The fact that you’re settling in to read this article makes one thing pretty clear:
You understand the importance of content.
Whether you have a personal blog or a massive e-commerce website, great content is key to getting traffic, retaining visitors, and generating sales.
But is your content actually as good as you think it is?
Regardless of the type of site you own or manage, it’s time to perform a content review.
Not sure what that means?
Here’s everything you need to know about doing a content review:
What Is a Content Review?
A content review is exactly what it sounds like:
A review of all of the images, information, and design features of your website.
It’s a way to ensure that your web pages are functioning properly, that your links are still functioning, and that your pages are garnering views.
With the data collected in your review, you’ll know what pages on your site are performing well and which ones are not.
The Purpose of a Content Review
The whole point of a content review is to make sure that your website is rich with relevant content. That includes images, written content, videos, and all of the design features of your site.
It’s a way to determine which of your pages are performing the best and which need to be reworked or redesigned.
Here’s what you can achieve with a thorough content review:
- Improve the current content on your site
- Identify opportunities for new content
- Boost overall site performance
Ultimately, it will help increase traffic to your site.
During your review, you’ll analyze your current keyword usage and look for ways to make better use of keywords on your site. By incorporating keywords that your audience is likely to search for, you can improve SEO and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
Another thing you’ll do during a content review is make sure that your site appeals to your target audience. During the time since you launched your site, your audience may have shifted slightly (or even changed drastically).
With regular content reviews, you can make sure that you’re always targeting the right audience.
Why You Need a Website Content Review
We come across lots of businesses who don’t think they need to review their content.
They’re all wrong.
Even the biggest and best websites, ones that get millions of views per month, can benefit from a content review.
Because your site could have loads of little problems that you aren’t even aware of.
Here are some of the issues that a content review could reveal:
Too Many Old Pages
The older your website, the more likely you are to have old content lingering around. And while you want your website to be full and robust, it’s important to keep in mind that bigger isn’t necessarily better.
Content creation is valuable, but it can get out of control, and it’s possible to have too many pages on your site.
In order for your website to be successful and rank high on search engines, you need relevant content that provides value to the reader. Articles from ten years ago probably aren’t going to get that many clicks.
As part of your review, you should identify pages that are several years old. Ultimately, you’ll want to either update them or remove them.
For example, if you posted a guide about travel tips in 2010, it’s safe to say that dozens of other sites have posted similar guides since. Visitors searching for articles on travel tips aren’t going to click on your 2010 article when there are hundreds of more recent articles about the same topic.
People want up-to-date information, so you’ll either want to delete that old page altogether or, at the very minimum, update it with current info.
Just because something is old doesn’t necessarily mean it’s outdated. An old piece of content might still include plenty of relevant information.
… but it may also include content that’s completely out of date.
If you are an affiliate marketer and publish discount codes, prices, or product links on your website, you absolutely need a content review. Without one, you may never realize just how many broken links, outdated links, and expired coupon codes are floating around your site.
Certain information becomes useless over time, and having lots of useless information on your site will only drag your SEO rankings down.
As content writers ourselves, we’re shocked by how many sites have so much poorly written content filling their pages. Granted, we may be a bit more judgmental than the average website visitor, but that’s not really the point.
The point is this:
Weak content is weak content, no matter who is reading it.
A thorough content review will help you identify why content is weak.
Here are some weaknesses your content might have (and you might not even know about):
- Typos and grammatical errors
- Improper formatting (which affects the user experience)
- Poor keyword optimization (which affects SEO)
A content review will help point out which pages need the most help. Then, you can make an informed decision about how to improve those pages.
A content review can also shine a light on things your site may be missing. By taking a hard look at everything your site contains, you’ll identify any gaps.
Do you need to add new service pages?
Do you need to include links to current videos or contact information?
Do you have a landing page and high-quality content for every different category on your site?
Are there important topics you haven’t covered on your blog?
A content review isn’t just a way to fix what’s already on your website — it’s also a way to determine how you can add to your site and improve your content strategy.
How Often Should You Do a Website Content Review?
If you have the talent and the time, it’s best practice to perform a content review every single month. For many websites, especially those that don’t add frequent content, a quarterly review should suffice.
At the absolute least, do a content review once per year. If you can’t find the time or don’t want to do it yourself, it’s best to hire a content marketing agency to perform the review for you.
Content Review: Step by Step
Ready to tackle the task of a website content review all by yourself? Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Use the Right Tools
Here are the tools you’ll need to perform a thorough and complete website content review:
- Google Analytics: Provides search volumes and other useful data
- Screaming Frog: Crawls your site to show you a list of all URLs
- Ahrefs: Shows you SEO-related data for each page (keyword rankings, etc.)
- Google Search Console: Helps you index/de-index URLs on your site
Know What to Look For
The purpose of a content review is to identify certain types of pages:
- Low-quality pages
- Pages that no longer exist
- Pages getting the most traffic
- Pages with the most backlinks
- Pages ranking for search keywords
Identifying these pages will help you figure out which pages to delete, which to keep, and which to improve upon.
Run Your Analysis
There are some easy ways to analyze which pages on your site are performing well and which are not.
With a combination of Google Analytics API and Screaming Frog, you can run a crawl to get URLs for every page on your site and see how much organic traffic each page is getting.
You can then plug those URLs into the Ahrefs Batch Analysis tool to see your total keywords, backlinks, and other important analytics.
Then, you can start deciding which pages to keep and which to delete.
Here’s the methodology that we use:
1. Pages with some search value but no value to website users
These are pages that hold search rankings, currently see organic traffic, or have backlinks pointing to them. We 301 redirect these pages to the next most relevant page on the site.
2. Pages with value to website user but no search value
For these pages, we set meta robots to noindex. This tells search engines to remove these pages from searches while keeping the pages active on the site.
3. Pages with no value to website users and no search value
We unpublish these pages and set a 410 header (“content deleted”) to tell search engines to remove the page from search results.
Fix the Issues Right Away
The key to a successful content review is to fix the issues as quickly as possible.
If you have a 300-word blog article that is ranking for some keywords, start planning out how you can turn it into a comprehensive guide (or have a content writer start planning it out).
If you have any broken images on your pages, fix them ASAP.
And make sure to start the deindexation process right away to get those no-value pages out of search engines. Again, this will put all of Google’s attention on the pages you want to appear in search results.
Prep for Your Next Content Review
Think you can get away with doing a content review once?
Sorry, you can’t.
If you want your site to rank high in search results, you’ll need to follow up on a regular basis. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to prepare yourself for the next one.
You can make your next DIY content review easier by keeping a list of all URLs that you add on a daily/weekly basis. That way, if you do a new review next month or next quarter, you can focus specifically on those new pages.
It’s also a good idea to create a calendar or a set schedule for your next review. Make sure everyone involved — including your marketing team, designers, and content reviewers — know ahead of time that a new review will take place.
You can make the content review process a powerful tool in your arsenal just by being consistent and diligent about it!
… Or Hire an Expert
If you’ve never done it before, a content review can seem overwhelming. And if it’s not done properly, there’s no point in doing it at all.
When in doubt, hire a professional content team to do it for you. They’ll know exactly what to look for and how to get the job done, and they’ll provide you with a complete analysis of every page on your site that you need to keep, revise, or delete.
Ready to hire some real pros for the job? We’d love to chat!
It doesn’t matter how big or small your website is — you need powerful content if you want your site to be a success. And that all starts with doing a thorough content review.
If you’re looking to hire a pro to review your website, contact Inter today.
If you think you’re up for the challenge of doing it yourself, check out some of our other helpful posts, such as What’s the ROI of SEO? and Our 7-Step Content Development Guide.
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