In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we all know that content is king. This is the reason why high-quality content should be your priority when doing SEO. Such content is essential if you want your website visitors to be informed as well as engaged through blog posts, product/service pages, testimonials, and so forth.
Simply put, the importance of high-quality content cannot be stressed enough. This is the reason why many SEO professionals put a premium on keyword research, competitive analysis, and market trends. But do you know that there’s one method that many neglect? What is it? You ask. Well, it’s a little something called content pruning.
What is content pruning?
In layman’s terms, content pruning is removing under-performing as well as out-of-date blog entries, articles, etc. from your archives because they are no longer relevant and therefore do not serve any purpose. If the content isn’t giving your website any benefit, it’s better to prune and get rid of it than stagnate your company’s growth.
Aside from that advantage, there are several benefits that content pruning brings. Some of the most notable ones are as follows:
Better Website Quality
Of course, we all want a website that’s better overall. In line with this, if you prune content regularly, you can significantly lower the probability of encountering old information that is no longer relevant. With this in mind, because your website’s content is up-to-date, you can improve your connection with your audience.
Old, irrelevant, and poorly written blogs, articles, etc. are considered as “dead weight”, and they may hurt your website in terms of rankings. This is the reason why you need to regularly prune content and replace or update it with content that is unique, relevant, practical, and easy to understand. This move can make it easier for Google bots to crawl your website.
Improve user experience
When online users visit your website, you want them to find the best and most relevant information; this is where content pruning comes in. Since you have less pieces but substantial content, they are going to have an easier time finding write-ups that they are going to interest them.
How should content be pruned?
Before pruning content, you need to be mindful of one thing: not all old blog entries, articles, etc. are bad. Some can still be useful and at the same time, can give authority to your website. So, hold your horses and take note of the following pointers:
Pinpoint what you’re going to edit
At the start of your pruning process, determine the pages that are indexed and still attract organic traffic. Chances are, you don’t need to ditch them, you just need to tweak the statistics, examples, and tips so that older content is more current in today’s world.
Identify underperforming pages
Next, you need to check which of your pages are performing poorly. To do this, go through your available content, refer to Google Search Console or Google Analytics, and use your best judgment. To make things easier, focus on entries that have not obtained clicks in a year or two.
Make a decision
Now that you’ve compiled the potential pages, don’t just prune right away.
That’s because you need to make two choices: get rid of the post or perform improvements. Both of these approaches work, and it’s basically up to you if you think that some old write-ups are worth updating. It boils down to your goals as well as workload. In line with this, bear in mind that in some cases, it might be better to write new content on existing subjects, that have more timely relevant information.
How often should you prune content?
Regular pruning, i.e. once every six months is essential if your website has up to 1,000 pages. If your site has more, once every three months is necessary.
When content marketing is talked about, many are so fixated on keyword research, competitive analysis, trends, and the like, that they forget other essential content-related methods like content pruning. Yes, providing new content for website visitors should be one of the primary objectives of your SEO campaign. However, you should also prune content or overhaul older pages that are still relevant. These are good moves that can do wonders for your long-term goals.