If a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s around, does it make a sound? And if you produce unique, compelling content for your business but nobody reads it, does it make a difference? We’ll tell you the answer to the second question—and it’s a resounding no. For all the hype out there about the SEO benefits of content creation, the truth is that content only benefits your company if it’s engaging enough to be digested and shared by human readers.
If you’re looking over your analytic reports and you find that all that content you slaved over is failing to win the attention of readers, then—if the average person hits the page and then navigates away in under five seconds—then you’ve got a significant problem on your hands. It is not, however, an insurmountable one. Try these five troubleshooting techniques and see if they don’t turn things around.
1. Keep at It!
One of the most important components of content creation is consistency; you need to be present for your readers, showing up with new content on a regular basis. That’s a big part of what generates reader loyalty, and keeps them coming back for more. When your content isn’t getting read, then, the answer isn’t to go away but to keep plugging away at it—retooling and refining some things, perhaps, but not throwing in the towel or slackening in your content creation pace.
2. Play Around
Speaking of retooling: There’s an old saying that if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it—but what if your content is broke? What if the reason it isn’t getting read is that it just doesn’t click with readers, for whatever reason? When your content isn’t being read, you might seize the opportunity to just start playing around a bit—toying with the post length, format, topic, and voice. Keep tabs on your analytics to see if anything seems to work, or if anything just falls flat. Experiment, and track your results.
3. Change Topics
Certainly, the topic itself is a big decider in whether people read your content or take a pass. If you’re not getting readers, it may be that you just don’t have useful, actionable topics to address. See what your successful industry peers and competitors are writing about, and try to emulate them in your own content marketing endeavors.
4. Check the Format
Then again, your lack of readership may have less to do with topic and more to do with the formatting. Perhaps you’re posting too many big blocks of text, and could stand to break things up with bullet points. Perhaps your content is presented in a way that’s just not appealing—as a straightforward article rather than as a how-to guide or a tutorial. Play with the formatting of your posts and see if that sparks any additional interest.
Finally—and forgive us if we’re stating the obvious—you may be lacking readers because you’re just not sharing your content effectively. Use your social channels to get the word out about your content; post your most recent blog, for example, on different social channels on different times and different days, ensuring it’s seen by as many people as possible.