UPDATED 1 DAY LATER! Yesterday we were at 30 – today we are on page 1.
You have heard this a million times before – content matters!
Seriously, it does. Bad content or low quality content can ruin your website.
Thankfully there are so many tools out there to help you assess how your content stacks up and to help you better optimize things.
One I often mention because we love it and use it here at 2 Dogs Media for every website audit and SEO project we do is Website Auditor by Link Assistant.
So, we decided to put a piece of the tool through a test with one of our posts to see if it can really help you improve your rank! This test will solely be focusing on their content analysis tools – so let’s get testing!
The Web Page We Are Testing
The page we will be using for this case study is focused on how to remove outdated website content and was originally written on April 6, 2016. When I originally wrote the post it was specifically for our clients, we were not focused on using our blog as anything other than a resource for our clients.
You can view the post we are testing by copying the URL below. We did not want to directly link to the post and have any chance of altering the results of the test.
That changed late last year and I began re-optimizing posts and cleaning content in an effort to make it a more broadly based educational resource for everyone – not just clients.
This specific post I did update in December 2018 and you can see in the below image that I did manage to get some organic ranking but traffic still sucks.
Clearly there is something more I need to do so I figure why not use this as a chance to do a case study and see how the Page Audit tool in Website Auditor stacks up to really help improve rank.
The Keyword We Are Targeting
You can see above that we have seen an increase in keywords ranking from the update I did late last year but not enough to bring us organic traffic.
My goal for this post is to get a core keyword ranking in position 1-3 that will bring us organic traffic.
When I rewrote the post I did not do any keyword analysis either just because of time constraints, but I did focus on keyword phrases that I saw people using on various websites.
But I recently noticed a keyword to target for the post so we will be working on trying to rank for:
Remove Outdated Content
According to Ahrefs we are ranking at position 30 for that term at the start of this test on May 13, 2019 – this was also confirmed in the search results as well.
But let’s see if the Website Auditor recommendations can get us to the top!
While this may not be a perfect intent keyword for this post since there is a tool by this name, we still wanted to give it a shot and see what the users say!
The above shows where we are ranking based on Ahref’s while the below shows you where we have been ranking for our target keyword for the last 6 months.
You can see we never got much higher than 30 in the last 6 months.
The Website Auditor Content Analysis Results
So, now I know what page we are optimizing.
I also know the keyword we want to rank for.
I will head on over to Website Auditor and let it boss me around a bit and tell me what to do.
Once I get to the Auditor I will fire up my website and then go to the Page Audit area of the tool. I then click Add Page and select the page I want to optimize, then I am presented a box where I can enter the keyword(s) I want to rank for and click finish.
In just a minute or so I will be provided a screen like the one below with a whole bunch of fun stuff to get through to help me kick but in the rankings.
Important things to take note of below.
- My overall optimization score is 26.2% for this specific page with the term “remove outdated content”. This is pretty bad.
- You can see the red X circles telling me where I am hurting the most, the yellow triangles tell me there might be something I want to change that may be important, the blue are informational warnings about items that you may want to address and green means I am good.
- You can see in the right area under keyword count that I am not using the keyword anywhere – so of course that is an issue!
Clearly I have quite a bit of work to do – and this is just an overview of the initial components I need to fix.
The next part we will focus on is the TF-IDF analysis report which is an amazing tool that will allow you to compare your website content along with those of your top ranking competitors.
TF-IDF is a pretty in-depth mathematical equation and we are not going to go all math nerd here – but if you want to learn more about TF-IDF you can go here.
Some do not think TF-IDF is a thing that helps rank, others swear by it – so this test will be a bit interesting since we will be using it to test this post.
The top section of the report below shows a list of keywords – these are keywords that my competitors are using in addition to the main keyword we are targeting.
Each column is giving me an idea of how many of my competitors are using those specific terms as well as a personal recommendation for what I should do with my own post.
The bottom section shows the top 10 competitors ranking for the keyword I want to rank for along with the word count of the page and the TF-IDF ranking so I can make sure my own content is within an average of where everyone else.
Let’s talk about the columns in more detail.
You can see in the screenshot I have the keyword we are targeting highlighted in the top section.
- In the first column to the right of the keyword we have # of competitors and it says (10) – that means 10 of my top 10 competitors are using that term.
- The second column is TF-IDF for may page which is 0, because I am not currently using this exact phrase anywhere on my page.
- Third column is TF-IDF (min) and the fourth column is TF-IDF (max) which are telling me the minimum and maximum frequency of that keyword being used in the top 10 results.
- The fifth column is TF-IDF (avg) which is the average frequency of the keyword. This is what our goal is to optimize for. So currently I am at 0, but I want to target about 30 to be in sync with the top 10 listings.
- The sixth column is Keyword Count (your page) which tells me how many times I am using the keyword on my page. I have a big fat 0.
- The seventh column is what Website Auditor is recommending I do – which of course is to add the term to my content.
- The last column is Keyword Count (avg) which is telling me the average number of times the top 10 competitors are using this term in their content.
Now if you jump down to the bottom you can see the top 10 competitors and it will also tell you how many times each competitor is using the keyword, what their TF-IDF is and the total word count of the page.
Important Note About Word Count!
The total word count is inclusive of all content so it can have sidebar text and things as well – so this is not a perfect number, but a guide for you!
As an example – the tool tells me I have 2,771 words in the body but my word count in my editor is 1,953 – so clearly it is probably counting comments and maybe other items as well.
Important Note About Recommendations!
Just like the word count issue – the recommendations column for the TF-IDF section uses keywords from all over the page. So it might tell you to use a specific keyword less – but that keyword may be a category or tag you are using and you cannot really delete those.
So use the tool in a way that makes sense!
Changes I Made To The Post
So below is a complete list of every change I made to this post.
Every one of these was a suggestion from Website Auditor.
- Post Title was Deleting Outdated & Low Quality Website Content changed it to Remove Outdated Content From Your Website For Quick SEO Wins
- Changed Title Tag from Deleting Outdated & Low Quality Website Content to Remove Outdated Content & See What Happens [Hint: It is Good!]
- Changed Meta Description from Website or blog content feeling outdated? See how you can handle your content to keep your website healthy and relevant. to What really happens if you remove outdated content from your website? Check out how deleting over 3,000 posts helped improved our rank.
- Added main keyword to alt text on 1 image
- Added main keyword to body 1 time
- Made other edits as outlined in Web Auditor to add or remove keywords and phrases to get “OK” in the recommendation column.
- Fixed RSS page not found issue that showed in the technical factor (this will have no effect on the page, but want to be clear on EVERY change that was made).
- Used the URL Inspection tool in the search console to request indexing of the page after all changes were made.
I made no other changes outside of what is listed above.
Also, there were a few changes that were recommended that I did not make. For example, it told me I should use the terms “search engine optimization” and “engine optimization” less in my post. But those terms are not in my post and those items are being pulled from our categories so of course we cannot remove those.
I also did not do any work on the other technical items like site speed or W3C validation errors at this time. I will work on those in the future after I see what the above changes bring.
We started at 26.2% optimized and at the end we were at 93.7%.
Now, we wait. I will add to this post in about 30 days to give an update so we can see how well the page auditor tool did for us!
Hey! It’s A Day Later & I Am Back!
Sometimes the awesomeness that happens in the search results even amazes us and this is what happened today when I took a quick look to see if the post moved at all – and boy did it.
Only 24 hours later and we are on page 1.
Yep – really!
In one of the screenshots above that shows the top 10 competitors – you can see that we are clearly not there – at all.
But check THIS out! There we are at position 3 in the report below.
I searched for the target keyword in Google incognito and there I was – on page 1. I made friends test too to make sure I was not going crazy!
Below is our analytics for this page where you can see the uptick in traffic for May 13th compared to the last month and a half.
Keep in mind the post was not done until about 4pm EST so this is not even a full day.
Where Do We Go From Here?
We are going to monitor this post daily at this point!
Google will sometimes “test” posts to see if users like it, so it could be a temporary placement just to see if users are interested in it, so it is our job to make sure they do!
We will check for traffic and CTR to see if we can stick on the first page! Because we know this keyword may not be a perfect user intent keyword we may have to work a bit on the post to get it to stay put.
I will report back in about 1 month and then 6 months to let you know where we are and any other changes we made.
May 15, 2019 I started a second test for a much more competitive term:
What Is Bounce Rate
The URL we are testing with is: https://www.2dogsdesign.com/google-analytics-bounce-rate (copy and past to view, we did not want to alter the test with a link to the page!)
Rank average for the last 6 months is in the below image. 53 is the highest we have hit for this term and as of today we are at position 89.
It averages 5,200 searches a month and has a difficulty level of 71, so it is a hard term to compete with.
The Website Auditor page audit tool shows us at 37.4% optimized for this specific term before doing any work.
Changes Made To The Post
Below are the changes I made to the post – every one of these changes were suggested by Website Auditor.
- Changed post title (h1) from Why Your Bounce Rate Is Too High! to What Is Bounce Rate & Why It Can Be Misleading!
- Changed title tag from Your Google Analytics Bounce Rate Is Probably Wrong! to What Is Bounce Rate? A Guide To Better Understanding This Metric
- Changed meta description from If you are stressing over a high bounce rate – STOP! Find out why that bounce rate in Google Analytics is not accurate & how you can fix it. to What is bounce rate & why does it really matter? Learn more about this metric, why it can be misunderstood and how you can improve yours.
- The TF-IDF is telling me I am over-optimized for the key term, but we are leaving it alone for now.
- Submitted new updated post via the URL Inspection Tool to tell Google it is updated
- Now we wait.
Below is a screenshot showing the Page Audit after our changes were made. We are now at 91.2% optimized.
Below is how the page looked in the search results on May 15, 2019. We noticed it did not show the meta description we had written, so it will be interesting to see what happens!