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Keep, Kill, Combine - How To Evaluate Content Performance For Maximum Impact

Content is a double-edged sword when it comes to creating an effective website that builds trust with your target audience. When building an inbound marketing strategy, it’s critical to put out as much timely, relevant content pertaining to your industry as possible to attract, engage, and delight your audience. It can be easy for old content to be “out of sight, out of mind,” but losing sight of old content while generating more can negatively impact your site. Without periodic evaluation and refinement, your content strategy may fall short of its potential, hindering SEO performance and lead generation opportunities.

Outdated content can affect your audience’s engagement with your site in a variety of ways, and has potential to negatively impact users’ trust in your site, and by extension, your business. When we evaluate content for ourselves and our clients, we approach it using a Keep, Kill, Combine methodology. Using Keep, Kill, Combine, we evaluate each piece of content across a variety of metrics, including:

Content Relevance: Content that becomes outdated may no longer be relevant to your target audience. 

This can lead to decreased engagement and interaction with your website, as visitors are less likely to find value in information that is no longer current or useful to them.

SEO Impact: Search engines prioritize fresh and relevant content in their rankings. Outdated content can negatively impact your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, leading to lower visibility in search results and reduced organic traffic to your website.

User Experience: Visitors to your website expect to find up-to-date and accurate information. Outdated content can result in a poor user experience, as users may become frustrated or disappointed when they encounter obsolete or incorrect information.

Once we conduct a comprehensive audit of your website’s content, we analyze traffic data, engagement metrics, and user feedback to identify content strengths and weaknesses. From there, we categorize content into "Keep," "Kill," and "Combine" based on relevance, effectiveness, and alignment with current goals.

Pro Tip: Not sure what Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) you should evaluate your content for? Here’s some that may be important to your business’s larger marketing goals and sales performance:

  • Traffic Metrics:
    • Total Website Traffic: Measure the overall volume of visitors to your website over a specific period. This KPI provides insight into your website's reach and visibility.
    • Organic Traffic: Evaluate the number of visitors who find your website through organic search results. Organic traffic indicates the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and the relevance of your content to search queries.
    • Referral Traffic: Assess the traffic generated from external sources such as backlinks, social media, or partnerships. Referral traffic reflects the success of your outreach and promotional activities.
  • Engagement Metrics:
    • Bounce Rate: Determine the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may indicate poor content relevance or user experience issues.
    • Average Session Duration: Measure the average amount of time visitors spend on your website per session. Longer session durations typically indicate higher engagement and interest in your content.
    • Pageviews per Session: Evaluate the average number of pages viewed by each visitor during a session. Higher pageviews per session suggest that visitors are exploring multiple pieces of content on your website.
  • Conversion Metrics:
    • Conversion Rate: Track the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or subscribing to a newsletter. Conversion rate indicates the effectiveness of your content in driving desired outcomes.
    • Goal Completions: Identify specific goals or actions that align with your business objectives, such as downloading a whitepaper or requesting a demo. Tracking goal completions allows you to measure the success of your content in achieving predetermined objectives.
  • SEO Metrics:
    • Keyword Rankings: Monitor the rankings of relevant keywords and phrases in search engine results pages (SERPs). Improvements in keyword rankings indicate the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and content optimization strategies.
    • Backlink Profile: Assess the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to your website. A strong backlink profile enhances your website's authority and visibility in search engines.
    • Indexation Status: Verify that search engines have indexed your website's pages correctly. Monitoring indexation status ensures that your content is discoverable and accessible to users through search.

By identifying key metrics we’d like to see improvement on, we can evaluate content against those metrics and decide what to keep, kill, and combine. But what does it mean to keep, kill, and combine old content?

Keep: Keep is self-explanatory. Content that is relevant to your audience and performs well should be kept on your website to continue generating page views. It’s important that you still evaluate performing content for any outdated information and update accordingly. 

Kill: Content that is outdated or irrelevant, and isn’t able to be salvaged should be killed. Outdated, irrelevant, and low-performing content that detracts from the website's quality and your user’s experience should be immediately removed. Be sure to plan accordingly for the impact of killing content, including redirecting URLs and preserving backlinks.

Combine: When you’ve developed great content that is effective and performs, make sure you’re getting as much mileage out of it as you can. For example, if you have a blog that is performing well, see if you can leverage that for video scripts, infographics, or sales pieces. By combining evergreen content with innovative formats and strategic promotion, you can extend its reach, engage new audiences, and reinforce your brand's authority and expertise in your industry. 

After deciding which content to keep, kill, and combine, delegate who will be killing and combining content, and decide on timelines. Once you implement keep, kill, combine, it’s important to have regular content checks based on the amount of content you have. We recommend every six months, but you should at the very least plan to keep, kill, and combine your content annually. Ongoing evaluation for your KPIs will also be critical to ensuring long-term content performance success. 

Not sure where to start in evaluating your content’s performance - tag us in! 

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