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How to Find Pages That Are At Risk

6 min read

Your position in search is never a certainty as the environment is constantly changing. Fortunately, you can use MarketMuse to identify pages that are potentially at risk and take action. Using a Saved View, you can quickly create a shortlist of candidates for further review in-platform. As you move through the list investigating those pages, they can be added to a plan. Afterwards, you can go through the plan, create briefs, assign them to writers, edit their work and eventually publish the updated content.

Here are three popular Saved Views for identifying at-risk content. All of them use the Pages inventory along with two metrics to help identify what each page is about (URL and Top Ranking Topic). In addition to those metrics, other data columns are used depending on the risk factor being analyzed.

Pages at Risk Due to Thin Content

Saved View for finding pages at risk due to thin content.

This first Saved View looks for pages with low word count, otherwise known as thin content. The columns of data used in this view are:

  • Word Count – When determining word count we remove any boilerplate text such as headers, footers, and menus.
  • Organic Traffic Est. – How much traffic we believe the page is getting.
  • Value/Mo – The sum of the value of each topic for which the page ranks (traffic estimate * cost-per-click)
  • Page Authority – This metric is calculated relative to the other pages on your domain.
  • Avg. Topic Authority – Because a page can rank for many topics, each with their own authority, we take the average.

Together, these metrics help determine the importance of a page, which can help with prioritizing content update efforts.


Learn More

Read our knowledge base article Risk – Thin Content for details on how to set up this view.


Pages at Risk Due to Low Topic Authority

Saved View for finding pages at risk due to low Topic Authority.

This Saved View helps find pages with low Topic Authority, so we use Avg. Topic Authority as a primary data point. The risk with low Topic Authority pages is that a competitor can come along and create a more complete cluster of content around a topic thereby threatening your authority on the subject.

It’s similar to the view above, with a slight difference in column order and filter application, plus there is no column for word count.

  • Avg. Topic Authority – Because a page can rank for many topics, each with their own authority, we take the average.
  • Organic Traffic Est. – How much traffic we believe the page is getting.
  • Page Authority – This metric is calculated relative to the other pages on your domain.
  • Value/Mo – The sum of the value of each topic for which the page ranks (traffic estimate * cost-per-click)

A page has low Topic Authority when its coverage and performance for a specific topic is sub-optimal. When this applies to a number of topics covered by the page, then it gets reflected in its Avg. Topic Authority.

You’ll want to investigate pages on this list further to determine which topic(s) require some remedial effort.


Learn More

Read our knowledge base article Risk – Low Topic Authority for details on how to set up this view.


Pages at Risk Due to Competitors

Saved View for finding pages at risk due to competition.

We use this view to find pages where there’s potential competitive risk. What makes this Saved View different from the previous ones is the use of Related Topics (number of topics that a page ranks for) and Avg. Competitive Advantage.

To understand Avg. Competitive Advantage, we first need to discuss Competitive Advantage by itself.

Competitive Advantage is a metric that applies to individual topics. It’s the difference between Difficulty (how hard it is for anyone to rank for a topic) and Personalized Difficulty (how hard it is for you to rank for a topic). It’s presented as a horizontal candlestick:

  • A green bar indicates a positive Competitive Advantage. It’s easier for you because Personalized Difficulty is less than Difficulty.
  • A red bar indicates a negative Competitive Advantage. It’s harder for you because Personalized Difficulty is greater than Difficulty.
  • The length of the bar illustrates how great your Competitive Advantage is (a long green bar is best).
  • Where the bar sits on the line is based on the Difficulty and Personalized Difficulty. The line starts at 0 on the far left and finishes at 100 on the right. (a bar starting further left is better).

Visually, you’re looking for a long green bar (big advantage) that starts as far to the left as possible (real easy). Those are the situations in which you have the greatest competitive advantage. In cases where you see a thin green line, competitive advantage is almost non-existent – you’re just as likely to rank as the next person. And when the bar is red, that means you’re at a disadvantage relative to the competition.

At the page level, Competitive Advantage is averaged since one page can rank for many topics.

The inclusion of Page Authority and Avg. Topic Authority helps to highlight pages that are “punching above their weight.” Pages with high Page Authority and low Avg. Topic Authority reveal situations where off-page factors are driving success as opposed to topical coverage.


Learn More

Read Content Inventory Optimization and The Importance of Topical Authority for more information on Competitive Advantage.

Read our knowledge base article Risk – Competitors for details on how to set up this view.


Takeaway

These Saved Views can help you find pages at risk due to thin content, low Topic Authority, or strong competition. Applying filters to specific columns of data creates a more manageable shortlist of candidates. Review the details of each page to determine how best to update it and add it to a plan. Go through the plan, create content briefs, and assign them to your team.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
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