“The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don’t” – Zig Ziglar.
This quote would be very well understood by people who love gardening and do it often. They can tell you about the importance of pruning. It is said to be one of the most essential parts of reviving growth in a plant and the overall garden. In the same manner, Content pruning holds utter importance in a content marketing strategy. It is a way of focusing your attention on content that is much more valuable and can flourish if improved for better.
It was four months back in May 2020, when Google came up with the second core update of the year. This update was initiated in the era of COVID -19 when everything has changed drastically. One of the things that have changed a lot is the customer’s / user’s search behaviour.
For example, fields like finance, food, media, and healthcare have seen an unexpected increase in traffic whereas travel and transportation saw a downward trend. With this, we have perceived that the latest update is in line with Google’s all-time attention on high-quality content, freshness, and E-A-T.
That brings us to the concept of content pruning. Have you ever thought about what will happen to your site if it’s content gets irrelevant? If you still haven’t thought about it, then it’s high time otherwise it will be utterly difficult for your website to rank organically.
No matter how many quality blogs, articles or product pages you have but if they aren’t updated timely, they are of no use to the users. So, it is really important to prune content that is outdated or is less important.
In simple words, you’ll have to make sure that the content you showcase to Google is trustworthy and not the outdated one. Content pruning is all about improving the value of your business by removing unnecessary and irrelevant content. With new Google updates, it is high time that you sort out the content, pick the important ones and update or polish them up.
Before getting into the deep ocean of content pruning, let’s get to know what it actually is…
What is Content Pruning?
In simple words, Content pruning is the process of removing content from your website that is performing low or has obsolete information. By removal of content, we don’t mean to delete it but to remove it from the eye of search engines. This type of content doesn’t serve any purpose to your site, so it is better to prune the content that is of no further use. But remember, not every old content is obsolete or bad, there are some topics which are evergreen and can be utterly useful in proving authority to your website.
To attain a higher position in Google’s SERP, you’ll have to break through the shackles that are stopping you from getting higher rankings. For that, you’ll have to get rid of content that is obsolete, thin or not much popular on your website.
Content pruning isn’t always about deleting the old content but also updating the important and relevant ones. It is one of the best ways to provide accurate and good content to your users.
Why Do You Need to Prune Your Content?
Content pruning is considered to be one of the best ways of clearing content that is of no longer use and has no relevance. It allows you to provide greater importance to your brand new content that will be much more relevant to your users. Besides this, it helps in creating a line of content that is of high quality. Any content or page with lower quality that provides no benefits is the one that adds clutter to your site. Due to this, Google will have to crawl and index much more pages out of which some of them will never be visited or linked to.
Content pruning on a regular basis provides you with a timely review of your content. It’s utterly essential to know the impact your content is making on the targeted audience.
Furthermore, it will also help in planning your upcoming content marketing strategy in the following ways:
- Knowing your audience’s preferences on various content and topics.
- Recognizing the type of content that would add value to your users.
- Looking out for content gaps and opportunities.
- Acknowledging content that has still not reached its goal.
Well, there is always room for improvement but along with that, there are possibilities of going overboard that could harm rather than good. Always prepare a plan or a strategy before content pruning.
Advantage of Content Pruning
In recent times, it has become utterly essential to prune your content otherwise you’ll be out of the game in no time at all. So, we advise you to sort your old content for acquiring several benefits.
Enhanced comprehensive quality
Every single person wishes to have a site that is overall improved. Because the lower quality, old & irrelevant content can lead you to lose your audiences. Content pruning makes sure that only valued content finds a place on your website.
Encouraging a Better User Experience
We all wish to make our first impressions count. It is quite similar for our websites, we want our audiences to navigate the best information immediately. Well, this process can be simplified if there are lesser posts on the website. It saves the time of audiences and provides them with the best possible content.
Better Linking Opportunities
No matter if you’re linking internally or externally, you always look forward to linking with quality content. Content pruning is the best way of making sure that you’re linking content only between the authoritative pages.
Growth in Crawl Budget
With content pruning, it becomes easier for Google bots to crawl your website. The reason behind this is the deduction of irrelevant content from your website. Furthermore, Google will be able to index more of your valuable content.
How to Identify Content for Pruning?
Opting for in-depth auditing of your content will help you in getting up close with your website’s content. If you own a website with lots of content, there will be instances where you’ll have no idea about the number of content you have and what value it holds.
So, It is advised to create an Excel or Google sheet and put all your content over there. After this, all you have to do is crawl your site with the use of tools like screaming frog. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have to export all pages that are perfectly set in the directory where the content is.
There are several points that you must add to your content inventory like:
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Page Views
- Landing Page Entrances
- Page Authority
- Publication Date
- Inbound Links
But remember, these points may differ from site to site.
Pruning – More than just trimming
As we already know, content pruning is all about deleting content that is irrelevant or is of no use. But there are times when you don’t want to let go off some content because it has the potential to work wonders for your website. In such situations, you can opt for various approaches of pruning that will help you in avoiding any mistakes that could cause irreparable damage to your site.
Everything has an expiry date. What works today might not work tomorrow as it has lost its relevance with time. Similarly, there are some contents like news, guides that rot after a point of time. Such types of content work wonder only when they are new but with the passage of time, the information might lose its relevance. So, you must keep on reviewing, updating and republishing the content in order to maintain its relevance.
One of the best things about adding specific topics to a group is the ease of recognizing content that focuses on similar topics. When you have content on similar topics, there are greater chances of amalgamating and making them rank for relevant searches.
The one and only last solution is to eliminate the irrelevant content, lower quality content and content which is not getting enough audiences. This clearly means it holds no value for your site. In this particular moment, you’ll have to let go of some content.
Content pruning is something that you must include in your marketing efforts and not just leave it as a process of finding content to be deleted. If done correctly, content pruning can act as one of the most important parts of your content marketing strategy.
If your site is filled up with unnecessary content and you don’t have the time to audit your content, then you must get in touch with agencies that have the required expertise.
We hope this blog on content pruning will help you in sorting your content and improving your website’s ranking on the search engines.
If you have any suggestions or feedback, please feel free to share it in the comments.