Improving Underperforming content

In today’s world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content and content production are vastly important to the success of your brand as well as your SEO efforts. However, just building content for the sake of doing so won’t improve your search engine rankings or visibility. Simply put, not all content is built the same. Only strong content that is designed for search engines and user intent will get the traffic and rank they’re after. In this blog we’ll discuss what underperforming content is and how to improve content so search engines can increase their rankings.

What Is Underperforming Content?

To put it plainly, underperforming content is content that fails to gain any momentum, interaction, or growth after it has been published. Some content may perform exceedingly well in its first few weeks or months of being published, but can quickly become obsolete over a short period of time. When your site has a lot of weak content it can severely hurt your search engine rankings and authority, making it much harder for people to search for your business and find it. Additionally, having too much weak content on your site can make it harder for future content to rank and for search engines to trust your authority.

What Causes My Content to Underperform?

There are many reasons for why your content may not rank on a search engine results page (SERP), but it’s best to remember that nearly 90% of all content on the internet doesn’t rank on Google at all. That being said, here’s a few reasons why some content may rank and others may not.


For example, let’s say you sell a product that is built for and meant to be used by dogs. If you consistently discuss the pointless feline attributes in your content writing, you likely aren’t going to rank very high. When writing content, be sure that what you’re writing is relevant and relatable to what you’re offering, as well as your target audience.

Plagiarism and Duplicate Content

Firstly, plagiarism is illegal, originality and truth should be staples of any content you put out. Search engines have the ability to flag content for plagiarism and stop them from showing which is why it’s wise to use plagiarism checkers such as Grammarly for help. 

Much like plagiarism, posting duplicate content can also hurt your ability to rank in the SERP. For one, search engines will have a hard time deciding which of your pieces to rank, and second, the more original your work the better it is going to be perceived.

Using Wrong Keywords

When you begin writing content in order for it to rank on a search engine, it’s best practice to always do keyword research for your topic. This not only helps keep you on track with your topic, these keywords help Google understand what this piece of content is about and people will search for it. If you avoid using keywords related to your business or offerings your content has a much lower chance of ranking. Be sure to use industry and company specific keywords in your content to be labeled a strong authority.

How Can I Improve My Content?

There are a variety of ways to improve your content in order to improve your search engine rankings. First, make sure your content is optimized for search intent. That means using copy and headlines that incorporate relevant keywords into your content. For example, if you own a business that sells lawnmowers, your content headlines should contain keywords surrounding lawn care products and lawnmowers. This tells Google and other search engines that this piece of content is focused and relevant to this business. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to over share. Google is a search engine that is constantly looking for the next best piece of content to provide its users. For instance, if you were to write a blog about cars that was only 400 words and about why you like BMW more than Mercedes Benz, you likely aren’t going to rank. However, if you were to write an 800 word blog about what specifications make one better than the other, then Google may see you as an authority and a strong resource for people deciding which car to buy. 

The Takeaway

Writing strong content for your brand doesn’t have to be a challenge. By keeping an eye out for the warning signs of underperforming content, you can quickly locate and reoptimize your content before your search engine rankings begin to fall. Also, be sure to do adequate keyword research so your content can be targeted for the appropriate audience as well as reflect your potential customer’s search intent.


-written by Jonah Ericksen