There’s no doubt about it: to have a successful overall digital strategy, you need to have a successful content strategy in place. Your content strategy is one of the most important and impactful parts of your website strategy; it works towards helping you:
- Prove your market authority
- Prove your digital competence
- Build a connection with your target audience
- Convince someone to take an action
- And a lot more…
Content is key. Without a well-thought-out content strategy in place, you’re not likely to see success in your digital strategy.
But a lot of agents simply think that a lot of content equals a lot of value and more traffic, and that’s not usually the case. If you have a lot of content on your website, but that content isn’t useful or impactful for your target audience, then there isn’t much point to having it; but it doesn’t just stop there…
From an SEO standpoint, having a lot of content can have a negative impact if no one is looking at it too. Remember, Google just wants to return the best quality results to the people that are searching, and while there a lot of factors that contribute to that, one of them is certainly the quality of your content. And again, there are a lot of factors Google uses to determine if you have quality content, but most of them revolve around metrics and analytics, like time on page, bounce rate, etc.
Simply put, if you have a lot of content on your website that no one looks at, it might be telling Google that you have a lot of low quality content, thereby negatively affecting your rankings and overall SEO strategy.
This is where performing a content audit can be really useful. A content audit should be a regular part of your ongoing marketing strategy to ensure you have a meaningful, valuable content strategy in place that resonates with your target audience and improves your overall quality content score for search engines.
As part of a content audit, you can do that by going through all of the content on your website, and determining what should be deleted, redirected, or improved.
Performing a Content Audit
Performing a content audit successfully starts with navigating the analytics of your website, so you will need to have an understanding of how to review analytics through Google Analytics or something similar. If you need some help, check out this post right here that walks you through understanding the basics of your website’s analytics.
1. Audit Based on Performance
If you have pages, posts, or content on your website that no one visits at all, you should delete and/or redirect those pages.
To find the content that gets no visitors at all, go to Google Analytics, and adjust the view to show you the last couple of years, and then go to: Behaviour > Site Content > and Landing Pages, and then lastly, sort by Sessions. This view will show you the content on your website that has the least amount of traffic.
All of these lower quality pages should be either straight up deleted, deleted and redirected to another similar topic, or combined with another piece of content.
As to which you should do, it really depends. If you have really old content that gets no views at all and you’re better off just deleting it; but if you have content that you think should be impactful to your target audience but isn’t getting much traffic right now, you may want to update it or combine it with another piece of content to improve it’s quality.:
- If you’re going to update it, you can add more visual elements, update old links, and add additional content that may have changed since the content was originally published.
- If you’re going to combine it with some other content, you can combine several pieces of low-performing content into a larger, more ‘ultimate guide to’ style.
2. Audit Based on Backlinks
A lot of the overall strength of your SEO strategy lies in the number of backlinks your content brings in, and those backlinks can definitely affect the overall quality of your SEO strategy, even if that particular content doesn’t get much traffic.
To find out what backlinks you have, go to ahrefs free backlink checker tool, and enter the URL for the page, post, or content that you want to see the backlinks to. Keep in mind, this is a free tool so it’s a bit limited in terms of the information it shows you, but it will give you the general information you need to make decisions; and if you want to do a deeper dive, you may want to consider upgrading to the paid version of their software that removes all the limitations.
Basically, backlinks are important; if you have content that has a lot of backlinks, but also has low traffic, you should absolutely keep it as it’s likely helping your overall SEO strategy.
Keep it Consistent
Much like your overall digital strategy and marketing strategy is never finished, your content strategy should constantly be evolving, changing, and adapting based on what your audience wants and how the market changes.
By performing a content audit on your website regularly, perhaps every 6 months to a year or so, you’ll be able to build out a solid content strategy that is more valuable for your visitors and your SEO strategy alike.
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