Why content consolidation is more important than ever
Content consolidation is the reduction of web pages across a single website in order to reduce overlap. The end goal is to reduce the number of pages that you're maintaining while also consolidating the value of the pages that remain on the website for increased SEO visibility.
This strategy has become more of a hot topic in recent years as the shift from quantity to quality has been embraced. It’s also becoming more important in 2023 as budgets get tighter and economic trends point towards a recession. Everyone is being asked to do a lot more with less.
This may be a good time to check in to see if your content is still working hard or hardly working
What are the benefits of content consolidation?
- Content consolidation can increase your keyword rankings by sending clearer signals to search engines. When there are multiple “okay” landing pages for a search engine to choose from, the odds of it choosing none are higher than ever.
- Content consolidation also aligns with an improved user experience. If your audience searches for a query and arrives at a location that answers that query very well, they are of course far more likely to take the next desired step in the user journey.
- For some sights, content consolidation is a must-do vs a nice-to-have. Seer has worked with some websites that embraced the “more is more” philosophy for years, resulting in a totally convoluted content strategy for both users and search engines. At a certain scale, this becomes an issue for search engines to navigate your website and effectively crawl and index your content.
How to approach content consolidation
- Your starting point will be to gather the following data: A list of overlapping terms and URLs on your website ranking for the same search.
- You may also look for similar titles across multiple pages via a Screaming Frog crawl to identify additional overlap.
- You’ll benefit by taking this output and pulling the following metrics to determine next steps: Page Sessions (Organic and Overall), Page Conversions (Organic and Overall), # Ranking Keywords, # of Page 1 Ranking Keywords, # of Linking Domains, # of Links
- Lastly, you’ll want to develop some criteria for decision making. Generally, you’ll be sorting all analyzed pages and categorizing by: Keep, Redirect, Consolidate Copy + Redirect, and Cut
How do I know if content consolidation is right for my website?
At Seer, we understand that there are many levers to pull to impact SEO performance. The key is understanding which lever to pull when, in order to ensure we are making the right strategic bets for our clients. To that end, content consolidation may or may not be a priority for you. Here are some considerations to help you make that decision.
You’re experiencing a reduction in resources to create new content
One area we've seen opportunities for consolidating content is on projects where we are running out of resources to continue the development of brand new pages. These are projects where in the past we were very focused on developing new content targeting new categories for broad reaching audiences. And now, we find ourselves without resources to continue creating and launching new content. So, how do we continue to move the needle for the client?
Pause to take stock of the overall content strategy of the website. Perhaps there are opportunities to consolidate, redirect, and even test cutting content in order to drive performance.
You’re seeing a diminishing return on your content investment
With some partners, we’ve found that performance was starting to slow over time. Perhaps we had a very successful rinse, wash, repeat cadence of content publication that isn’t yielding the same return as it once was.
From here, the goal is to diagnose why this is happening. It could be a perfect time to conduct a content consolidation analysis to revisit all of that great content we've done in the past.
Finding that content that is getting in its own way
On other accounts, we’ve found that there’s less of a systemic issue to address and more of a need for one-off troubleshooting. Content can be created for multiple audiences, and those audiences can mature over time. For example, a prospect may be asking the same questions a customer is asking, and they require two different responses.
Another angle to consider is Content Decay, a concept introduced by JH Scherck of GrowthPlays. This concept states that for all content, eventually “links break, redirect chains get created, old forms that are campaign specific stop working, etc.” These instances are hard to identify, but can be sussed out and addressed with a good content consolidation effort.
You’re finding that your SEO Strategy has lost direction
It happens to us all. We get into the groove and turn out content that might lose sight of the initial strategy objectives and goals. This can be a good moment to pause and ask yourself are the pages that we've created providing the best user experience and ultimately the best investment we can be making to leverage SEO to reach your business goals.
Where do I go from here?It can feel like all of your hard work is lost when you decide to remove and consolidate content. The good news is that it isn’t true! You’ve tested various experiences and determined what is most important for your audience. Whether you’re agency-side or in-house, you’ve likely made the case at one point for the creation of the content you’re now seeking to consolidate. Go into these conversations with your stakeholders with data, empathy, and easy-to-consume education.
When successfully implemented, a content consolidation analysis is a powerful tool to find efficiencies and reduce the number of assets you need to maintain while improving traffic and conversions. Whether you are running out of resources to create new content, finding that your content is getting in its own way, or realizing that your strategy has lost direction, a content consolidation analysis can help you get back on track and achieve your goals. So why wait? Start exploring the benefits of content consolidation today and see what it can do for your website!
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