Recalibrating Your Content

dataThese days, just about any company with an online presence is going to be collecting analytic data to figure out how their content is performing. The weird thing is, only about half of these companies actually put that data to use. If you’re going to spend the time and money to look up professional writers for hire, it only makes sense to feed them instructions informed by analytics, right?

To really make the most of the data that you collect demands a certain swallowing of one’s pride. Maybe that content that isn’t performing isn’t all that great. When something that we believe in just isn’t resonating with anyone, we often like to blame the public. We insist that people are just too dumb to know what’s good for them. The thing is, even if that were true, it’s not an attitude that’s winning you any sales.

In other words, data gives us something to trust in besides our own instincts. It’s easy to fall in love with your own content, especially when you’ve written it yourself, and data gives us a more objective look at it. Imagine if you could do that in every area of life, if you could watch a play-by-play of yourself talking to people at the singles bar, if you could see your driving from a distance or be your own guitar teacher, it would be a lot easier to develop your talent at these skills.

Luckily, marketing does let you have an objective third person perspective on your own output. The tricky part is knowing how to apply the lessons learned. Unlike with some skillsets, you won’t automatically get better through practice alone, you need to be consciously adjusting your efforts to fit the numbers.

The numbers don’t always tell you exactly why your content is underperforming and how to fix it, but here are some quick troubleshoots for some of the most common data problems:

  • High bounce rate. When a lot of people are clicking on your site but few of them are hanging around, chances are you’ve hooked them with a catchy headline or photograph, but you’ve lost them with the first paragraph. Maybe you teased at that “one weird trick” for a little too long without getting to the point, or you didn’t grip them emotionally. Either way, this tends to suggest a problem with landing page content.
  • Few returning visitors. This one’s easy: people get what they want from your content and they move on. Maybe they forget about your site or they just assume that you don’t have anything else to offer. Try putting a subscription button on the landing page and making it clear that you have updates on the way.
  • Low conversion rate. You’ve got great content, but nobody’s buying anything. Views aren’t worth much on their own if you’re trying to make a sale. Make sure to include a clear call to action at the end of each piece.

Can these fixes solve every problem you face in analyzing your data and improving your site’s performance? Of course not. But if you get into the habit of rewriting, readjusting and recalibrating your landing pages, you’ll eventually be able to solve any problem you might have with underperforming content.

Writer Bio: Gilbert S is a writer and artist who lives in rural New Mexico with his dog, Sir Kay, and his wife.


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