The Website Quality Audit recommends page-level actions to boost organic traffic to your sites.
These recommendations are not a "black box" - logic is defined below, so that you can trace causality should you need to.
These action recommendations are a starting point, rather than a punch list. We recommend reviewing them thoroughly, and modifying them to suit your campaign's goals.
Action Definitions Logic
Action recommendations are made across 4 buckets:
- Technical actions: issues with HTTP statuses, pages missing from sitemaps, or missing a canonical URL
- On-page actions: more creative actions, like updating meta descriptions or pruning low-performing content.
- Off-page actions: external link building for high-potential pages
- Architectural actions: gaps in internal linking structure
Detailed logic for these action recommendations is as follows:
Technical actions are issues with page status (404, etc), inclusion in sitemaps or canonicalization.
The top technical action to fix for a given page lives in the top_admin_action column in BigQuery, and is accompanied by a top_admin_action_reason (ex: 'Add page to sitemap', reason = 'Page missing from sitemaps').
Technical actions break down into 4 sub-actions, each with its own column in BigQuery (http_status_action, sitemap_action, canonical_action, crawl_action):
HTTP Status Actions
- If 404 w/ external links + internal links -> 301 redirect to appropriate page, remove internal links
- If 404 w/ external links -> 301 redirect to appropriate page
- If 404 w/ broken internal link -> remove internal link from found_at_url
- If 302 -> 301 redirectIf 301 and redirect_chain = TRUE -> fix redirect chain If 301 and redirect_chain = FALSE -> leave as is
- If 301 w/ redirect is indexable = FALSE -> Fix redirect to Indexable URL
- If page has a non-200 status or is noindex’d OR has < 200 word count and is found in sitemap -> remove from sitemap
- If page receives organic traffic + is not noindex’d + has a http_status_code of 200, but is not found in crawl or sitemap -> likely add to sitemap
- If page is missing a canonical url -> add canonical URL
- If a paginated page has a canonical URL that is not itself -> add self-canonical URL
- If a canonical URL has indexable = FALSE -> Non-indexable canonical
- If a URL's protocol doesn't match with the canonical url's protocol -> canonicalized to HTTP protocol, update to HTTPS
- If it has a canonical URL (including self-canonicalization) -> leave as is
- If page not found in crawl, but gets organic traffic -> add internal linking so that the page can be crawled
- If a page is found in the crawl, but has < 100 sessions over the last 12 months and 0 traffic this month -> recommend noindex'ing the page after reviewing that the content is no longer needed on the site (‘potential noindex, review content for relevance’).
- Potential 301: if a blog page has low (<5 sessions per month) traffic, and no conversions, but has picked up external links, then it's a good target to be 301’d to a more relevant page.
- Potential removal: if a blog page has low (<5 sessions per month) traffic, and no conversions or backlinks, then it's a good candidate for removal from the site (unless it's serving some other specific purpose).
- Inactive conversion page: if a page contains a form to submit, but has 0 organic goal completions / transactions, the lead gen aspect of the page is considered inactive for organic traffic (or is setup incorrectly). Potentially the page is from an old campaign and can be deleted, or is strictly in use for another channel.
Meta Rewrite Actions
- Metas missing: either a meta title or description was not found during the crawl.
- Update metas to include top keyword: if neither the page's meta title nor description contain either the top or best keyword, it's a good opportunity to add them in to boost organic CTRs.
- If product page, and no product / itemavailability / rating schema -> add product schemaIf article page (identified from WP sitemap), and no article schema -> add article schema
- If local page (contains Google Map embed), and no localbusiness schema -> add localbusiness schema
- If homepage, and no organization schema -> add organization schema
- If the page is being outranked by another page for either its main (highest impression) or best (highest ranking) keyword, consider consolidating pages by 301'ing to the outperforming page and merging content.
External Link Actions
- Keyword within reach: if a page’s main OR best keyword rankings between positions 3 and 20 -> target with links.
- Number of low-volume keywords within reach: if a page has 3+ keywords ranking between 3 and 20 -> target with links.
Internal Link Actions
- Add internal outlinks: if a page's internal outlinks are in the bottom quartile for a site, but it has above-median traffic or backlinks, then it's a good target to pass more authority internally by adding internal outlinks. These internal outlinks can be added either inline within content or via adding site navigation features to the page.
- Add internal inlinks: if a page's internal inlinks are in the bottom quartile for a site, but it has above-median traffic or backlinks, it's a good opportunity to boost internal visibility by adding more internal inlinks to the page.
- Reduce internal inlinks: if a page has high (top quartile) internal inlinks, but low (bottom quartile) traffic or referring domains, the page potentially should not be featured so prominently in navigation / content. Consider reducing internal inlinks, unless the page has an alternative purpose (critical info, legal necessity, etc).
- Orphaned page, add internal inlinks: if the page generates traffic but was either not crawled, or found to have 0 internal inlinks in the crawl
Page Type Classification Logic
The Website Quality Audit applies page type classifications, for easy filtering of site issues.
These page types can be overridden for any page using the Sheets workbook.
Page types are applied as follows (page type applies if any of the conditions are met):
- When URL = domain
- Schema = category/collection
- Sitemap contains category
- First URL path contains category
- Schema of blog/article/creativewore
- Sitemap contains post
- First URL path contains blog/article/resource
- Schema = product
- Sitemap contains product
- First URL path contains product
- Schema = author
- Sitemap contains author
- First URL path contains author
- Schema of local/place
- Sitemap contains location
- First URL path contains locations/stores
- First URL path contains event
- First URL path contains a whitelist of typical ‘info’ page keywords (about-us, etc)
- Page has no second path (ie it’s a naked single-path URL)
First path catch-all
- Page has no other classification, bucket it into the page’s first path (ie /subfolder/)
Drop us a note via live chat, and we'll be happy to dig into how these action recommendations + page types are applied for your sites.