What to do with blog posts that aren’t getting any traffic?

Keynotes

  • Most sites have a large amount of blog post content that isn’t performing
  • Always assess a large data set before making a decision about which action to take
  • Be sure to consider link equity and also conversion data before you start blowing stuff away
  • Where possible, fix content so that it has the potential to perform
  • Always set 301 redirects when removing pages

Transcription

John:                     Going back to it, I suppose we’re looking at the core pages in their blog that are getting traffic. We don’t want to cut our nose off to spite our face, but looking at 70% of their pages have got zero traffic in there,  …..I almost think it’s worth going back and fixing their URL structure for their blogs. You know? Just purely on hierarchy, I’m such a believer in the homepage getting all your link equity and dispersing that through effectively. What I mean by that is, okay, we’re a SEO company or we’re a digital agency, but our core services are Google Ads, SEO, web development. I don’t want to then have 500 pages also competing with those pages because our structure means that they’re all coming straight off the root domain.

John R:                  I guess we could probably talk about how link equity is passed between pages for hours on end and everyone probably has their own opinions. I like to think about it like a stack of fucking champagne glasses and they pour the champagne at the top-

John:                     I say a river, so it’s a similar thing.

John R:                  Sorry?

John:                     I use the river example.

John R:                  Yeah.

John:                     Have 50 tributaries, they will all be a trickle. If you have four, it’ll be a flowing river on four of them.

John R:                  Yeah. I always think about it like the champagne glasses. They pour it in the top and it eventually trickles down. A natural link profile, you’ll have inbound links pointing fucking everywhere, inner pages, bottom pages, fucking about us pages, contact pages. I certainly don’t push all of my, and I’m sure you don’t either, push all of my link building efforts just to the homepage.

John:                     No, of course not.

John R:                  In terms of what to do with blog post content that’s not doing anything, that’s definitely something I look at when I start a new campaign. I think what’s really important here is you go back and get a good data set. I go back 12 months, maybe 18 months, and if I can see that there’s fucking 50, 60 odd blog posts there and they’ve had two visits, they’ve had two visits for the last 12 months, then, chances are, that’s a fucking shit piece of content. We should probably get rid of it.

John:                     Yeah.

John R:                  The difficult question comes about, John, it’s like, “Well, do we fucking kill this thing? Or do we try and fix it?” Is that a good use of your time? That’s what I think is most important.

John:                     Yeah, that’s what we put it down to, Natasha and I. We sort of discuss the benefit. We’ve done it to previous clients and the benefit has been marginal. These guys have huge amounts of content and its not been getting any traffic…

John R:                  90% of the time, John, I kill it with fire. I get in there and say, “Look, this content is garbage.” Now, look, just have a read of it. Most times, it’s not performing for a reason, getting a look at it, what the fuck is this? This is nonsense, let’s kill this shit.

John:                     Yeah. There’s probably a case of keyword cannibalization. Some of them are talking about the same shit over and over again. You know what I mean?

John R:                  Possibly. I mean I cover a lot of the same topics on these videos with people. I’d probably be thinking… There’s a couple of things you need to be mindful of, which I’m sure you’re well aware of, making sure that if you do kill anything, 301 so you preserve link equity. I think the other thing is… and sometimes, well, shouldn’t say sometimes, probably most times, you’ve got no fucking conversion data to know. If something has only had 50 visits for the year but it’s converting at 90% and it’s made the business fucking $200,000, then you got to be careful. You can’t just get in there and, fuck, kill everything with fire.

John:                     …… amount of visits. Yeah, it’s a good point. It’s a good point, yeah. The cost per sale might be significantly higher than you expect.

John R:                  Yeah.

John:                     Yeah, no. It is. Yeah. As a value, yeah, look, when you’re creating a website from scratch, you could definitely set the structure the way you know it needs to be done. When you inherit a site, which we do, in my instance, in 80% of the cases, is it the best use of our time? Is the value going to be worth it?

John R:                  Yeah. I don’t waste my time trying to revive dead blog posts, but you’ve got to get in there and have a look before you make that determination. Do I attack this thing with a scalpel or a sledgehammer? Most times, John, I just get the shits and go, “This is fucking garbage.” I’ll just get in there and blow it away, but I’ll always make sure that there’s no link equity there. If I think it can be fixed, then I’ll do that. Most sites have just got shit content because they’ve been outsourcing their SEO efforts to fucking India for $4 an hour.

John:                     Yeah.

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