Make a copy of Ahrefs Content Audit Template

Go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TC36UL4gy0QHfPFpAgJGN2e30pIaxNprV3hlLW7SK3k/edit?usp=sharing and make a copy for the site you are running the audit for. You will need to be logged into a Google Account to be able to make a copy and then edit the document. You do not need Ahrefs to do this audit.

Enter pages from your sitemap into the 'Sitemap' tab

Import pages from your sitemap into the sitemap tab in the google sheet - if using the Yoast plugin the sitemap will be yourdomain.com/sitemap_index.xml

You can use the link klipper chrome extension to do this https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/link-klipper-extract-all/fahollcgofmpnehocdgofnhkkchiekoo?hl=en

After adding to the tab, make sure your URLs have pulled through in the Master tab in the spreadsheet.

Import your data from google analytics

Import your GA data from Behaviour > Site Content > All pages over the past year into the "GA" sheet.

Make sure to create a segment for "Organic traffic" and toggle the option to show the maximum 5,000 rows before exporting.

Then ensure your GA data has been have pulled through in the Master tab in the spreadsheet.

Go to Master tab in spreadsheet and copy the entire sheet

Now that the 'Master' tab will have been populated, copy the entire contents then create a new tab (name it your site) and select paste values only. The only reason for doing this is so that you don't mess the rows up when filtering in the next step..

Paste the value of the master sheet into a new tab

Freeze the top row and filter

Freeze the first row of the sheet

And then either:

a) Click on the Suggested action (new) column and click on Sort Sheet A-Z to group the different suggestions together (i.e. Keep As Is, Redirect, Delete)

Or b) Hit Create A Filter

Hit the create a filter icon in Google Sheets

And then deselect each individual action until you are left with only one of the four (out of Leave as is, Redirect, Delete, Manually Review) and work through the next steps for each one.

i.e. deselect Leave as is, redirect and manually review and you will be left with only the pages that would be recommended to to remove from the google index.

Leave as is (200)

No need to do anything, these pages have traffic that meets your minimum threshold on the 'Start Here' tab - by default 365 Minimum "meaningful" organic traffic a year (1 a day)

Redirect (301) OR update

Has no meaningful traffic but meets the minimum backlinks threshold set by default at 1 link.

You can choose to add additional content to try and get the page ranking or simply 301 redirect the page (with the link) to a page on your site that could use a boost.

To do the redirect we recommend the Redirection wordpress plugin 

Delete (404)

This is a page which has no meaningful (total) traffic and no backlinks - you will typically want to remove the page to make it 404 (in Wordpress simply revert back to draft from published) or if the page is useful for your users you can choose to noindex it (using the Yoast plugin below) so that it is still live but will not show up in Google in the future. 

However you need to be aware that too many pages set to noindex can dilute pagerank and also do not improve your crawl bandwith as google still crawls pages with the noindex tag. If you can, remove them by either saving as draft or hitting trash.

Manually review

The action here is less clear. These pages have meaningful traffic however the amount from organic search is insignificant.

You can choose to take either of the 4 following actions:

1) Leave as is: Is the page highly relevant to your business? Perhaps it’s a core page on your site and earns revenue. If so, leave the page as it is.

2) 'Noindex’: In rare cases, you may wish to keep traffic from other sources but don’t need the page to be indexed. This can happen when you’re split-testing landing pages, for example. Solve this by adding a ‘noindex’ tag to the page. Note. Always take caution before choosing an option like this. Don’t do it unless you know what you’re doing.

3) Update: Your page clearly has some value; it wouldn’t be getting traffic from elsewhere otherwise. The issue may simply be that it isn’t optimized for a relevant keyword with decent search volume. Check to see if there’s a better keyword for which to optimize the page. If so, there’s a chance to get more traffic from organic search.

4) Redirect (301) and/or consolidate: Do you already have a similar page on your site that gets organic traffic? It may make sense to redirect this page to that page. If your page has some backlinks, this process will also consolidate all “link equity” into one place and possibly help boost the other page in the SERPs.

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