Is Your Old Content Ready for Retirement?
Once websites have been around for a while and reach a certain size, it’s easy to lose track of what digital content exists on a site. Outdated blogs, stale product pages, descriptions of services the company no longer offers, or a bio page for an employee who left the company two years ago won’t add any value to a website.
A content audit can help you identify which webpages are engaging website visitors, whether other websites are linking to your content, and whether any webpages are ready for the virtual waste bin.
The first step in performing a content audit is to put every URL on your website into a spreadsheet. (SEMRush Content Audit and Ahrefs are two tools you can use to quickly make a sitemap/report).
The next step is deciding what metrics you want to measure. Generally, looking at just a few metrics – whether people currently visit a page (pageviews) and whether anyone links to the page, for example – will give you enough information to decide if a page has value. Many reporting tools available online can produce reports on specific metrics, and pageview information is also available in your Google Analytics account (if you have one, and if it’s set up correctly).
Pages that are getting traffic but have a high bounce rate might be worth keeping – sometimes, people bounce because they found the phone number they were looking for, called, and left the website.
Sometimes a high bounce rate means a page isn’t providing what the user is looking for or there is no message that prompts them to take further action (such as downloading a document, filling out a form, or calling.)
Content Evaluation Tools
Experiment with different analytical tools, such as:
- Google PageSpeed Insights – This Google feature works in conjunction with Lighthouse, an open-source software, to analyze a webpage’s performance and create recommendations for optimizing/improving a page.
- Backlinks analyzers – Several backlinks analyzers are available online that can show you other domains linking to your site, and how your competitors’ backlinks compare to your own.
- Yoast – If you have a WordPress site, the Yoast plug-in can help you determine how readable your content is, and whether it’s optimized for search engines.
Remember the Pareto Principle
According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. That principle is usually fairly accurate in describing business observations, such as:
- 80% of purchases come from 20% of customers
- 80% of productivity comes from 20% of employees
- 80% of conversions come from 20% of webpages
As you review your content, don’t be alarmed if many of your webpages have low engagement. If 20% of your pages are performing well and helping you achieve goals, you’re on the right track. And remember that Google is more interested in the value of your content, not the quantity. If you leave too many pages on your site that hold no value for visitors, your search rankings could plummet.
Get Outside Help
Don’t have the time or resources to conduct your own content audit? BoxCrush has developed a process for evaluating the worth of a page.
Our team can perform a content audit for you and tell you which pages are worth keeping, which pages could benefit from fresh content, and which ones to retire.