Underperforming website content can be a real frustration. For example, it’s easy for content to get bloated, and outdated, or for it to stop performing altogether. Sometimes it’s more difficult to relate to your audience than expected. You want more market share for a specific product or service. There’s an opportunity to perform better but you’re unsure where to begin. To get all benefits of a well-performing webpage, it will require some investigation. This means that there are a lot of questions to answer. (Use the checklist provided below.) Ready to put in the work?
What are the goals of your webpage? This is the first and most basic question to ask. These goals will look different based on the needs analysis you have prepared. The bullets below provide a look at the most common goals that clients have.
- Achieve Better Search Rankings | SEO
- Get More Traffic | New Leads
- Create Stronger Brand Awareness | Loyalty
- Gain More Conversions | Inquiries & Sales
Here are the questions to check regarding each page or content cluster:
What are your competitors doing differently?
When did the page performance take a turn?
Is the page on your sitemap?
Is the page slow to load or hard to navigate?
Are pages outdated or no longer relevant?
Are they overlapping with material/duplicate content?
Do they provide enough detail/word count?
Are the pages bouncing?
Is the page specific to one service or product?
Is the On-Page SEO buttoned up?
Could keyword gap analysis be helpful?
Is the length of the page sufficient?
Are the pages aligned with user intent?
Are your pages authored or interviewed by an expert?
Are the referring domains to this page authoritative?
Is there a clear call to action?
Is the page difficult to find or use on mobile?
Is there a technical error or Google Manual Action?
Does the website have duplicate/similar content?
Are pages supported with links, social mentions, and multi-media assets?
That’s a big list! You may need to build a digital team to do the job.
There are ways to improve underperforming web pages. In addition to the checklist, it’s also important to understand the goals of the client, the readers, and the searchers. Not for the entire website, but for each page in a topic cluster. This is called the “user’s intent.” It addresses who your website page is designed to attract and what questions it will answer. (Google places a big focus on this area, and so shouldn’t you!) Invest some time into identifying the root cause of motivation so that the content of your page aligns well with it.
Some pages never perform. Others that were published long ago can drop in ratings over time. Yet, other pages on your website can actually remain relevant for years. (This is because older pages can build links and visibility over time.) Quality pages aren’t determined by the date they were published. And, although a page may not be providing enough conversations, it may still be a quality page. This is because some web pages are great for search rankings, others for paid lead generation, and others make better branding pages. Therefore, don’t eliminate or make major changes to a page until a thorough review is done regarding the purpose of each page.
When you have covered the checkboxes, prioritized, reviewed, and tried all the technical SEO tricks in the book… take a break. Then view Google’s “Quality Raters Guidelines.” This will explain more about what Google looks for in a web page and how to improve E.E.A.T. (Experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.) Sometimes it makes more sense to start from scratch with a new website build. In any case, these tasks require a team.
If you need more help, hire a professional to help achieve your goals.