Why You Should Fix or Remove Low-Quality Web Pages




If you’ve carried out a content material audit for an internet site that’s older than a decade (or even 5 years), you could have unearthed the remnants of a really completely different preliminary content material advertising and marketing technique. Blog put up subjects overlap, 200- and 300-word articles fill the useful resource part, the once-rushed touchdown web page now sits with its authentic 100 phrases.

These skinny pages now sit forgotten, representing a bygone period in search engine optimization.

When you encounter low-performing content material like this, it’s tempting to undertake a no-harm, no-foul coverage and sweep it underneath the rug to concentrate on new content material. But I strongly discourage this method, and right here’s an instance that helps clarify why:

Don’t sweep low-performing #content material pages underneath the rug, says @JonasSickler. #search engine optimization Click To Tweet

You’re wanting on the variety of periods for a web site after an eight-month spring cleansing. Organic periods elevated from eight,598 in June 2018 to 30,927 in February 2019 – a 360% enhance in natural site visitors. Not dangerous, however what’s actually staggering is that solely 5 new posts had been added to the location on this interval.

How is that this potential?

I’ll get there, however first let’s take a look at why the spring-cleaning technique is efficient.

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Thin content material and search engine optimization

“Thin content” is a catch-all time period that describes any ineffective content material – pages with a sparse phrase depend, duplicate content material, doorway pages, ad-riddled pages, and weblog posts or articles that lack readability and depth.

In the previous, churning out content material fell into the “can’t-hurt, might-help” class. Except it can harm. Every adopted web page in your web site pulls crawl bandwidth and hyperlink fairness, each of that are finite sources. When these sources are diluted throughout ineffective pages as an alternative of given to content material that issues, web site authority and natural rankings drop.

There’s additionally the search engine optimization affect of poor usability to think about. If customers repeatedly bounce after 5 seconds, Google decides the web page isn’t delivering the expertise the consumer desires or wants.

And when you’ve got sufficient content material that performs poorly, it could actually simply tip the scales and diminish Google’s belief within the web site as an entire.

Bottom line, skinny content material is dangerous information in your web site.

Thin content material pages are dangerous information in your web site, says @JonasSickler. #search engine optimization Click To Tweet

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Evaluating web site content material

To repair skinny content material points on the location, we first ran a web site crawl and checked out Google Analytics and Search Console metrics. We pulled the info right into a spreadsheet to carry out a extra subjective evaluation.

Each URL is labeled “improve,” “consolidate,” “remove,” or “leave.”

Then, we seemed on the web page title, web page content material, and queries bringing folks to the web page and recognized every web page’s goal key phrase(s). By figuring out this, we might measure the web page content material in opposition to the content material at the moment rating nicely for the key phrases to see if it passes muster.

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To take away or to not take away?

Thin content material is commonly repetitive. That could make your spring cleansing simpler as a result of these cases of removing will likely be apparent.

When we determine to take away content material, it almost certainly:

  • Targets irrelevant subjects or key phrases
  • Didn’t goal a key phrase and supplies little worth
  • Is outdated, like development tales and previous firm information
  • Incorporates little-used or off-topic tags, classes, or writer pages
  • Is extraordinarily brief or redundant content material that doesn’t present significant info
  • Consists of class pages with little to no content material

Group pages by key phrases (or subject) to get a really feel for when the content material repeats itself. Then consolidate the knowledge on a single high-authority web page or the highest-authority web page in your bundle for that subject.

Consolidate repetitive however same-topic pages right into a single high-authority web page, says @JonasSickler. #search engine optimization Click To Tweet

If a web page’s content material doesn’t go muster, but it surely receives important backlinks and/or site visitors, preserve the web page and enhance its content material.

When you take away a web page that has some search engine optimization worth however isn’t value preserving, use a 301 redirect to its closest topical neighbor so guests don’t dead-end at a 404 error web page.

When you take away pages with no site visitors or backlinks, you don’t want a redirect. Given that they don’t have any authority to go on, there’s nearly no probability of a consumer ever ending up on these pages once more.

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Improve remaining previous pages

With the low-value content material eliminated, concentrate on the saved subjects. Make certain every web page targets a novel key phrase, then optimize the on-page components. To accomplish this, set a schedule for the time-intensive activity of enchancment.

Some actionable methods to enhance web page content material embrace:

  • Revise content material to fulfill the search intent in your key phrase. Always reply the implicit query.
  • Add fascinating stats or hyperlink to supporting content material.
  • Remove pointless adverts and CTAs.
  • Add useful visuals however keep away from visible litter.
  • Add movies, photos and interactive content material.
  • Fix damaged hyperlinks.

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Don’t cease now

Any time you make a sweeping change like, say, eradicating 85% of your web site’s content material, frequently monitor web site exercise to ensure there’s no sudden harm.

In our instance, the location’s new and improved content material proved efficient instantly, rating within the prime two for the top phrases inside days. Other pages moved up the rankings extra slowly as Google took time to digest the modifications relying on the kind of content material, the search intent and the earlier web page’s authority. But a method or one other, the affect of your enhancements ought to begin to develop into evident.

TIP: Your spring cleanup is a perfect time to guage your search engine optimization technique. Investigate, for instance, if search intent for high-value key phrases has shifted. If so, publish content material that displays these modifications.

Think of the spring cleanup advantages this fashion: When you drastically enhance your content material, Google begins to reward you with higher rankings for long-tail key phrases. As searchers uncover and respect your content material, your rankings will enhance for broader, higher-volume key phrases. In flip, much more folks will see or hyperlink to your content material, which ought to enhance your rankings. We seek advice from this because the “SEO flywheel effect.”

The subsequent time you’re confronted with an onslaught of low-quality pages, work some spring cleansing into your technique. Thin content material hurts your search engine optimization efficiency, however clever streamlining might help you rework your content material into an enormous enhance in natural site visitors.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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