Sites get bigger. We keep on adding content but tend to forget to clean up. As the web grows older, more and more sites are growing older and bigger as well. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Google loves authority, so being around for a long time pays off. However, your website does need to stay fit. Old content needs to be updated, your internal linking strategy needs to stay top-notch and your keyword research has to remain fresh. What can you do to keep your website SEO fit? In this post, I’ll talk you through 7 ways to improve the content SEO fitness of your website!
Curious how SEO fit your site’s content is? We’ve created a content SEO fitness quiz that can help you figure out what you need to work on!Take the SEO content fitness quiz »
Why focus on content SEO fitness?
Out of the box, WordPress is pretty SEO friendly as it is. Add Yoast SEO to the mix and you’ll have the largest part of your technical SEO tackled. However, there’s also a lot you can do on the content side in order to get and keep your site fit. And keeping your site fit can help you outrank your competitors in Google.
As your website gets larger, Google’s spiders can have a harder time figuring out what your website is about and how your pages are related to each other. Focussing on the fitness of your SEO content will probably get you that head start in the battle for the highest rankings.
Focussing on internal linking
In order to index your entire website, Google follows your internal links. The way you connect your pages to one and another determines how Google goes through your website. If a certain page has lots of links pointing towards it, Google will come there pretty often. If a page gets little to no links, Google will not come there very often. The way you structure your website, the way you link from pages to other pages is really important. It’s like a guide that helps Google figure out what the most important content on your website is and how pages are related to each other.
1. Improve the internal linking of your cornerstone articles
Make sure to check whether your most important articles receive the most internal links. Articles that have a lot of links pointing towards them appear most important in the eyes of Google. You can use the text link counter of Yoast SEO to check the number of links that your most important articles have pointed towards them. Make sure that your most important content, your cornerstone content, gets the attention it deserves and add internal links if you have too few pointing towards it.
Pro tip: Easily manage your cornerstone content strategy with the Internal linking SEO workout, now available in Yoast SEO Premium!
2. Link in context
Internal linking only works if you link contextually. Your links should make sense to the user. If you write a post about guinea pigs you can link to an article about ‘small pets’ or to an article about ‘what do guinea pigs eat’. Those internal links would make sense. However, linking from an article about guinea pigs to an article about ‘SEO copywriting’ will not make sense. As Google is very much able to understand context, you’ll need to link contextually.
3. Avoid those dead ends
If an article has hardly any links pointing towards it, Google will not come around very often. We call these articles orphaned content. Regularly check whether or not you have these kinds of articles on your website. Our Text Link Counter makes that really easy. When you have orphaned content, decide whether or not this is actually content you need on your website. If it is important content, make sure to add some relevant internal links. If the content is outdated and no longer of importance, you could delete the article and redirect the URL.
Focussing on SEO copywriting
A lot of content SEO fitness has to do with the actual content. Google reads texts. More and more, Google tries to mimic a human reading text. As Google gets more sophisticated in reading and understanding text, expectations on SEO copywriting also rise. Any healthy SEO copywriting strategy should always start with keyword research. You should know which words your audience is using when they search for your products or services. If you’re focusing on the wrong terms, you’ll never be found.
4. Refresh your keyword research
Keyword research is a lot of work and it never really ends. You need to update and renew your keyword research to keep your content in good shape. Your company changes, your focus changes, the products you offer change, but most importantly: the world changes. The words people used a few years ago will probably not be exactly the same as the words they are using now. You’ll need to update your keyword strategy and keep it up to date. Otherwise, you might be focussing on (slightly) the wrong keywords and lose valuable traffic because of that.
5. Solve keyword cannibalization
You’ll probably write a lot about similar topics. And even though each of your articles is focused on a different aspect and optimized for a different keyword, you could be suffering from keyword cannibalization. It happens to the best of us! If your site has been around for a while, you’ll probably end up with blog posts that are similar to Google, although you wrote them with a different intention or with a (completely) different angle.
Without realizing it, you’ll be competing with your own content in the search engines. Make sure to check regularly whether or not your site is suffering from keyword cannibalization. You can simply let Google run a search query on your site only by Googling site: ‘yoursite.com’ ‘searchterm’. When you find it, solve keyword cannibalization by improving your internal linking strategy or by combining articles that rank for the same search terms.
6. Rewrite stale content
Old and outdated content should be updated. Your audience will question whether or not the information is still valid and relevant if your post is 10 years old. Google will do the same. Now I am not suggesting that you should throw it away. Lots of content is evergreen and will still provide valid and relevant information after a few years. Just make sure to update it every now and then. Keep that content fresh and up to date. Your readers and Google will thank you for it!
7. Redirect outdated content
It is always hard to throw content away. However, some blog posts and articles aren’t relevant after a period of time. Think about announcements of events or products. After the event took place and after the product is out of stock, it does not make much sense to keep those announcements. Make sure to delete and redirect these pages.
Keep SEO fit by improving your content
As our websites get older, we need to do more in order to keep them fit for the search engines. Maintaining a good internal linking strategy, refreshing your keyword research and making sure that we’re not cannibalizing our own content. You can assess your SEO content fitness to find out what you should do to keep your site happy and healthy.
Staying SEO fit may feel a bit daunting, but Yoast SEO has a lot of features that’ll help you keep fit. Our internal linking suggestions, our text link counter and our SEO analysis will help you to get back in perfect content SEO shape. Plus, if you go Premium, you’ll get access to all of our SEO courses and also our new SEO workouts that will help you get your site fit again!
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