Nov 2, 2023

How to measure and update existing content

These tips are based on the same processes that we use with our clients.

Why bother updating the old content on your site?

Updating your existing content is almost always the best and fastest path to increasing your organic traffic and meeting your performance goals.

What to expect in this post

We’ll answer the following questions:

  • What metrics do you need to track?
  • How can you group content into practical performance categories?
  • How should you update each piece of content?

And if you have any questions, you can always reach out to us.

What metrics do you need to track?

The number of metrics you can track is infinite. And if you’ve got the time and resources to track and analyze them, then we say: go for it!

But most marketers have limited time and resources. So we’re going to assess each page based on Google Analytics data that falls into two categories:

  • Traffic metrics
  • Engagement metrics

Traffic metrics

In Google Analytics, there are lots and lots of traffic metrics. We usually recommend focusing on these two:

  • Unique pageviews
  • Entrances

Engagement metrics

If you’re just getting started with Google Analytics, and looking to optimize your website as soon as possible, we recommend focusing on these two metrics:

  • Exit rate
  • Bounce rate

How do you track these metrics?

You can go into your site’s Google Analytics account and export all of this data manually to a spreadsheet. If the very idea of that makes your stomach hurt, you can try to find someone else on your team to wade into the GA interface.You could hire an agency to manage your data. (We do it for clients.)

Or you can use Ottimo. Ottimo helps marketers strategize and optimize content based on simple, clear analytics and recommendations.

Which pages should you update first?

Three pages to start with, based on performance:

  • Best performers (High traffic + engagement in the past quarter)
  • Worst performers (Low traffic + engagement in the past quarter)
  • Declining performers (Traffic declining over the quarter)

How to update a page based on performance

Each group requires its own specific set of updates.

The following sections include a checklist for each performance group.

Best performers

These are pages with high traffic and high engagement.

Quick update checklist

Here’s a Google Docs version of the checklist you can copy and customize.

  • Title tag
    • Align title tag with keywords
    • Align title tag with content
  • Meta description
    • Revise for accuracy and click-through rate
  • Images
    • Make sure all images have relevant captions & alt-text
    • Ensure images are the compressed and appropriately sized
  • Internal links
  • CTA
    • Add relevant links & text.
  • Copy

Additional content strategy

  • Adapt the post in to social posts for all of your chosen platforms
  • Identify gaps in the story of the post. What are the questions that the post doesn’t answer? Consider new blog posts devoted to those topics.
  • Promote the post on paid search or social

Worst performers

These are pages with low traffic metrics and low engagement metrics.

Quick update checklist

  • Extract best sections for other posts
  • Delete / unpublish the page (yes, really!)

Declining pages

These are pages with significant decline in traffic metrics over the previous quarter.

Here’s a Google Docs version of the checklist you can copy and customize.

Quick update checklist

  • Title tag
    • Align title tag with keywords
  • Title tag
    • Align title tag with content
  • Meta description
    • Revise for accuracy and click-through rate
  • URL
    • Aligns with keyword
  • Copy
    • Delete fluff and filler
    • Remove copy and links that are not evergreen

How Ercule can help

We do this stuff for clients. We’re happy to answer any questions you have. Send us a DM on LinkedIn or use chat on our site.

You can also use Ottimo. It’s free. Sync it with your site’s Google Analytics account.

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We’re *actually* here to help

We’re marketers who love spreadsheets, algorithms, code, and data. And we love helping other marketers with interesting challenges. Tackling the hard stuff together is what we like to do.

We don’t just show you the way—we’re in this with you too.

Background image of a red ball in a hole.