As your website grows and you’ve been regularly publishing, there comes a time to audit your blog. What articles should you keep, delete, or revise?

Auditing Your Site Is A Lot of Work

So, when will you audit your site? You could do this every quarter or every year. It really depends upon your industry and how much it changes. If the things you write about change often (interest rates, for example), then you will want to audit posts of that type.

Regardless of how you decide to do it, it should be done. By all means, don’t just willy nilly delete posts that are older than X years. These aren’t tax records you’re throwing out. It’s content. Content is easier to revise than create. So, be mindful.

Of course, Yoast has extensive articles on this subject. You should definitely read their article on how to perform a SEO audit. My approach is less data-centric and more brand-centric. Is it true? Is it mostly true? Or is it total crap?

Keep These Posts

You read the post and you’re still proud of it. It resonates with your brand. The message is spot on. The facts are still true. Maybe this is an article you should post on Facebook and boost for $20. Get that bad boy some more traffic! It deserves attention.

Delete These Posts

When you’re writing about things that evolve, sometimes products and services die. There may be some parts of the article that ring true and could be salvaged, but unlikely. If you read it and feel completely embarrassed. Delete it. I’ve deleted articles about Blab.im and Google Plus. If you even know what those are. They died.

If you have two articles that are similar they could be merged — then you revise them. Honestly, I think that’s more work.

You can 301 these articles or not. It depends on the SEO professional that you listen to and your own business goals. If I didn’t like it, I’m doubtful people are also looking at it. But refer to your own Google Analytics. I’m not going to pretend I’m an SEO professional.

“Pages that are marked for removal should be 301 redirected to an appropriate page. Pages that remain should be updated and possibly fortified with internal links.” John Locke

Revise These Posts

Revising posts can be a great way to keep content fresh. Maybe you’re writing about Twitter like I do. Twitter changes things — often. I am constantly having to edit posts for technical details that have changed.

If the article still rings true to you and your brand, then keep it but update it. Maybe add in a video. Find quotes from your peers and their blog posts. Spruce it up. Spend maybe 30 minutes once a week on these.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Has technical information changed but the premise is solid?
  • Does the feature image need to be updated to reflect my current branding?
  • Is the meta description there and/or can it be revised to look better?
  • Is the headline good?
  • Should the URL be changed? If yes, then be sure to put in a 301 redirect.

After the Post is Revised

Blog Audit: Start Somewhere

For me, downloading some sitemap or looking at a giant spreadsheet of all of my articles would be so overwhelming, I would do nothing. My philosophy is that something is better than nothing.

So, I use Revive Old Post on this website to cycle my content on Twitter. When people respond to those tweets, it comes to my attention. I make it a point to look at one of those articles once a week. It’s part of my block of time that I dedicate to my business on Friday afternoons.

Oh yeah, have you downloaded my content planner yet? This might help you organize your writing and social posts!

8 Comments

  1. hüseyin yılmaz on February 14, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    magnificent put up, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t understand
    this. You should continue your writing. I am confident, you
    have a great readers’ base already!

  2. Robert Nissenbaum on February 24, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    I deleted a number of obsolete posts (no 301 redirects – they saw little traffic and I have a custom 404 page when updating my site. The rest of the content I didn’t want was archived and not readily accessible. The rest of the content is seeing updates as I go.

    This is a great reminder.

    • Bridget Willard on February 24, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      That’s an excellent strategy, Robert. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. Brett Bumeter on March 10, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    I experiment with many methods of this.
    Here’s one anecdote…

    I have a few articles that have been popular for over a decade. A couple of those are lists, and things on the list doesn’t always continue to belong on the list.

    Sometimes they quit working, go out of business etc.

    However, since these lists have been around for so long, I move the non-working expired stuff to the bottom after striking through it.
    I then research and add new things to the bottom of the list, best things at the top of the list.

    I’m not recommending this tactic, however it has continued to help people.

  4. Tess Wittler on March 31, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    I am working through this task, too, and I am taking a similar approach to the one Robert took. I have 10 years of content on my blog and much of it doesn’t do anything for me anymore. I’m focused on revamping/updating the “Greatest Hits” and letting the rest go.

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