In a surprising turn of events, a recent case study revealed that deleting 74% of a website's pages resulted in an 80% increase in organic traffic. This counterintuitive strategy, known as content pruning or content audit, is a method of removing underperforming, low-quality pages to improve the overall health of a website. This blog post will delve into the exact process and provide a template to achieve similar results.
Content audit, in its simplest form, is a method of eliminating underperforming, low-quality pages to enhance the overall health of a website. It's based on the principle that flooding a website with low-quality pages does more harm than good. The goal is to improve the website by consolidating content, maintaining link equity, and growing the site in a chosen niche.
Content audit comes with its own set of challenges. The primary challenge is deciding which pages to delete, especially those that don't get organic traffic but still attract a significant level of traffic from other sources. Another challenge is the widespread content that, if deleted, would leave the website with very few pages.
Decision making in content audit involves four actions: deleting pages, using a 301 redirect and consolidating with other content, updating the page, or leaving it as is. These decisions should be based on several factors, including the age of the page, its relevance to the business, the targeted keyword's search volume, the page's traffic, and the number of external backlinks pointing to it.
There are several common scenarios in content audit. For instance, if a page has little to no traffic, zero backlinks, and isn't a core topic related to the , it's probably worth deleting. If a page has good backlinks but does not have a meaningful level of traffic, it should be consolidated with another relevant page. If a page gets a meaningful level of traffic and is related to a core topic in the business, it should be left as is or updated.
Automating the content audit process can save significant time and effort. This involves importing site map URLs, exporting Google Analytics data, and importing links data. A template can be used to automate a large portion of the process, providing a comprehensive overview of site map URLs, traffic stats, links stats, and suggested actions.
Content audit is a powerful strategy for improving the overall health of a website and boosting organic traffic. By carefully considering various factors and making informed decisions, it's possible to significantly enhance a website's performance. Automation can further streamline the process, making content audit a viable strategy for websites of all sizes.
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