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🍋 Lemons

What to do with pages that seem hopeless

You’ve got a few posts on your blog that aren’t doing anything for you.

Traffic is low, bounce rate is high. No conversions. Maybe the people who wrote these posts wince when they scroll past them on the blog.

These pages probably need a lot of work to see meaningful improvement. We call them “lemons”.

Lemons deserve love and attention, too. (And, in some cases, pruning.)

Understanding lemons

Let’s say you sell saxophones, and your blog has a lengthy post entitled “How To Play Jimi Hendrix Guitar Solos On A Saxophone.” And the page is a lemon.

Big-time lemon: the content, the format, the audience targeting… everything is terrible. Rehabilitating each element probably requires more energy than it’s worth.

But you have to do something with it because, in your blog library, a lemon is a liability:

  • Distracting visitors away from posts that actually convert. Blog index views and search engine results might present the lemons first, which send new leads running away.
  • Wasting Google’s time. Google’s crawlbots don’t have infinite amounts of time to spend on your site. Lots of bad content can mean that the good stuff doesn’t get indexed as quickly.
  • Diminishing your brand. Lemon posts tend to accumulate formatting problems, and other issues, that nobody notices except for the very occasional visitor.
  • Taking up your time. All of your content requires maintenance, and maintaining a lemon isn’t worth the time you put into it. Plus, lemons show up in analytics and reporting at the strangest times.

It’s not all bad, however. Within these lemon posts, there’s probably some bits of quality content that you can use on other pages.

What you can do

Adapt the strong content in these pages to improve other pages that are already performing better. Then delete the existing page.

You’ll be making successful posts more robust while streamlining your content library at the same time.

Get started by identifying lemon posts in Google Analytics. Look for the posts with low traffic and high bounce rates. (If a page has just low traffic, or just low engagement, tackle that first.)

Next, do a quick content assessment in the lemon page:

  • Is any of this material relevant to our audience and value props?
  • Is any of this material useful or insightful enough to salvage?

Then extract that quality material and add it to relevant posts on your blog that are already performing well – or doing okay, at least. Then delete the lemon (and be sure to redirect the deleted page to the new article).

Full disclosure: we cut up an existing lemon post for this very newsletter 🤓. And then we deleted it.

Or prune it, if you will.

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