Will Your Content Succeed? One Company Says It Can Tell You

Sep 10, 2014

Article ImageContent creators--especially content marketers--are often complaining about the effectiveness of their content. An IMN study showed that "46% of respondents feel that their content is OK, but leaves room for improvement to position their company as an industry thought leader." But research from InboundWriter looked deeper into what makes content successful or not--and then put that into action.

In the fall of 2013 InboundWriter released research that suggested only 20% of a site's online content drives 90% of its web traffic. So the company "set out to investigate why such a large percentage of content performs poorly online" according to a press release.

"In its latest research effort, InboundWriter explored many factors across hundreds of thousands of search queries, categorized millions of web sites producing organic results, and then tested the actual organic traffic data sets of 50+ customer web sites. As a result, InboundWriter found that the interplay of two elements made a dramatic impact on content performance: (1) the domain where content will be published, and (2) the article topic."

With that in mind, it set about revamping its platform to "focus entirely on topic research and ideation." Released on September 9, Skip Besthoff, CEO, InboundWriter says his company gives users "the ability to not operate in the dark." By taking a "topic centric" approach instead of a "keyword centric" approach-with the help of its predictive analytics capabilities-you can improve the performance of your content.

Put in the simplest of terms, a user can put her topic ideas into the program and it will use a variety of factors to score those ideas. It uses the popularity of the topic--"which is determined based on the aggregation of the popularity of all search query terms associated with this topic"--as one of its main predictive factors, but also includes content type (e.g. video vs. text), your competition in that area, uniqueness on your site, and your authority on the subject matter. And if your topic doesn't score high, InboundWriter will suggest alternatives.

For example, if you want to write an article about the new Tesla but analytics tell you it will be a dud, InboundWriter might suggest "new cheap electric cars" as a topic that is more likely to succeed. The new tool has already been deployed to a select group of users, and has found InboundWriter-influenced content performs in top 50% of content produced on the site.

Besthoff puts it like this: Other analytics platforms might tell you whether BBQ, Bar-B-Q, or barbecue is the best keyword to use, but "What we're answering is the higher-level question, should I be writing about barbecue at all?"

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)