The Most Important Actions Following a Content Audit
A content audit requires meticulous focus to determine the exact value and performance of every page on your website. This kind of assessment helps uncover which pages are providing real value, which pages are simply taking up space on your domain and which pages may even be causing damage to your SEO potential. Discovering the inherent value of each page is crucial in maximizing long-term performance, but once this is done, how should you proceed?
In our final part of content audit discussion for this week, we’ll look at the primary actions bloggers and webmasters should take once they’ve wrapped up the auditing process.
Of the four primary actions users should take following a content audit, taking no action at all is obviously the easiest. Pinging your website and its hundreds of different pages and posts should result in this verdict for a large number of them – depending on the quality and structure of the website itself. Ultimately, you should take no action if the page in question is less than a few months old (pages take time to mature and achieve their full potential) or if the page is generating a meaningful amount of traffic via organic search results.
There are some situations where individual pages may need a more human touch in terms of evaluation. Most commonly, these are older pages that are delivering traffic, but may not be ranking well or generating organic search traffic. Some obvious examples include landing pages, but other, more standard pages and posts may also fall into this category.
Redirects and Updates
As pages age, their utility sometimes shifts. This doesn’t mean that the content is inherently worthless or should be purged, but it may require some tweaking in order to preserve its utility. When older pages suddenly stop delivering traffic but still have value (primarily in the form of backlinks or useful information), redirecting and/or updating the content is the best approach. By redirecting a page using a 301 command, the link juice earned from the original instance will be saved.
Likewise, some pages may simply be losing traffic flow due to outdated information: updating this content and ensuring that it is targeting the appropriate SERPs can provide the conditions for it to recover and flourish once again.
Last but not least, the deletion of pages is sometimes necessary when a content audit discovers key problems. If you’re pinging your website with older content that isn’t delivering traffic and provides no inherent value, many auditors recommend removing the content altogether. This is usually the best strategy if no backlinks have been earned, the page is delivering no organic traffic (or traffic of any kind) and is several months or years old. If there is relevant information contained within the pages, repurposing that content in a new instance generally is the best approach.
Now that you’re aware of the primary actions to take following a content audit, you can better prepare yourself for the overall process. Whether content is to be left alone, tweaked, redirected or removed outright, making the right decision for each page and post just got a little bit easier.