It’s no secret that the Internet is highly competitive when it comes to SEO, which means every one of your website’s pages needs to be top notch. While it’s important to focus your attention on your SEO-optimized pages, it’s just as important to take notice to your low-quality pages.
Low-quality web pages can be one of three things: pages that don’t contain much content (such as attachment pages in WordPress that are used as a placeholder for an image), pages that contain duplicate content, or pages with poorly-written content. These pages are low quality because they don’t contribute much to your rankings or provide any value to your readers. If you notice your website has one or a handful of low-quality pages, here’s what you can do to get them in ship shape.
Identifying Your Low-Quality Pages
Like many things in life, there is no one single answer to identify all of your website’s low-quality web pages. For each type of low-quality pages, there’s a way to find them.
For duplicate content, there are a lot of tools out there such as Siteliner that search for duplicates of your internal pages. It will also show you how your website compares to other sites with average page size, load time, text to HTML ratio, links per page, and more.
If you want to find attachment pages in your WordPress website, you can query your website with the following text in Google (make sure to replace yoursite.com with your website’s URL and don’t add a period at the end): site:yoursite.com inurl:attachment_id. This will show you all of the attachment pages that are currently indexed for your site.
As far as finding the poorly-written pages, those can be the most difficult to find, but an excellent first step is looking at your Google Analytics. You can see how often it’s been viewed, how visitors arrived at that page, and if people are engaging with it as you hoped. There are a lot of factors to consider other than these, but these will be a wise place to start.
How to Fix Low-Quality Pages
Depending on the page’s condition, you’ll need to determine what’s the best course of action for these pages. Ask yourself if you still need these pages or what’s their overall purpose. From there, you can do one of the following:
- Delete the pages: If you don’t need these low-quality pages and they’re not offering any value to your SEO or visitors, you can just delete them and let Google find your 404 error message (speaking of that, we just redesigned ours). By doing this, Google can focus on your more relevant pages. However, if this URL does receive a good amount of traffic, it might be worth redirecting them to a similar page, post or category.
- Noindex: Maybe your low-quality pages have some relevant links to other places on your site and play a role in connecting people from one high-quality page to the next. If that’s the case, tag it as noindex in your robots meta tag. That way Google can find this page, follow the links on the page, and keep the page out of search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Rewrite the content: Of all the options, this one is the most tedious. If this page is necessary for visitors to find but it’s considered a low-quality webpage, scrap its content and write new, original, useful, engaging content.
What You Can Do Going Forward
Now that your low-quality pages are cleaned up or removed, here’s what you can do to make sure your site doesn’t have any more low-quality pages:
- Take a look at your pages annually. This is not a one-time effort; take some time once or twice a year to evaluate your pages (depending on how much content you create).
- Proactively write better content. Did you find that you had to rewrite a lot of your pages in your first audit? Don’t let yourself go through this hassle again by proactively writing high-quality, informative content. When you put insightful words on the Internet, Google will consider this material as an addition to its index. Good content goes a long way with search engines, so aim to write and publish your best work.
- Make sure the content is always unique. There’s no need to say the same thing more than once on your website. Don’t duplicate your content (or someone else’s) and always make sure your website’s content is beneficial for your visitors and unlike anything else out there.
Dealing with your low-quality pages can be a lot of work, but the results will speak for themselves in the long run. Plan to audit your content sometime in 2018 and make your website full of high-quality pages!
To learn more about creating high-quality content for web pages, get ahold of GreenMellen today!