How Do I Fix Orphan Pages in SEO?
To help you tackle the issue of orphaned pages in SEO, we’ve gathered insights from six industry professionals, including a head of SEO and an associate director of SEO. From identifying and assessing orphaned pages to utilizing tools and internal linking, discover the strategies these experts have used to eliminate orphaned pages and improve their website’s performance.
- Identify and Assess Orphaned Pages
- Evaluate The Page Relevancy
- Try Ahrefs for Orphaned Page Solutions
- Take a Strategic Approach to Internal Linking
- Incentivize Users with Games, Quizzes
- Utilize Tools and Internal Linking
Identify and Assess Orphaned Pages
Orphan pages are pages that search engines may have difficulty discovering because they have no internal links from elsewhere on your website.
How do you find such pages?
First, as SEO specialists, we have to scan your website. We do this with the help of Screaming Frog + Google Search Console API. Specialists analyze the results and determine which pages have no internal links and have no impressions for the last 9-12 months.
Then we decide whether these pages are essential for us/users.
If yes, then you can:
- include this type of page in the menu structure
- find relevant articles from which you can make internal links
Preventive measures are the best way to get rid of such pages. To prevent them from appearing, I advise:
- Set up your site structure for success
- Have a plan for site migrations
- Run regular site audits
Evaluate The Page Relevancy
Audit the website to identify the orphaned pages. The thing is, orphaned pages aren’t necessarily bad, so I evaluate the pages to see if they should get linked to, deleted, or left alone.
If they’re still relevant, then I pull up other pages that apply to the orphaned page and link them together. Otherwise, I delete them. If they’re a test page or a piece of content that is accessed only by a select group of people, I make sure to noindex them and remove them from the sitemap.
Try Ahrefs for Orphaned Page Solutions
I start by using a site auditing tool, such as the one from Ahrefs, which is the most accurate from my experience of orphan links. Then I download this information into an Excel file and open it up on Google Drive as a sheet.
The next steps I take are to reorganize the sheet to have an added column of what ideal anchor texts should be for this page and another column for where the link was added in the content on the site. Take some time and work down the list, and the next site audit should show a decrease in orphan link errors.
Take a Strategic Approach to Internal Linking
Eliminating orphaned pages in SEO involves a strategic approach. To begin, I identified orphaned pages, which are isolated within a website and have no internal links pointing to them. This was done through a comprehensive audit of the website’s structure and analysis of internal linking patterns using SEO tools and crawling software.
Once identified, I prioritized the orphaned pages based on relevance, importance, and potential value to the website. This helped me determine which pages required immediate attention and optimization.
To address the issue, I created internal links by updating existing content or creating new content for the orphaned pages. These links were strategically placed within the website’s structure, and the sitemap was updated and submitted to search engines for faster crawling and indexing.
Monitoring metrics allowed for evaluating the effectiveness and making adjustments as needed. The goal was to improve visibility and enhance SEO performance.
Incentivize Users With Games, Quizzes
Create a game or quiz to reward users to explore the website and find hidden pages, including orphaned pages. This increases their visibility and user engagement. For example, a travel company may create a quiz about popular destinations and include links to relevant pages, including orphaned pages. This strategy can increase traffic to the entire site.
Utilize Tools and Internal Linking
My team and I regularly crawl our clients’ sites with a tool like Content King or SEMRush. This allows us to find most of the technical issues that can happen when more than one team is working on a site, including identifying “orphan pages”.
Once we identify one of these pages, the first step is to decide if it needs to be included within the site. Does it serve a purpose for Organic Search or was it created to be used only for Paid Search efforts? What keywords are we targeting on this page?
If the page is viewed as valuable for Organic Search campaigns, we build an internal linking strategy to integrate it within the site. This can include reviewing blog posts for keywords related to the page, adding a link in the menus (headers or footers), and breadcrumbs.
All of this work allows search engines and your site users to navigate to this page and from it to other areas of the site in a much more natural way.
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