strategic opportunities.
Winning the SEO Battle
Creating online content can attract your target audience, educate them about your offerings, and build your brand. But without solid search engine rankings, your content becomes less visible and harder for people to find.
Auditing your site’s pages and posts helps identify ways to improve your SEO and boost your rankings. By analyzing metrics, gathering audience feedback, and examining duplicate and competitor content, you can arm yourself for success in the SEO fight.