Article

Casinos, Voltron and Content Audits

September 5, 2023

Did you know that you can not only double your organic traffic but also increase your organic traffic value by 538% in one year…without adding anything to your website? No new content, no additional backlink campaigns, nothing.

Summary

  • Google wants to get to the good stuff on your website as fast as possible. You need to eliminate any potential non-valuable roadblocks and direct the Google spider directly to the most important sections of your website – like a casino.
  • In order to figure out what you should do with your existing content, you need to answer 3 questions.
  • After answering those 3 questions, you now have 3 options for what to do with your content (Keep,Become Voltron,Delete).

All you have to do is what my wife and I make our youngest daughter do before Christmas every year with her million stuffed animals…..thin the herd 🙂

When fall comes around and kids are beginning to think about their Christmas lists, in our house, that means it is time to take inventory of the current toy situation.

If our daughter hasn’t taken a stuffed animal out of the closet in months, then it goes into the donation pile. Worse yet, if she can’t even remember the name she gave that stuffed animal … .see ya (and let’s be honest, how hard is it to remember incredibly original names like “hoppy” and “beary”).

So, what does me being the stuffed animal grim reaper have to do with you increasing your website traffic and traffic value?

You are my wife and I and all the pages on your website that currently aren’t pulling their weight are my daughter’s stuffed animals.


If your website has been active (meaning you have been publishing new blog posts regularly) for any period of time, then now would be a great time to do a content audit – or as I like to call it – a content purge.

Now before you start setting fire to your website, let me explain the theory behind content audits and then we will get into the actual steps on how to do it…safely.


Casinos Don't Have Any Clocks

Growing up in the Philadelphia area, I had the chance to visit “beautiful” Atlantic City a few times. It wasn’t until later in life when I watched a documentary about casinos that I learned that there is an enormous amount of thought and engineering that goes into the design of a casino.

Every small detail is thought of – all to accomplish one goal – to drive you into the most high value areas of the casino and then keep you there as long as possible.

I’m talking about everything…the designs on the carpet lead in one direction, using metal trays in the slot machines so the clanging sound fills the room and draws you in, building the hallways like a maze…and yes, having no clocks on the walls anywhere.

We tell all Surchability clients – “make your website like a casino…really easy to get in and really hard to get out.”


Your Spouse May Not Be Able To Stick To A Budget - But The Google Spider Can

So again, think of your website like a casino and think of the most valuable sections of your website as the high roller area. You want the Google spider to walk into your website and stay long enough to make its way into the high roller area.

Now imagine you were a high roller, let’s say your name was Mr Big, and you went into a casino to waste an obscene amount of money. How long would you stay if you were stuck walking around the slot machines or everywhere you turned you ended up at some cheap all you can eat buffet? My guess, not too long – you’re Mr Big afterall, you have a lot going on.

It’s the same with the Google spider and your website.

In Nerd World, it’s called your “crawl budget”. Google only gives you a certain amount of time with its spider on each visit – which you can increase or decrease based on how your website is laid out and what content is on it.

You need to cherish the time the spider is on your website so for every second it goes to a low quality or not valuable page on your website, the shorter it will stay next time (and the longer it will take for it to come back).

If you read our case study that highlights our signature strategy, The Google Concierge Strategy, then you’ll know that if we make Google’s life easier then they reward us with rankings and traffic.

The goal is to create your website like a casino that greets high rollers at the door and personally walks them to the highest priority areas. You have to eliminate or consolidate as many pages on your website that are perceived as low value as possible, in order to maximize the time the Google spider spends on your site.


Now that we have talked about stuffed animals, Mr. Big and casinos, let’s get into how to actually do this.

When you are taking an inventory of the content on your site and trying to figure out what to do – you first need to run each piece of content through the following 3 questions:

The 3 Content Questions

You can then move each piece of content into 3 possible categories, based on the answers to the 3 content questions:

3 possible categories

Keep

This one is pretty self explanatory and the easiest to execute – you look at each page in this category and say “nice work pal, thank you for your service, keep up the good work”, and move on.

nice-work-pal-soarin-over-california

Consolidate

A large majority of your pages are going to fall into a gray area – meaning they may generate “some” traffic but nothing to get excited about or they may have earned one really great backlink but not much else.

You don’t want to delete that page but it isn’t really moving you forward either.

In these situations it is best to consolidate topically related pages.

We call this the Voltron technique.

Graphic 2

If you are a child of the 80’s I’m sure you are familiar with the cartoon called Voltron. The premise of the show (which is pretty weird to be honest) is that these teenagers save the planet by driving these mechanical lions around and doing rad things with them. But inevitably they are always outmatched individually and ultimately need to combine their mechanical lions into a super robot called Voltron. Once they combine their powers they are able to defeat the bad guy….until the next episode.

We are essentially going to do the same with your topically related content. We are going to take each of the pages that are “mechanical lions” and combine them with other pieces to form a topically relevant Voltron.

Doing this has a wide array of benefits:

  • Increased word count – Consolidating assets will naturally increase your word count, which is often correlated to better rankings.
  • Deeper content – Spreading your knowledge across multiple posts usually produces thin content. Consolidating your assets produces the opposite effect.
  • Eliminates keyword cannibalization issues – Keyword cannibalization (when two or more pages target similar keywords) forces Google to choose the best. Consolidating similar assets eliminates this issue.
  • Consolidates authority – You’ll be 301 redirecting your other assets, which means your “Voltron” asset will inherit all existing backlinks (from your mechanical lion pages). That will turn your “Voltron” asset into a traditional powerhouse.
  • Makes content promotion easier – Acquiring backlinks and promoting a single content asset is easier. People are more likely to link to a super resource than a thin content asset.

The Voltron Technique

Here are the steps to executing The Cake Technique:

  1. Identify pieces of content that target the same or closely related keywords.
  2. Decide which piece of content is going to be your “Voltron” asset.
  3. Map out how you’re going to combine these content assets into a single piece of content.
  4. Consolidate the content.
  5. 301 redirect all the supporting assets to the “Voltron” asset.

What is a 301 Redirect?

Delete

And now we are back to living on easy street. Any page on your site that doesn’t fit under Keep or Consolidate, you can essentially delete.

That might seem scary to do so you don’t have to do it all at one time (in fact, if you have a lot I wouldn’t suggest doing it all at once).

You will also need to remember to use your newly found 301 powers and redirect the deleted URLs to a relevant piece of content or the home page. This will eliminate potentially creating a ton of 404 errors for yourself to clean up later.


Conclusion

If you have made it this far then hopefully you have learned a lot about…

Awesome 80’s cartoons, casino design, that I’m a horrible dad during Christmas, you were Mr. Big for a hot second, we did a lot in this blog post.

But the biggest takeaway should be that you can make a substantial impact on your website just by taking an inventory of what you have and trimming away anything that isn’t moving you forward. Sometimes less is more.