Boosting your content can bring dramatic results for your business. Once you’ve created and structured your blog content, you want to optimize them for readers and for search engines.
There’s a simple strategy to boost your content marketing strategy. It’s called the Content Pruning Process.
Pruning is an agricultural practice that involves trimming the dead or unproductive branches. Its aim is to increase growth and fruitfulness.
Pruning conserves the minerals gathered by the plant system. It channels resources to areas of better potential.
What is Content Pruning?
Content pruning is the process of analyzing and retargeting your site contents. This concept came about in part as a response to Google’s Panda algorithm update.
SEO considered the Panda update to penalize sites with low-value content. With this came the content-pruning initiative.
Google’s John Mueller stated that content pruning can indeed improve search engine results. But content pruning may sometimes have a negative impact on your site. Thus, you must do it in a careful and correct way.
How to Do Content Pruning?
Analyzing content involves assessing and identifying valuable pages. Page value depends on which core metrics serve as your basis.
The following items are the core metrics you can use to sort your content. You can determine a period of time such as the past 90 days, the past year or your chosen duration.
- Pageviews – Google defines this as “the number of views per page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a user clicks reload after reaching the page, this is counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview is recorded as well.”
- Unique page views – if a user views many pages in one session, this metric combines all those views and counts them as one. Sessions indicate the number of unique sessions initiated by your users.
- Average time on page – the amount of time users spend on your page determines the relevance of your content. The longer the user stays on your page, the more it signals search engines that your page is good.
- Entrances – the number of times that users used the page as an entry. These are the number of entries by visitors into the pages of a website. In contrast, it isn’t an entrance page if the user came from a “referral” from your other pages. Entrances are also known as “entrance points”. For example, if the user enters a website through the website’s home page, it is counted as one entrance.
- Bounces – A bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (or web sessions). It is the percentage of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further.
To optimize your content marketing strategy, perform a “content audit” on your site. Sort them based on page performance core metrics.
Usually, you’ll sort pages based on traffic or unique page views. If you’ve integrated Google Analytics to your site, export pages’ data. Use a spreadsheet and manually input relevant data. Use columns such as title, URL and core metrics.
The job is to identify what pages stick to your audience and capture search engines.
Follow the 80/20 rule. This involves you to identify the top 80% of your content and prune the other 20%.
But you have to be careful. Deleting some of your content may lead to a negative impact. Bear in mind that pruning doesn’t always mean deleting content.
Here are some other ways to prune:
- Improve them – if your content is still connected to your core niche but performance is poor, improve it. This is preferable than creating from scratch which may have similar content. Make sure that the improved post is not identical or conflicting with others.
- Combine them – you may discover that you have created inter-related content in the past. Consider merging these contents into the top-performing post. As a result, you create a more in-depth write-up for your audience. Make sure to use 301 redirects for the deleted pages. Track its performance through time.
- Redirect them – If a past post is irrelevant to your core niche, then you better perform the “delete and redirect”. Use 301 redirects for trashed pages and point them to your nearest excellent work.
Content pruning is a simple strategy to boost your content marketing strategy. If done strategically, it can bring you long-term, sustainable and positive impacts. If you need help with your marketing strategy, contact us today!