SEO processes are more complex than keywords and Google rankings, and there is more to SEO optimization than can be imagined. For example, Content Pruning is cleaning up pages and posts from a website considered thin, outdated, or underperforming. The concept of content pruning is part of ongoing maintenance that is crucial to a website’s performance in Google rankings.
But why is this important? First, website content has a significant impact on the performance of online businesses. Poor performance can knock online stores out of the water and stifle local companies’ appearance in their target markets. So what can marketers do to prevent this?
The Importance of Content Pruning
High-quality content on a website promotes user engagement and improves the overall User Experience (learn more about UX/UI here). User Experience is how a website helps a visitor feel when visiting a site. If the user has a positive experience with high-quality content, they are more likely to stay longer and return at a later time. Website content should present what the company is currently offering. It makes no sense to have old products or services no longer offered to customers. Older and nonrelevant content will still be crawled and indexed by Google, which impacts Google’s resources to crawl sites with more benefits to visitors.
Content pruning is part of SEO basics that focuses on the analysis of underperforming content on a website. When looking at its analytics, consider the page’s conversion rate, traffic, and existing posts. If what was there is no longer working, it might be best to take a closer look and remove it if it’s identified as a detriment to the site’s performance.
Website content maintenance should be a common practice, and there are a few things to remember when going through that process.
Set Rules and Goals
Rules and goals are essential to begin the process of performing content maintenance. After completing this exercise, the results establish an understanding of what a webpage is meant to look like. For example, if a goal is to remove old products, marketers need to develop a rule to remove all old products from the product list. Were the keywords updated on that particular page? If there are posts that underperform, are all the links to other pages reviewed for relevancy and functionality? These are all questions that marketers need to ask when reviewing the content on a webpage continuously to ensure website optimization and performance.
Gathering Website Information
Many hosting sites offer an analytics page to go through SEO content on a website. According to Hubspot, “web analytics is the […] analysis of data generated by user’s visiting.” Website analysis reviews can begin simply as an excel file to track URLs and posts.
An effect called Keyword Cannibalism describes a situation where the same keyword is repeated constantly on multiple pages. So instead of helping a website improve in rank, it works in the opposite direction. Keyword cannibalization can be prevented by varying content of posts, including blogs and services. However, if the post subjects and keywords are too similar, it will make it difficult for search engines to distinguish which post to rank higher, and the result is that all similar posts will rank lower. For analysts to understand this, especially beginners, it will take practice and trial and error to identify and correct keyword cannibalizations.
Marketers recommend using keyword research and performance analytics to identify what tags are causing keyword cannibalism. In addition, preparing future content ahead of time can be an excellent way to create diverse and exciting content.
Google Search Console or Google Analytics, free tools for anyone with access to a domain, are recommended for users. Google Analytics can help in many ways. It always begins with a dashboard reflecting an increase in new users, revenue, and average engagement while on the site. While traffic is an important metric to monitor for a website, so is user engagement. Additionally, Google Analytics presents the average time users are on the website and how many pages they visit.
Take Action to Improve, Remove, or Hide
Marketers can improve, remove, or hide identified underperforming posts. However, it is essential to note that eliminating content should be the last resort. If the post is deemed necessary to consumers and serves the purpose of improving business, then it should be hidden and given a Noindex tag in its coding.
Ideally, marketers want to improve their content rather than remove or hide it because marketers invest in research and time when curating posts, and all efforts made to streamline a website, should be carefully calculated.
For instance, suppose it is a blog article about social media underperforming because that platform is no longer in existence (think Myspace). Updating this information to reflect current social media platforms and trends should improve the quality and performance of that particular post.
Know Your Internal Links
Orphaned Content is when there are no internal links that lead to that page on the same website. Remember that not all posts will have an internal link. If a company were to post a notice of irrelevant news to users, they might not opt to place a link. If there are too many of these posts, it can lead to a lower ranking, and analysts should consider removing the posts if they impact page ranking.
If the content is essential to the website, it is crucial to ensure links from other pages to that content. Internal linking does not mean linking everything to each other. Instead, each link should serve a purpose to the site and clearly express what is offered.
In a Nutshell
Marketers need to consider the value of their SEO content to their end goal. MRS Digital Media is a local digital marketing agency in East Texas dedicated to helping companies implement SEO improvements and create content for their websites. Contact us today!