Does Your Website Need A Content Audit?

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on September 1, 2014
Posted Under: Search Engine Optimization

How do you know if your website needs a content audit?

Content Audit

Content Audit

Well, if your site has been on line for any length of time and has a few hindered pages or more, it is probably a good candidate for a content audit.

The purpose for a content audit on a website is to improve the overall performance, ranking, and look of the site.

It always helps to purge a website of unnecessary, unimportant, irrelevant, and low quality web pages when they can be identified.  In many instances these pages will slow down your site, provide outdated information to your visitors, and occasionally even effect your site’s ranking.

Almost all websites have pages or sections than can be deleted, updated or improved, and a content audit can identify these problem areas.

Websites with hundreds of web pages can sometimes benefit from a content audit with improved rankings.  By interlinking older content and more effectively use your link equity and internal anchor text, you can in many cases revitalize your website and improve your overall site ranking.

The first thing you need know about is where you stand with your website.  You will need to compile some data about your website, and depending on how many pages your site has, it could take some time to complete.

At the minimum you will need a complete list of all the pages of your website, the amount of visitors that each web page receives, and how many inbound links they receive.

If you are using Google Webmaster Central, you can export a spreadsheet that contains all the pages of your site with the number of inbound links.

To determine the number of visitors each page receives, you need page views.  Using Webmaster Central, select a time frame to use.  (A year to two years is a reasonable time frame) The purpose here is to identify pages for deletion or modification.

The primary factors to look at are how many links a post or page has vs. the amount of traffic that it generated over a set period of time (12 to 24 months).

Pages that generate very few page views or a minimal number of links should be either deleted or rewritten.  This is where you need to use some discretion.

Some pages may generate a lot of links but no traffic. You may want to keep these pages “as is”.  Other pages may generate large amounts of traffic, but no links or a low number of links.  These pages you will also probably want to keep.

The real decision making occurs when you have pages with zero or low links and little to no traffic being generated.  If the page is deemed important and is still relevant, you may want to keep it and rewrite or modify it.  However, if the page was important at the time but is now out dated, you may just want to delete it.

Personally, I believe in rewriting and improving existing pages in lieu of deleting them.  It takes less time to update an outdated page than it does to create a new page.  On the other hand, when a page requires a complete rewrite to update the information, it takes more time to modify it than to rewrite the entire page.

Rewriting a page also gives you an opportunity to maximize your internal anchor text and links.

If your website is on the WordPress platform, you might be interested in trying out the Scribe SEO plugin.

It provides content analysis and helps you create search engine and social media friendly content for your site.  It also provides suggestions for improving your web pages.

Although I lean towards rewriting marginal posts, there are good reasons for deleting old posts and pages.

Link equity has everything to do with deleting unproductive webpages on your site.

The concept of link equity suggests that every website has a given amount of authority, trust, and links associated with it, and that link equity can support only a certain amount of pages on each site.  On sites with an inordinate amount of unproductive web pages, link equity is diminished.

The search engines don’t have enough quality signals to support anything more than superficial web crawling on newer websites with few links and  that don’t have thousands of pages in the index.   However, websites with thousands of pages of content getting high rankings has also come to an end.

The focus should be on creating productive pages.

When you decide to delete a a web page from your site, be sure to back up your post in case you decide to change your mind or delete a post accidentally.  If a page has links on it you don’t want deleted, redirect it to another post that has a similar topic or to the home page, the archives page or the sitemap.  You do not want any 404 errors.

If you are using WordPress, the redirection plugin takes care of this problem as well as redirects.

If you decide that your website needs a content audit, you may be pleasantly surprised at the results you get when it is completed.

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