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How to conduct a content migration audit

Elevate your hand in case your organization has long passed thru a space migration or could be rapidly. Most of us were thru this job more times then we care to confess. For the length of a space migration it’s now not irregular to splurge on a admire originate and CMS. But then corners are cut anyplace else that that you might want to deem of to place a number of dollars. To place money, leadership could also come to a probability to now not migrate the total standing content. Unfortunately, leadership doesn’t perceive the efficiency influence this probability could also compose. The precise news is that leadership has you on their crew and I’ll be walking you thru a detailed job for figuring out precisely what content should be migrated and what could also be safely retired with minute to no influence.

Content evaluation requirements

This evaluation would now not require a dozen subscriptions to costly toolsets. The next tools are required to dwell this evaluation.

  • Analytics – I use Google analytics but knowledge from Adobe or every other analytics platform that lets in page degree little print will suffice.
  • AHREFs – I use the weird and wonderful subscription, but your needs will most doubtless be dependent on the scale of your space (little print below).
  • Microsoft Excel – specifically pivot tables and the VLOOKUP characteristic.

Figuring out when emigrate vs. retire content

No longer all content is price keeping for your web space. Many are seeing efficiency will increase with content pruning. The purpose of this evaluation is to know precisely what content should be migrated “as-is,” migrated with updates or retired indefinitely. Below are a number of KPIs to check the fate of every fragment of content.

  • Traffic – Total website online website online visitors is broken out by channel.
  • Key phrases – What number of keywords does a page possess visibility for?
  • Page 1 keywords – What number of keywords are doubtless riding natural website online website online visitors?
  • Support-links – What number of links has this content bought?
  • Conversions – What quantity of money, leads or actions has this content generated (by channel)?

Please characterize that it’s crucial to pull each website online website online visitors and conversions by channel. While many clutch into legend a content migration as a tough SEO play (it’s miles), taking away content that performs wisely in other channels is correct as crucial to glimpse.

Export channel degree lessons by landing page

I counsel pulling a elephantine years’ price of recordsdata by channel to legend for any seasonality inside of your niche. I extinct the buyer’s fiscal year, but that you might want to easily use a calendar year.

You might want to make a master spreadsheet with a list of all of your space’s URLs in column A. (This could even be performed easily with an export of your CMS or a ScreamingFrog lumber/export). We’ll rely upon the VLOOKUP characteristic to pull particular person channel lessons into this list. The VLOOKUP characteristic I extinct for pulling natural lessons into my master list looked admire the following:


  • “A3” is the principle URL in our master spreadsheet in which you would like to must match to our natural session export.
  • “natural-session-export” is the title of the file exported from Google Analytics.
  • “A1:B247” is the subset of recordsdata you would like to must gape at for the “A3” price everywhere in the “natural-session-characterize.”
  • “2” represents the column number in which you would like to must gape up (and pull) into the master spreadsheet. On this occasion, column 2 is our lessons price.
  • “faux” indicates that you handiest must pull this knowledge into the master spreadsheet if the “A3” price suits the rate within the “natural-session-export” EXACTLY.

Total the VLOOKUP characteristic for all channel lessons. My master spreadsheet appears admire this at this step:

Leveraging AHREFs for keyword visibility

The subsequent step is pulling keyword visibility by URL. It’s crucial that you use a instrument admire AHREFs or SEMRush as we need visibility into as grand keyword knowledge as we can catch and now not be dinky to precise the keywords you actively be aware for your possess.

As you stare from the instance above, right here is a little (but authoritative) space with handiest 13,000 keywords and the total keyword knowledge falls everywhere in the 30,000-row export limit the weird and wonderful AHREFs license permits us. If you’ve got significantly more knowledge you’ll doubtless must filter your keyword knowledge by standing, quantity and even be aware depend. You would possibly as well also work straight with AHREFs/SEMRush to access more of your space’s knowledge when you’re facing a grand higher space.

Once your knowledge is exported, you’ll be left with a mountainous spreadsheet elephantine of recordsdata, but we aloof must distill it to a raw depend of keywords per URL. We are in a position to be the utilization of PivotTables inside of Excel to dwell this activity.

Once your PivotTable has been created, you’ll must capture the fields in which you would like to possess the knowledge displayed. Add “URL” to the Rows field and “Keyword” to the values field. Be particular your keyword price is exhibiting “Depend of Key phrases.”

With this export/PivotTable that you might want to now total one more VLOOKUP characteristic to layer to your keyword knowledge to your master doc. It will gape one thing admire this now.


That now you can use this same job but with keywords in which you’ve got first-page visibility (filter in AHREFS or your raw export). Use the VLOOKUP characteristic on that characterize and your master doc now has entire keyword visibility in addition to website online website online visitors riding first-page keyword visibility by URL.

Leveraging AHREFs for link visibility

The job for getting inbound link counts tied to URL is similar as keyword visibility but leveraging AHREFs backlinks characterize. Perform characterize that AHREFs does possess a limitation to the necessity of backlinks that you might want to export with your subscription. With the weird and wonderful subscription, that you might want to export one million rows.

After the utilization of the PivotTable and VLOOKUP characteristic we’ve talked about, your master spreadsheet should now encompass backlink knowledge.

Incorporate earnings, lead and conversion knowledge

It’s time to encompass the finest KPI to this master doc. Earnings and or conversion knowledge.  For this instance, I leveraged lead counts (form fills) as the principle purpose. While I modified into in a situation to export purpose values in Google Analytics, you will must title the best provide to your space’s earnings/conversion knowledge.  After layering in conversion and or earnings numbers, your master spreadsheet will gape one thing admire this.

Establish migrate/migrate + update/retire to each URL and quantify influence

Finally, after the total steps above you’ve got a spreadsheet with all of your sites content, its lessons, keyword visibility, inbound link depend and conversion values. It’s eventually time to check the knowledge and set aside thresholds for what’s price keeping, updating or simply taking away. Each and every venture will possess a very good deal of thresholds, but a number of tips I regarded as on this evaluation were:

  • KPIs prioritized within the following characterize, conversions, inbound links, natural lessons, paid lessons, and so on.
    • Pages with entire conversions > X are robotically capable for migration.
    • Pages with < X total sessions (and no links/conversions) qualify for retirement.
    • Pages with > X entire lessons (and no links/conversions) qualify for migration + future update.
    • Pages with < X entire lessons but have first-page visibility of Y keywords qualify for migration.

Quantify your findings into a straightforward headline

This content migration evaluation will have slightly a range of recordsdata. Leadership doesn’t must gape at your page by page evaluation. They need (and need) to stare your recommendation in addition to to any efficiency influence they should be responsive to. Don’t overthink this. Compose a tab at the very starting up of the doc on the total serves this device.

In our well-liked accomplishing, we talked about how leadership on the total needs to chop corners to place money in migration costs. However, after reviewing your evaluation, they realize that the efficiency and monetary hit would far too detrimental to the enterprise than investing in resources emigrate the rate-at the side of content.

Opinions expressed on this text are those of the guest writer and now not essentially Search Engine Land. Personnel authors are listed right here.

About The Author

Prick LeRoy leads the SEO crew at the award-winning marketing agency ICF Next. With 10-plus years of SEO ride, Prick and his groups possess elevated natural visibility for a number of of essentially the most smartly-preferred brands within the U.S. In Prick’s free time he authors the weekly #SEOForLunch newsletter focusing on essentially the most up-to-the-minute algorithm updates and recaps of the enterprise’s top content.