With every site it recommended that at least once a quarter you audit your content, on bigger sites this can become a continuous task due to the amount of content but it is worth the time investment.
Table of Contents
When we are auditing we are looking for poorly performing pages and how we can optimise the content to improve upon these pages. In doing so you can begin to create a better funnel for your readers to go through your website. If you think of the amount of traffic you get as a bucket, poorly performing pages are leaks in this bucket that we want to fix.
Using Google Analytics To Optimize Poorly Performing Content
Log into your google analytics and go down to behaviours and look at all pages. From here you want to start to have a look at the data from your site from the past 3 months or so.
Look for poorly performing pages, my general criteria for this is:
- Pages with a low amount of page views
- A low average time on page
- A high bounce rate
- High percentage exit
From here create an excel spreadsheet with the data from analytics for all (or the x amount when working with big sites) of the poorly performing pages. These will be the pages that we will be trying to improve upon in the next section.
Checklist for SEO Optimized Content
From here we’re going to review the content as it is currently to how close to an ideal piece of content we are. To do this I recommend by starting a spreadsheet which contains the column headings:
- Internal links
- External links
- Expand content (Y/N)
- Cannibalize content (Y/N)
- Cannibalize URL
So you should end up with a spreadsheet like the image above.
What you are going to do to start with is get the pages which are poorly and in the current row insert the page details so how many H1s there are how many pieces of embeddable media are on the page and so on.
From here you are going to look for gaps, so if for example you have no H2s then in the planned put how many you think the article should have. If the bounce rate is high from the page you may want to consider if there are enough relevant internal links. If you think the content looks thin put Y in the expand content column (I don’t like to assign word amounts as your content should be written for the user not for word count). The last two columns I will explain in a minute.
Essentially if you break down the page usually you will find at least one area that you can improve upon, even if it’s just general formatting this may improve your time on page or if you have no images on the page and add in 3 to space out the content this may reduce your bounce rate.
Make these changes and evaluate the change in data over the next few months, remember you need to take into account some things are seasonal so if you were looking at data for Christmas trees from November through to December then it’s not comparable to data from January through to March.
Cannibalize Content The Right Way
So as I mentioned earlier the last two columns are related to cannibalizing your content which is something which most SEOs will consider a strange suggestion.
But when I say cannibalizing I mean if you don’t think there is a way to improve upon the content or you can’t add in any more words as it is a small topic for example. Then is may be wise to just add the content into another related post, in doing so you are creating a longer, more thorough article while removing an under performing article at the same time.
This won’t always work out better so make sure you continue to check your analytics data but usually when done correctly, this can make an average article into a great one by merging the two related posts into one. When doing so don’t forget to 301 the old URL to the new one.
An example of this was on this site we had a social signals lesson as well as a trust signals lesson, in the end we decided to cannibalize the social signals lesson into the trust signals lesson. In doing so we created one bit of content which was more detailed and thorough opposed to having two relatively thin content pieces.
That is the end of our intermediate to advanced on-page SEO chapter and in our next chapter we will look at how to rank local SEO clients.
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