How to Content Cleanse

Do you ever wonder what happened to that series of blogs you wrote years ago and the popularity they had with your target audience?  

A Content Audit or Cleanse is helpful for filtering out which content to remove, repurpose, or retain on your website. Although clearing old content out of your website isn’t the only way to cleanse your website. Here are a few things to think about next time you Content Cleanse. 

Content Popularity Check

A good way to determine the interest and impact of content on your site is do a content popularity check.   The best way to do this through your Google Analytics account.  The content with most sessions and session duration will give you a good indicator of what specific content to keep on the site, along with providing additional insight on what content topics are most popular with your audience.  

To achieve this, log on to your Google Analytics account and in the left side navigation bar go to Behavior and select landing pages.   Then, determine a specific date range – we suggest a minimum of a two-year time period.  Then, look to see what URL landing pages are the most popular.    The top results would be the most popular while the least popular or duplication pages could be purged. 

One item to take into consideration when removing content is to delete the purged content but be sure to include a “301 Redirect” to a similar page or area of the site that would relate to the deleted content.  For more on how to set up a 301 Redirect, visit the site of Bruce Clay here.

Duplicates of Content

Google defines duplicate content as ‘substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar’. In other words, how many times in your website do you talk about your visitors favorite go-to spot within your destination? Or how many ways are you using that same piece of content that you wrote year ago? These are examples of duplicate content. This can cause for inconsistent URL structures (or the same URL with one or more things changed) which will in turn harm your SEO. It’s imperative that as a DMO or CVB that you refrain from duplicating your content.

If you have duplicate content on your website, google may prevent your content from showing up as a result on a search engine. So how do you check for duplicate content that you may not be aware of on your site? Check out MOZ.com which will run through your site and find any duplicate content. Siteliner is a more in-depth tool to find duplicate content on your site.

Landing Pages vs. Listings

Every travel destination has plenty of industry partners in the form of restaurants, attractions and activities that are listed on your website. 

Most destination marketing organizations have a list of attractions, places to shop, things to do, etc. And, if they are very popular or drivers to the destination, they can also have more in-depth listings in the form of landing pages, 

Having two different places per each partner listing can hurt your SEO and be more time consuming to edit since you have to edit two different locations when doing updates.   Now is the time to check your site to make sure that your listings have one main page and if they have an extended landing page, the content should be more detailed and not just duplicate the original listing.  

Experience Burnsville, Minnesota is a great example as they breaks their partner listings down to a variety of categories like Things to Do, Eat & Drink, Events and Places to Stay. Each of these categories have a listing that features an accurate page URL and even includes some additional integrated content like TripAdvisor reviews.  

Here is some additional information via the TwoSix blog archive on How-To on Create an Effecting Partner Listing,

Make Your Content Evergreen — including festivals and events

Evergreen content is a piece of content that can stay relevant for an extended amount of time.   We often refer to this as “sustainable content that can live on the search engines for an extended period of time”.  It’s imperative for evergreen content to have SEO friendly titles and URLs built on search popularity.  Think of this in terms of how-to’s/tutorials, guides, list posts, etc., plus adding in your city or destination name in the title. 

When developing evergreen posts or landing pages for specific events or festivals, avoid using dates in the first few paragraphs of your content piece.  If specific dates are needed, include them after the second or third paragraph and be sure to update them when the event’s new dates announced. 

Posting annual events on your website can also be optimized for a better consumer user experience by developing one main annual event or festival page.  Check out how the St. Ignace, Michigan utilizes a page dedicated just for their Major Events.

Evergreen content is useful in the sense that it can help increase organic SEO listings, engagement, and brand awareness.

Following these things to do to content cleanse can help with clearing up your website, optimize your SEO and make your content evergreen. For more tips and tricks make sure to visit our blog.