Content Pruning 101: How do I trim content for SEO?

βœ… The quickest SEO win from a content perspective πŸš€

It’s not rocket science, but still very effective πŸ‘‡

πŸ“ It’s called “content pruning”: in simple terms, it means removing “dead” or “wasteful” pages from a site (typically anything that doesn’t drive any traffic and brings no value).

❓ Why is this important?

πŸ‘‰ Because Google LOVES serving pages that are engaging & valuable to online users. A bunch of URLs with zero traffic and poor content do the exact opposite of that.

βœ… Put very simply:

Remove bad pages πŸ‘‰ site CTR goes up πŸ‘‰ Bounce Rates go down πŸ‘‰ UX improves πŸ‘‰ time on site goes up πŸ‘‰ Google rewards you βœ”οΈ

❓ So, how do we do that?

βœ… Step-by-step process below:

βœ”οΈ Retrieve the past 16 months worth of organic clicks from Search Console (list of all URLs)
βœ”οΈ Filter out pages that have been live for less than 6 months
βœ”οΈ Sort the remaining URLs by organic clicks in descending order
πŸ‘‰ BONUS step 1: you can add a column and divide (organic clicks/16) to get the average monthly click data
πŸ‘‰ BONUS step 2: you can also crawl the filtered pages to see if you have any other issues to address (i.e. 404, redirect loops etc)
βœ”οΈ Highlight every page that drives zero sessions (dead pages)

πŸ’ͺ Congratulations, you’ve compiled your first list of “prunable” content. Now all you need to do is to review the full list and decide if:

▢️ it’s worth improving, merging or expanding some of these pages with better content. Or,
▢️ 301 redirecting dead pages to a better version. Some people also decide to simply NoIndex them (I personally prefer redirection)

Happy pruning! βœ‚οΈ

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