Each week, we talk to members of the SHE Media Partner Network about growing their website traffic. We give advice on publishing cadence, content ideas, and internal linking best practices. However, it’s inevitably content strategies that can make the most difference in traffic, long-term. We’ve taken the years of experience gained working on our owned-and-operated properties, like SheKnows and StyleCaster, and now teach the following strategies to our publishing partners:
The most common content strategy being used by publishers today is updating articles and there are multiple benefits to working this process into your editorial schedule.
1. Google recommends keeping content updated for the user. Content grows stale over time and in the search results, Google favors fresh content. If you publish informational articles, it would make sense that when new information becomes available as it related to your content, that you would update.
2. It’s better for your time/budget to update an existing piece vs. publishing a brand new piece that covers the same topic you already have living on your site.
3. It’s better for your SEO to have one maintained piece for a certain angle than multiple. Instead of publishing a new Mother’s Day gift guide each year, for example, publish one and keep it updated each year.
To learn more about the process of refreshing content and how to start, take a look at The Art of the Content Refresh.
The premise for content clusters is that you have certain core themes, endemic to your brand and then many related angles pertaining to that theme. This is how your brand becomes a known expert in a topic and it’s also the way you grow your authority with Google in a certain niche. Be intentional about the content you publish, does it complement another, related piece you’ve written about in the past?
To start building your clusters, look at your organic traffic data for trends. If you see that your top-performing pieces are all related to one overarching theme, do some keyword research to see what else people are interested in about that topic. Make sure you link them all together, internal linking is an important strategy to include.
Many SHE Partners have seen tangible results by embarking on this beast of a project! While some of Google’s algorithm is at the page level quality when it comes to rankings, there is also a certain overall website health tied to your domain that lends strength to your ability to rank. And because of this, Google looks at all pages accessible to them, even the poor quality content you published early on in your blogging days.
Google has a pretty simple best practice recommendation on this one: either fix it or dump it.
Look at the content that has driven no (or very little) traffic to your site over the last year. When you find a piece of content, think to yourself if you would cover that same topic again on the site today. If you can gut it, make it better, and if you think your current audience would enjoy it, then update it. And if not, dump it. If the post holds nostalgia for you, like documenting kid moments, just add no index tags to the page and this will block Google from crawling it. It’s ok to fully 404 web pages, as long as it’s not a large amount. It’s better than letting a low-quality and old post remain live.
No matter your niche, publishing seasonal content is an absolute must for most publishers. It’s fun and can lead to great traffic results. Make sure it resonates with your audience and aligns with your niche, but definitely get creative and do it!
Mixing Content Formats
Content strategies don’t have to apply to just headlines, it can also mean formats. It’s most common for a blogger to publish article format, one-pagers, but you might consider creating gallery (vertical galleries tend to be better for mobile) style content or infinite scroll.
We love to see sites that have a healthy mix of evergreen and trending content. There is much value to evergreen content, including the longevity they can serve via the refresh strategy mentioned above. If you’re only publishing news or trending content, consider adding evergreens into the mix.
Originally published on Dec 22, 2019.
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