HOW TO MANAGE OBSOLETE CONTENT, EARN MORE TRAFFIC, AND INCREASE ADVERTISING REVENUE

Publishers already know that it is important for the success of their website to work on SEO, to write quality content and to keep abreast of publishing trends. However, what some publishers may not know is that they have a secret weapon: a mature website with mature content .
Unfortunately, it is not often considered the asset that it really is. It can often be considered obsolete content that may need to be removed ....
If you have a mature website, you are probably working hard to stay at the top of the rankings and remain profitable by updating your site, being obsessed with site speed and keywords, and quickly producing new content.
In the meantime, you may be ignoring one of your greatest assets. In fact, you may be wondering how to delete obsolete content under the pretense of pruning the content.
WAIT!!!!!

DO NOT DELETE OBSOLETE CONTENT OR TRY TO PRUNE THE CONTENT BEFORE READING THIS ...

In a perfect bubble, if a new domain with good content publishes a new article and a more established publisher publishes exactly the same quality of content, they are likely to be better ranked. Sites with established age and domain authority are more likely to have first rate items than areas that have been established more recently.
But what if your mature content is thin, outdated and unattractive? Erase it?
No ! This obsolete content is an asset. Even if the content itself has little value or traffic today, the URL and age of the page may offer a weapon that you can use to gain more traffic quickly.
Recently at Pubtelligence - an event at Google's New York office - SmallBizTrends.com's Anita Campbell recounted how her publishing business has turned her old-fashioned, mature content into a powerful asset for increasing organic traffic and revenue total advertising.
The full video is below, but you can read our synopsis below

What if I told you that if you have a site that is even a few years old, maybe you're sitting on a gold mine, and all that is in the content you've already produced? - Anita Campball, founder of SmallBizTrends
Smallbiztrends.com was familiar with the previous scenario about a year ago. They had a lot of traffic and produced a lot of new and quality content, but their revenues did not follow. Anita Campbell, CEO and founder of Small Business Trends, began asking data-driven questions and searching for a solution.
Anita then explained how her 15-year-old site has remained at the top by producing less new content while becoming more profitable and improving the user experience.

NO SEO EXPERIENCE, AN AGING SITE, AND OBSOLETE CONTENT

Many independent publishers will find that Anita's publishing story is not very different from theirs: she started with little or no experience in SEO or media (she actually has a background in law) but she was passionate about a subject and could write quality content.
In 2003, Anita launched a small business-focused newsletter. It eventually became Small Business Trends, a website that receives more than one million unique visitors per month.

Small Business Trends has been profitable almost from the beginning, without external investment or debt. The success of the site is due to the fact that Anita, and those she hired, are really good at producing quality and profitable content.
Since 2004, smallbiztrends.com has been using Google AdSense and working directly with advertisers to increase their revenue. However, the volume of traffic and the amount of revenue were not appropriately correlated, so she and her associates started asking themselves questions: what are we missing?
In 2018, Small Business Trends underwent a massive process of updating the content and also began using the Ezoic machine learning to better monetize their advertising inventory. In one year, Small Business Trend's EPMV (earnings per thousand visitors) has increased by 600%.

THE 80/20 RULE APPLIES TO THE CONTENT OF YOUR WEBSITE

In addition to increased advertising revenue, Anita and her team found value in content tools and analytics on the Ezoic platform to better understand the performance and flaws of their content.
What they learned from this data is that Small Business Trends drew 80% of its revenue from about 20% of the pages on its site, which meant that 80% of its site content was not very profitable. In addition, Anita and her team found that they were not only getting the majority of their income from a small number of pages, but that the most profitable content was also their more experienced content. So they wondered
"If we earn an X amount of 20% of our current pages, what if we could earn 40% of our existing content? "
It is in this spirit that they returned to their archives to analyze the pages they could clean and give them better visibility.

Small Business Trends CTO, Leland McFarland, has implemented an SEO audit using SEMRush to audit and explore the site. On the basis of the information collected, they defined the following priorities: technical, content, architecture and design.
They structured several of the principles of their content strategy over the information that Ezoic himself had shared with Tyler Bishop during a previous Pubtelligence.

HOW TO TECHNICALLY REPAIR OLD CONTENT

Small Business Trends started with technical fixes: if search engines can not browse the pages of a website and users can not access them, it will naturally have an impact on revenue and traffic. Technical solutions also have more concrete steps and results than other parts of a digital publication's operation.

As Leland discovered, Small Business Trends had a lot of broken pages and links.
The first time the site was visited, it attracted about 600,000 more or less serious problems: nearly 10,000 errors and more than 11,000 broken links were reported. The flags were then broken into manageable pieces organized according to a schedule that their team updated weekly.


Small Business Trends usually publishes about fifty articles a week, but during its technological cleanup, this number has been reduced to about 36 articles per week. The publication also had to turn down some labor-intensive markets, which could have generated immediate revenue.
By investing more in their existing content, they have chosen to invest more time in content that would generate recurring ad revenue rather than direct short-term or sponsored content.
When smallbiztrends.com reduced the number of articles published per week and focused on repairing broken parts of the site, the site experienced an immediate increase in organic traffic (mainly Google search).

BUILD A CONTENT STRATEGY AND GAIN EVERYONE'S SUPPORT

All members of the Small Business Trends team helped work on the broken articles and received educational courses on SEO and site structure to help with the clean up.
Small Business Trends has also implemented the Broken Link Checker WordPress plugin plugin to help easily change broken links. Anita encouraged the long process and extra work within the team through different games and improved audit scores.


Small Business Trends has used a myriad of tools and plugins to help them solve their technical problems, although they have admitted that what worked for them will vary for each publisher. In addition to compiling the following suggestions, the Small Business Trends team wrote an article about some of their tips and best practices at SBT.me/improve .
Here is a list of some of the specific tools they used ...

NOW, BACK TO NOT PRUNE THE CONTENT

The number one rule of improving content quality for Small Business Trends was do not delete anything you have already published .
Anita firmly believed that it is important to start looking at older content as an asset and to think about how to make better use of it. Publishers can make better use of their content by updating rather than deleting it, preserving the authority of the site while improving it.
Deleting content has many unintended consequences. This affects internal links, page authority, backlinks, and the architecture of your sitemap. It is extremely difficult to do without causing major damage, although you can not see clearly why "this shitty page" would be important.
For example, Anita's friend had a successful site, 10 years old. One day, he took the advice of an expert and erased everything on his site for more than two years without redirecting any URL.
About 6 months later, the owner of the site received an offer from an interested buyer, but the price of the offer was very low. After reviewing the site, Anita saw that he had in fact emptied the entire site and removed all links and authority. Unfortunately, it cost him dearly.

Why "old" has a value:
  • Traffic: Older sites tend to have a bit of traffic to a wide assortment of pages, rather than perhaps a single popular item.
  • Internal links: one of your old pages may be a link to a better page. If you remove the old page, you also remove the weight of the best page.
  • Social proof: Older content has probably been shared on various social media platforms. In addition, some articles have a long series of comments and the best indicators of engagement on the site.
  • Backlinks: If any of your content has back links, it's probably your old content.
  • Ranking: You may be surprised to see what the ranking is for a very old page. Even if the page is classified for a single keyword that is not very popular, it still has value and can be improved.

HOW TO UPDATE OUTDATED CONTENT?

According to Anita, the first step is to collect all the data you can from your website and individual pages. Then, go through each page and ask yourself the following questions:
  • Had he had traffic in the last 90 days, last 6 months, etc.? ?
  • Does he have backlinks to this one?
  • Is she classified for anything?
  • How many comments and sharing did he have?
What you do with your pages will have to be determined page by page. The page will be placed in one of these three categories (although the majority of your pages should be in the first section):

For example, Anita wrote an article in 2004 on a topic that was still relevant, but the article was buried under more recent content in categories containing 2,500 articles. This page may have come out of the index because it was buried in an area where the pages that preceded it were broken and were not crawling. A good starting point would be to update the content so that it can be published as a new article.
If a page can not be improved, the content must be consolidated or rewritten, and then a 301 redirect code must be implemented to the new URL. Plugins like Yoast can be particularly useful in this step.
As a last resort, the content may be deleted, but this should only be done if you clearly understand the risks in a technical way.
While some experts say never to delete any content from your site, Small Business Trends has removed some content very parsimoniously. For example, they felt comfortable erasing a three-part article on a 12-year-old webinar that contained broken links and images.
Anita shared that the content should be deleted only exceptionally.

WHICH ARTICLES SHOULD PUBLISHERS FIRST IMPROVE?


Start with articles with organic rankings on page two or three, in position 11-30. These and those you consider personally important are the first ones you can improve. Again, consider one-page traffic, internal links, social evidence, backlinks and ranking.

THE ROI CONTENT CASE STUDY

Let's take a look at an eight-year article from Small Business Trends. In December 2018, this page received 79 visits. Small Business Trends improved the article in January 2019 and almost immediately, the ranking improved and the page received a thousand additional organic visits per month. This number is increasing.


If you had to increase your site by 100 pages and receive a thousand additional visits per page, that would be equivalent to 100,000 additional visits to your site. If your EPMV (income per thousand visitors) is $ 13, you can earn an additional $ 1,300 per month just with your existing content. This means you have the potential to increase your existing content revenue by $ 15,600 per year. Anita Campbell
Of course, this will not be the result of every page you increase. The results of the content review may vary - Small Business Trends has had pages that have received many more than 1,000 more visits and some have received only 10 more visits per month. You may have to edit 200 pages to get the income you want. But remember that this is the income from the content you already have .
The extraordinary thing about the improvements that smallbiztrends.com has implemented is that it was all content work and social media sharing - they did not need special SEO or technical training.
Following the advice of previous blog posts on how to improve old content ranking and search for old content by Tyler Bishop, Anita and her team have made the following improvements:

CREATE A PLAN TO UPDATE PAY CONTENT

Anita shared that the whole project was also a good time to step back and consider all their content.
If you do not already have one, consider creating a map of your content, like the one Anita and her team use here:

When organizing and planning your content, you should also make sure you know which categories bring you the most money. Tools such as Ezoic's Big Data Analytics provide publishers with reports to segment their content in a variety of ways, including by subject.
Before analyzing this information, Small Business Trends had no idea that a particular topic was driving its overall income.

However, looking at a graph of the EPMV by subject, there is a different trend.

Instead of focusing on topics that have just generated direct revenue, Small Business Trends can increase overall revenues and overtime for the entire site by generating more traffic to the content of their homepage that brings the highest EPMV.
Something we discussed about Ezoic Explain here.

Dig in your content and see what types of articles produce the most valuable sessions, not page views.

REDUCE CONTENT EXPENSES ALONG THE WAY


You can also earn more revenue from your content by reducing overall content-related expenses:
  • Consider maintenance costs: Some of your pages may be more time consuming and expensive to maintain than others, such as pages with lots of links. Is it worth keeping the page up to date if it costs more time and resources than it is worth?
  • No cannibalization of existing pages: no publisher intends to write the same content again and again, but it becomes harder to avoid the older your site is. When you publish new content, be sure to review your old content to see if there is an article you can update rather than completely publish something new. The age of the page will give it greater authority, and the novelty of the content will put it back on the radar of the spectators.
  • More evergreen content, longer shelf life and more durable: try not to create content that will not be relevant in a year. Reliable items that can stand the test of time and provide consistent, consistent revenue are part of the foundation on which your site should be built.

MOVE TO THE SITE ARCHITECTURE AS THE LAST STEP

According to Anita, once the technical problems of your website are resolved and your content is increased and optimized, you can switch to architecture.
Small Business Trends began to focus on structuring its internal links. It is usually the same content that is tied internally over and over again, so that the stronger gets stronger and the weaker ones weaken.
Having a structured methodology for internal links will help you and your team increase traffic to multiple pages of your site rather than just a few. This is something that Google searches when determining which pages on your site are the most important and potentially useful for researchers.

DO NOT REDESIGN YOUR SITE, MODIFY THE ...

Think about adjustments, not a redesign. There are small improvements to your site that you can make that can dramatically improve the user experience, and therefore the revenue. Large changes are risky and can have unintended negative consequences on your content. Anita Campbell

RESULTS: DOES ALL THIS WORK PAY?

In short, yes.
Anita and her team have managed to increase site traffic and ad revenue by more than + 600% in one year using the information shared above.

Since November 2018, Small Business Trends has reduced its content production by 25% and its spending by 10%. However, the visits, page views, indexed pages, engagement and speed of the site all improved.
It should be noted that the number of page views has increased as the amount of new content has decreased, which shows that you can continue to develop your site without creating anything new.

SUMMARY OF THE CRUCIAL STEPS OF ANITA'S PRESENTATION

In summary, Anita and her team of Small Business Trends have followed these steps to make sure that the content they have already created works better for them:
  1. Create an SEO audit tool to explore your website.
  2. Organize tasks into manageable categories.
  3. Gradually find all the technical errors found by the SEO audit: broken pages, bad WordPress plugins, broken CSS, and broken links. If the list is long, divide the errors into manageable projects to complete over time.
  4. After resolving technical issues, skip to your content. Start by looking at pages that rank on the second or third page organically, and consider page traffic, internal links, social proof, backlinks, and rankings.
  5. You should strive to improve most of your content. Pages can be enhanced by adding content paragraphs, headers, correcting broken images, rewriting title tags, adding links to other pages, and sharing on social media. Consider establishing a strategic content roadmap to stay on track and follow internal links. If the content can not be improved, rearrange or consolidate, and redirect the page.
  6. The last thing you need to focus on is designing your site. Any changes you make must be small changes and improve the user experience: font size, site speed and images.