Content Pruning 101: How do I trim content for SEO?

✅ The quickest SEO win from a content perspective 🚀

It’s not rocket science, but still very effective 👇

📍 It’s called “content pruning”: in simple terms, it means removing “dead” or “wasteful” pages from a site (typically anything that doesn’t drive any traffic and brings no value).

❓ Why is this important?

👉 Because Google LOVES serving pages that are engaging & valuable to online users. A bunch of URLs with zero traffic and poor content do the exact opposite of that.

✅ Put very simply:

Remove bad pages 👉 site CTR goes up 👉 Bounce Rates go down 👉 UX improves 👉 time on site goes up 👉 Google rewards you ✔️

❓ So, how do we do that?

✅ Step-by-step process below:

✔️ Retrieve the past 16 months worth of organic clicks from Search Console (list of all URLs)
✔️ Filter out pages that have been live for less than 6 months
✔️ Sort the remaining URLs by organic clicks in descending order
👉 BONUS step 1: you can add a column and divide (organic clicks/16) to get the average monthly click data
👉 BONUS step 2: you can also crawl the filtered pages to see if you have any other issues to address (i.e. 404, redirect loops etc)
✔️ Highlight every page that drives zero sessions (dead pages)

💪 Congratulations, you’ve compiled your first list of “prunable” content. Now all you need to do is to review the full list and decide if:

▶️ it’s worth improving, merging or expanding some of these pages with better content. Or,
▶️ 301 redirecting dead pages to a better version. Some people also decide to simply NoIndex them (I personally prefer redirection)

Happy pruning! ✂️

Nico Bortoluzzi

Hi, I’m Nicholas Bortoluzzi (but people often call me Nico).

I am the Founder and Director at SEO Lynx, an internet marketing agency operating in the UK and servicing clients worldwide.

The article on this page was written and curated by myself.