Posted at Sep 27, 2018 10:00:00 AM by Jordan Kremer | Share
Whether your site is big or small, you invest time, money and effort into website content. Month after month your content mounts with the goal of improving your search engine rankings. However, many site managers do not follow up on these content pieces and their impact on the site as a whole on a regular basis. The thought of reviewing all that content is definitely tedious, but could pay big dividends in your site's performance.
If you find yourself reaching for more topics your team can to write about, that may be a good sign to consider addressing what is already created on your site. Remember that great quality content is much better than quantity. This is where the addition of a content and blog auditing plan should be part of an ongoing SEO strategy.
Here are some of the main components to audit on older blogs:
1.) Traffic To The Page - Using Google Analytics, the first item you should review is if the page is receiving any landing page traffic. The purpose of selecting landing page traffic is that it forces us to review if the page is making any headway in search engines, is being promoted in social media or has backlinks directing referral traffic as opposed to pageviews where they could navigate to the page through internal links. If the landing page number is relatively low, it's likely that the page is not appealing enough. I would also suggest to look for traffic within the last year as some pages can be trending down or have not received traffic in months.
2.) Indexed & Submitted In Sitemap - If you are not receiving much organic traffic to the page, the next step would be to check your search consoles on Google & Bing. These platforms can provide insights into whether or not your page is actually indexed in particular search engines as well as if the page has been submitted in a xml sitemap. If you are not seeing the page as indexed, check with your site manager that the page is not tagged with noidex and then request that the page gets indexed in the platforms.
3.) Backlinks - links from other websites to the page in question is also a tell tell sign of whether or not a page is providing value to your site. Using a tool like MOZ or ahrefs can tell you how many links are coming to that page. Backlinks are an important part of SEO, if you are receiving links to a particular page it's important that you conserve those links with whichever strategy you chose.
4.) Ranking Keywords - Going hand and hand with backlinks, ranking keywords can be found through tools like MOZ and SEMrush. Locate the ranking keywords and determine if this was the featured keyword you were attempting to rank for. Are there additional latent keywords or synonyms that could be added into the page? If no keywords are ranking, you are also able to view the ranking pages for that keyword and their backlinks acquired with MOZ and SEMrush. Learn more about improving keyword rankings.
6.) Internal Links - How many internal links come to the page? Using a tool like screaming frog or site bulb, you can assess the amount of pages that are pointing to your post. Typically, the most important pages of your site should have the most links pointing to it. This also supports the usage of topic clusters to promote the most helpful content. Learn more about inbound and topic clusters.
Once you have vetted these pages, use the components found as a health check. For example, you can assign a score to each component to find an average when all pages have been vetted. Once an average has been set, chose the lowest hanging fruit or most detrimental pages to address first.
There are multiple options available when addressing old or unuseful content, but each page should be considered for each option to achieve the best performance. Be sure to remember once again that quality content is better than quantity. Here are the main three options:
No Indexing Content - This option is recommended when the content of the page is not valuable to the site, it does not have above average traffic and does not have ranking keywords or backlinks. Remember to make note of these pages as potential blogs to rewrite in the future.
Content Remixing - As the most ideal option, content remixing includes restructuring, updating or adding more content to a page that may have performed well at one point. This also includes ranking keywords and backlinks to the page. Remixing could also include turning content into videos, campaigns and more.
301 Redirects - Redirecting a page can be used when content may be out of date or irrelevant. Creating redirects to more relevant or newer pages can preserve backlinks, but will be a bit less ideal than remixing the content as search engines will need to follow a redirect as well as reassess the new page for keywords.
All options have a part in the process and should be considered, but there is unfortunately no silver bullet.