One common mistake when it comes to developing and publishing content on a site is never touching it again. Having a content revitalization strategy to ensure content is relevant is just as (if not more) important than adding new content to drive organic traffic.
If it’s been a while since older posts on your site have been updated, it may be time to conduct a content audit.
I’ve followed this process with several SEO clients and it yielded impressive results. One client in the employment industry saw a 40% lift in organic traffic and a 131% increase in goal completions in nine months. A client in the education space saw a 42% lift in overall organic traffic and 40% increase in goal completions over three-and-a-half months after following the steps below and implementing changes based on the findings.
Here’s how you need to review your content:
1. Create a list of all URLs into a spreadsheet (you can pull this from the sitemap).
2. Use Google Analytics to determine how many sessions each page had over the past six months (or longer depending on how much traffic comes to your site). Also, check how many backlinks each post has. This process will take quite a bit of time depending on the amount of content on your site, but posts that have no backlinks and aren’t generating traffic likely need to be revised to provide SEO value.
3. Identify pages with “thin content” that don’t satisfy a user’s search intent. Build these posts out to provide more information on the topic.
4. Identify posts with duplicate or similar topics, then determine if they should be combined into one longer authoritative post or if one should be removed completely.
5. Identify posts with outdated content or older statistics and update to include more recent information. It also helps to keep a running list of posts that need to be updated regularly. For example, if it’s a post about mileage tax rates that might change every year.
6. Don’t forget to redirect posts removed from the site to avoid 404 errors.
7. Repeat this process on a regular basis (annual or bi-annual) to keep your content relevant.
Remember: Content revitalization should never be a one-and-done process.