We all understand the importance of website content.
This Forbes article from 2021 recommends hiring marketers 25% to 30% of their budgets for content marketing.
While this number can change for different industries or countries, it is a good part of the overall budget.
You can also measure interest in content creation and marketing by the number of articles, ads, and posts related to content creation and marketing services that you see online.
It all sounds great, but I’ve heard some companies are considering trimming their budget allocations for 2023 due to lower-than-expected performance.
I’d like to examine why content isn’t performing – and why it happens in some countries, but not others.
What is the quality of the content?
All website owners believe they have quality content on their sites.
But when you set aside a quarter of your marketing budget, it better be great.
in the Google search center, Google employees wrote,
“Google’s mission is to organize information around the world, we want to direct Google users to high-quality content, a principle embodied in our quality assessment guidelines.
Professional publishers provide the largest share of high-quality content that benefits users, and we want to encourage their success.”
When SEO professionals hear “quality content,” they think of “eat” and focus primarily on that. But John Mueller of Google has been involved in defining content quality that includes EAT and goes beyond this single concept.
The more popular a content topic is, the more content there is on the same topic on the web.
When you think you have quality content written by an industry professional, but its performance doesn’t meet your expectations, you may need to re-examine your content creation approach and strategy.
Why can’t anyone find my content?
In terms of search engine optimization (SEO), good content must be found by ranking well in search results.
If your content is not bringing in any organic traffic, it may simply not be visible in the search results; It does not rank highly for relevant search queries.
Your content may be very general in terms of the information it contains.
You may think it’s good content, but if there are 10 other pages with more content or different information, your page may not rank in the top 10. Google may think that people are looking for certain types of information when they use certain queries, which is different from what you are providing.
If your content is different from what Google shows at the top of the search results, the chance of your page appearing in the search results is reduced.
Have you checked what appears in the search results to see if the topic of your content fits well there?
For example, when I searched for “wooden spoon,” the search results were full of shopping sites and pictures. When I searched for “tiling,” I found tiling definition, how-to guides, and videos in the search results.
Search results for “ceramic” included pages with definitions and general content for the “what is” type.
If your great article doesn’t have the right elements or fit the searcher’s context, it may never get seen.
Search results vary
Remember that search result profiles may vary from country to country.
If your content is performing well in one country but not another, this could be the reason. This is why it is so important to review the search engine results pages (SERPs) for different queries in each target market.
In the example below of a specific Dewalt tool model, multiple listings of the brand appear in search results in Australia, which can lead to increased traffic and sales.
The same UK query returns a very different set of search results.
After blocking ads, there are a bunch of videos reviewing the tool, and People Ask follows suit as well. The brand page for this product is located below the fold.
In this case, reports may indicate that UK product content is not performing well.
Especially in the UK, a brand may want to create videos and ensure they answer questions people have about their products.
By the way, good content does not rank well in and of itself.
Google and all major search engines use many ranking factors besides text. The general state of the site, including page speed, user experience, and other content, such as images and videos, affects overall performance.
Also, page loading speed may be very different from country to country.
Ensure that your site’s user experience is good in all target countries and loads quickly, providing valuable user experience.
Who is the audience?
Since you are creating content with the hope of bringing more traffic, conversions, and revenue to your site, keeping your target audience in mind is essential. If your content doesn’t resonate with your audience, it won’t convert, even when it ranks first in search results.
I often see website owners want to go after keywords with high search volume or decide to add certain content because it matches what their competitors have on their websites.
Unless you only want traffic from absolutely anyone, this may not be the right approach to creating your content.
In terms of content quality, it should be relevant to your business and target audience.
Pay attention to the different markets
Certain content on your site may perform poorly in one country, compared to others, due to differing audience interests across markets.
Find local interests in any given market, edit the local page, or add additional information to the main content that will connect with the local audience.
Every market is different, with some consumers needing more specifications and information before they’re ready to buy.
What is the content goal (conversion)?
When you allocate 25-30% of your marketing budget, content needs to convert and reach your business goals, or your content budget may shrink in the next year.
The big question with underperforming content is whether it was actually designed to deliver the expected conversions.
Depending on companies and websites, different conversion metrics change.
Sales are often the first goal for an e-commerce website, while the goal for a nonprofit website is usually to increase public awareness, which leads to increased membership or donations.
If you run a DIY store website, you’ll want your flooring tools page to show up in your search results for “floor scrapers.” If you run an art site, you’ll want the “Floor Scrapers” painting by Gustave Caillebotte to appear in your search results.
The content on these sites should never be the same.
Global mindset, global goals
Due to some commercial reasons, your company may have different goals for some target countries. If this is the case, you must consider multiple conversion points and streams when creating content.
As you prepare for 2023, I strongly suggest you evaluate your content for each market through the global lens I outlined above.
As budgets get tight and every dollar counts, it will be necessary to ensure readers are engaged with existing and new content, but so should contacting Google.
Eliminating ambiguity and providing context within your content is critical to future success, as is the case with the floor scraper example.
If you’re just pumping out text written by experts, you might be missing out on important opportunities that require videos, photos, or something as simple as answering an audience question.
Google is radically changing the search results system to better communicate with the searcher by offering content options that match the purpose of the query, offered by websites that load quickly and provide the user with a great experience.
- How do I build a global site with country-specific content?
- International Content Marketing: How to Create a Global Strategy
- Content Marketing: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to What Works
Featured image: ESB Professional / Shutterstock