How often have you read a post that vaguely describes what you should do and lacks examples or the action steps needed to execute the advice?
On the other hand, have you ever read a post that has the answer to your question somewhere in it? But then there is so much unnecessary information that you can’t find what you want.
Both are equally problematic and, unfortunately, common in content marketing.
First, let’s discuss posts that lack depth. Unfortunately, there is no specific metric you can check to see if the content has depth. Though, there are a few signals that can clue you in, including:
Few to zero examples.
A significantly shorter word count than what’s ranking.
Generic tips with no actionable information.
You can also use content optimization tools like Clearscope, which shows the subheadings that commonly appear in other top-ranking posts. While I recommend that you take these keyword tools with a grain of salt (don’t try to sprinkle in all of the keywords), they can help you uncover topics you may have overlooked.
For example, if you’re writing a guide to “medical SEO,” the tool may show that the word “backlinking” is commonly used in other posts. Given that backlinking is a key element of SEO, this is a helpful insight because you’ll definitely want to create a section on that topic.
Beyond this, the best advice I can give you is to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes (ideally, you’ve already done extensive market research and talked to several customers).
Ask yourself: If they read this content, could they implement the advice given and see results?
To drive this home, let’s look at an example where the post lacked depth. This post, “13 Ways to Market Your Business Online,” is the very first post I ever updated. It was originally just 930 words long and drove between 30 and 50 monthly visits. The final product is 1,700 words. It now drives over 600 monthly visits.
Line graph of organic traffic
Affiliate marketing whatsapp number list has a simple premise. Just like Batman and Robin, vendors team up with affiliate marketers for mutual gain, making it a win-win for many business owners.
However, I didn’t just decide to make it longer to accomplish this. Instead, I added relevant, actionable advice to support my argument.
For example, in the excerpt below, you can see that I supported my argument (building a brand is important) with a quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt. I also added an actionable tip to make the tip less vague.
Excerpt of blog post that includes quote and actionable tip
Everything highlighted was added or changed when updating the post.
That said, adding more depth isn’t always the best solution, as it can make content unnecessarily long-winded.
For example, let’s say you’re writing a post on “how to change a tire.” In this case, the reader really doesn’t want a 2,000-word guide—they just want to change their tire as quickly as possible!
So instead of writing about the mechanics of changing a tire and statistics on how many people know how to change tires, just give the reader the steps they need to change the tire.
While that may be a rather obvious case, I see this all the time when I update content (especially if it’s an ultimate guide). For example, here’s the table of contents of a post I’m preparing to update: