If your website has been around for a significant amount of time then you will probably have quite a number of different pages. The amount of pages you have on your website can get out of control pretty quickly if you do not conduct a site audit on a regular basis, or get a company to do it for you. If you need help SEO Shark offers SEO in Sydney.
When you do conduct a site audit, specifically looking at your pages, there are a few different categories your pages would fall under; keep, remove completely or merge. This will help to cut down the number of pages you have on your site and keep the “SEO juice” flowing to important pages.
You should keep your most valuable pages, i.e. the pages that have your most important keywords on them as well as the pages that are already ranking well. When doing this it may even become apparent that you’ll have to take a look at your top focus keywords, as things could have changed.
You should remove pages that are no longer relevant to your website/ business and are not providing any sort of value to your website. You may not have many pages to completely remove, you may choose to merge them instead.
But it is important to remember that when removing or merging a page you’ll have to create a 301 (redirect) to another page so that the removal of the page creates a 404 (not found).
Having a high number of 404 pages does not directly impact your rankings but it does result in users having a subpar user experience, which is something Google takes into consideration.
It is certainly recommended that you merge your related pages together. Yes, there was a time where it was best SEO practice to create a new page per every keyword. Now, Google themselves recommended merging pages. This means that each group of related keywords should have their own page together.
How Will Combining Pages Help?
When you combine some of your weaker pages all together or into a stronger page, you are moving the SEO juice around and pointing it towards a clearer goal. Merging pages can also help make your content more relevant.
However, you need to be careful when combining pages. Make sure that the pages you merge are actually relevant to each other. Don’t just merge weak pages because you want a higher ranking. Google will see right through what you are doing and you will not be rewarded.
Here there is no need to worry about the authority of the page, as Google has previously stated it doesn’t look at this factor when ranking a page. So, your primary focus should be on the relevance of the merging pages and how they can compliment each other.
Having a Primary Topic
It is essential that your final merged page has a primary topic. Combining pages with different signals and backlinks will not result in better rankings because the two (or more) pages weren’t working together well.
You don’t want two different topics on the same page because this will confuse the Google algorithm and they won’t understand what’s what. As well as this, even though you are only having one primary topic on each page, you need to ensure it still has content depth.
Pages with weak or a small amount of content will not rank, no matter how many pages are merged. Google has placed a significant amount of importance on content. Users love rich and engaging content, and therefore so does Google.
So, when you are merging pages and content, make sure the flow make sense. Remember that you can’t just slap on the merged page content on the bottom of the page, you will probably have to reword the content to ensure it actually makes sense all on one page.
It is a good idea to use lots of headings and dot points, etc. to ensure a user understands they are entering a different section. The last thing you want to do is to confuse the reader.
Combining Similar Content
When you combine similar content you are obviously decreasing the number of URLs on your website. Google likes this because it makes it simpler to understand and read your pages.
Merging pages essentially ensures that you are creating stronger content for your pages and could end up help pushing you up in the rankings. At the end of the day it is more important that you look at the relevancy of your pages and not the domain authority.
Some of your pages just won’t work together and you should not try and combine them. Whereas, others with fit together like two peas in a pod, and when you find two similar pages it makes it so much easier to make the content work together.