You probably heard how important quality content is for the success of website’s SEO. It’s certainly nothing new, being a staple of what Google has been advocating for some time now.
To get the most SEO value from your website, it makes sense to listen to their advice when creating new content to give it the best chance for search visibility.
But what can you do with your older website content? Over time, it’s likely your site has accumulated articles that may be a little lacking when it comes to what Google considers quality.
Whether this content is thinly worded blog posts, pages with legacy information, or articles that are simply no longer relevant, reviewing this type of content offers a gold mine of opportunities.
There are many benefits in doing this (especially over starting new content).
Existing low-quality content may be detrimental to future SEO success
Leveraging your existing content is often easier than starting fresh articles
Through optimisation, allows content to actually rank in search results
Even better, this process can be completed using three tools provided for free by Google.
Google Search Console
Google Keyword Planner (or Ubersuggest)
(To properly evaluate your website content, it’s important to have historical data through your website’s Google Analytics tracking – you can find information on adding this to your website here).
Step #1 – Review Your Current Pages
As mentioned, Google Analytics provides a wealth of information about your site and the traffic it receives. This includes how the webpages on your site perform.
And not just perform in terms of page views (which is still very important), but how many people are landing on this page directly from an organic search result.
Why is this important? Pages with very limited ‘landing’ traffic are not showing up in search results. This could be either due to limited keyword focus and targeting, or simply, too low quality to rank.
What can you do about this? Make the pages better!
Proceed to log into your Google Analytics account. Select the appropriate website Property and most relevant View. You want at least 3+ months of data at a minimum if possible.
Access your organic landing pages from the left hand side-bar:
Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords
By default, going to the Organic Keywords section under your Campaigns will only display organic traffic, despite what other traffic channels you may have selected.
Adjust the time period of your data. Make it long enough that you can get some true insights on how your landing pages are performing.
Next, change the Primary Dimension from Keyword to Landing Page:
This displays the landing pages of your website where users have come from organic traffic sources.
You can also use the search field to filter sets of pages on your site as well. For example, all of your blog pages:
Depending on how many pages you require to gather insights from, adjust rows shown before extracting the data in the next step:
Proceed to exporting the data into spreadsheets. To get all the sets of pages, you may need to complete this step multiple times:
Start examining your downloaded sets of pages. Organise Users from lowest to highest.
By using this metric, alongside Sessions, Bounce Rate and Avg. Session Duration, you’re able to start identifying the web pages that have limited search visibility.
Step #2 – Consolidation
Start by making a separate list of your website pages that have low sessions with high bounce rates since the date of their creation.
Keep in mind there may be genuine reasons why some pages have low organic landing page values. Be mindful of this during your review and target only legitimate pages that you want to be shown to users in search results.
Copy these page URLs and their included data metrics over to a new spreadsheet tab, because you are now going to:
Review if any of these pages can be consolidated; and
Optimise them in keyword targeting
Consolidation of your lowest value search pages is a great way of producing greater in-depth content.
Analyse your current list of web pages put aside, and determine if any overlap in terms of topics, themes or information.
If so, start grouping these page URLs together, as you will need to refer to them later during the consolidation process. It’s also recommended to name your page groups for reference.
With this complete it’s time to consolidate where possible! Literally look at your article paragraphs between pages, and chop and change the content to make a more singular complete piece of work.
For this process to work effectively, you’ll also need to decide which pages you will keep (to become the ‘new’ article) and what pages you’ll amalgamate.
The best practice is always keeping the page with the highest SEO ‘value’.
Factors to look at include:
The better Google Analytics metrics (from your downloaded spreadsheets)
The age of the pages (older pages may have had time to accumulate SEO authority)
Social media shares
Current keyword rankings
Out of the above, current keyword rankings is likely the most important consideration. If you are not sure what keywords your pages rank for, then it’s time to go to your website’s Search Console.
Step #3 – Keyword Targeting
Whether to determine your page’s best currently ranked keywords or to get ideas for initial keyword focus, Search Console provides a wealth of valuable insights.
Log into your Google Search Console and select Performance on the left hand side menu. Navigate to the + New tab and select Page…
Change the filter to URL is exactly and paste in your page URL into the field.
You’ll be presented with important metrics of information:
Query (what was typed into search by the user)
Clicks (How many times a user clicked on your link in search)
Impressions (How many times your link was shown in search)
You can gain further query information by expanding the Row per page and download the data into spreadsheets for ease of use.
Take note of Clicks and Impressions of your page’s queries. The queries with high impressions and clicks are likely the best ranked keyword terms for that particular page.
Also, if you are seeing too many branded search queries, you can also exclude your brand term to get more accurate organic keyword searches.
These queries are perfect to use as keyword targets as Google has already started their ranking process within search, allowing you to build upon their success.
*Visit these pages and see how we optimised our content for the top queries!
Once you have worked through all your pages, use Keyword Planner to get an idea of Avg. monthly searches.
This Avg. monthly searches and competition will assist you in determining the best keywords to target for you consolidated content.
If Keyword Planner is proving you very broad Avg. monthly searches for your entered keywords, try using another free tool such as Ubersuggest.
Armed with this information, you know should have a better idea of what keywords to target with your content when combining pieces of content.
Finally, for each article consolidation, you’ll need to remove all old articles from your website and ensure either you or your webmaster 301 redirects them to the page URL you decided to keep.
Combining your low-quality pages and adding proper keyword targeting is not only extremely beneficial in improving your overall site authority, but also for generating more organic traffic. Reviewing your content at regularly interval for improvements has a host of benefits, and your website audience will appreciate the valuable content.
Matt Bassos is the Head of SEO for Vuly Trampoline Australia. Matt has been working in organic search for over half a decade, helping business of all sizes increase their search visibility within their respective industries.