The Content Audit Process Template
This template is extracted from the "Effective Content Production & Promotion" course. Organize existing website content to ensure URL structures support and encourage a pillar-based content approach.
Templates in this series
In this process, we're organizing the content and making decisions about what content should stay or go. The best way to understand which should stay and go is done by example. These are in priority order.
Any URLs that have traffic and good ranking for keywords should ALWAYS be saved. This is why you should verify through a third-party SEO tool which URLs get traffic. We'll potentially 301 them into a new URL structure, but we should try to maintain URLs that still get traffic.
Content about your topic, that's not "time-sensitive" or doesn't have any intrinsic "age" defined in them, should be saved. These are often URLs that have intrinsic value, and can eventually be rewritten to a better, more updated version of the same content.
If time-based content can be written into a new updated version, it should be saved. For example, let's say you have on your website a "guide to influencers in 2015" in your industry. This is the type of content you could redirect to a new article about the "guide to influencers in 2021." Be realistic about this though. If you're not going to build that content in the next 6 months or so, then delete it.
Content not about your topic or not relevant to our world today with no traffic should be deleted. For example, if you have an article on "Why Romney is a better potential president than Obama" then it's probably time for that article to go. Write-ups that are opinions, random thoughts, etc. are not really valuable for us when refreshing a website.
Content that was time-based and part of a series that you stopped doing years ago should be deleted. For example, if you used to aggregate the news of the week in 2015, but stopped doing it in 2016, then you should delete all of these new articles.
When in doubt, you're going to leave it in. You can always delete it later.