Why do I need to keep tabs or remove outdated content on my website?
Over time your business evolves. You refine who your audience is, what you offer and your brand voice. Google and other search engines also change. Their algorithms change in line with what they believe people want to see online and their search behaviours.
It is down to this that it is essential that you periodically review or remove outdated content.
Old blogs, downloads, white papers or website pages could be holding your website back from ranking well or converting customers.
While it is true that regularly adding unique content is the way to ensure that you are drawing traffic (and Google) in, if they then start to browse and come across information that is out of date, it can have an adverse impact on conversions and rankings.
So what can you do? We recommend the review, refresh, remove approach.
Reviewing ‘old’ content.
Go back to the beginning and scan blogs, categories, pages and downloads.
- Are there any that immediately stand out as being out of date or no longer relevant to your business as it stands today?
- Could there be blogs that you have forgotten about that need a deeper look?
- Any that need an update and reference back to show differences in time, predictions that came true or to highlight issues/trends that are still current.
- Are all your case studies relevant to your current clients? Have you had any better results?
Basically is what you are offering through your website content still relevant to your consumers and does it still represent your brand as it stands today? It is time to put those big girl or boy pants on and be honest with yourself.
Get someone to help you that has not written any of the content but has an understanding of your industry and your target audience to help. This will then give you a list of actions and possibly free up some keywords and fresh content ideas.
Refresh – the bit that will take the most time.
The content that is staying put, if written a year or more ago, will need refreshing. Check:
- Is the information still correct?
- Do all the external and internal links work?
- Is the tone of voice right?
- Are your consumers going to like it?
- Will Google ‘like’ it?
By having a plugin such as Yoast installed, it can help provide you with an SEO and readability checklist to please your readers and search engines. Set some time aside each week to get this task done and before you know it your website traffic will increase.
Remove outdated content.
This can be hard to do if the content in question was written by you. To make it easier here are some questions:
- Is it worth rewriting? If you have blogs that have a poor SEO and readability score seriously consider if they are worth tweaking, or scrapping and starting again. Furthermore, the answer is NO if it is random time sensitive news items about Christmas opening hours, updated in technology that is now out of date or talking about an employee that no longer works for the company.
- Would today’s audience find it useful? Again, if the answer is No. Delete and put in your content plan to write a similar piece of content for today’s audience. If it is, update it so it fits in with your current brand voice.
- Is anyone reading it? If not, there is possibly a reason or two. Delete and think of something relevant to write in its place.
As you remove outdated content make a note of the keywords that have been used. Analyse them and see if they are worth reusing. Also, make sure the content you have deleted has their links removed from other pages to prevent 404 errors. 404 errors is a thumb down from Google.
While this may seem like unnecessary housekeeping, you could not be more wrong.
By reviewing or removing old content, you are:
- Ensuring that your website performance is as efficient as possible regarding page loading times.
- Providing your readers and customers with content that is current, valuable and relevant.
- Freeing up keywords that you can be used for new content.
- Seeing how far you have come as a business. How often do we ever get the chance to do that!
- Keeping Google and your website visitors happy = better ranking
And who doesn’t want that!