Publishing consistent content, like blogs and articles, means you probably have a handful of posts performing organically well. The posts outside that hand, though, might not be performing and are just kind of… there. If you’re just continuing to create, optimize and publish new content on top of existing, yet underperforming content, you’re making a mistake. That backed-up content may seem harmless, but it could really be doing more harm than good. Now’s the time you clean up your old content!
Remove any Underperforming and Outdated Content
The organic content algorithm has and will continue to change. The SEO tactics that worked five years ago are no longer the case today. The problem is, we probably have a good amount of content that was created five years ago using those outdated tactics. And it’s all just hanging around in our websites like stray cats with nothing else to do.
Yet, even if that content is old, outdated, and doesn’t bring in any results whatsoever, a lot of people are hesitant to remove content. They fear even bigger SEO dips. But, when done right, this isn’t the case.
Massive content cleanup efforts from two big digital marketing publishers show how removing outdated content has helped their SEO efforts quite a bit:
- Search Engine Journal studied the results of deleting content on their site over 20 months and saw a significant increase year after year in page views and organic traffic.
- Hubspot went on to delete more than 3,000 pieces of outdated content from their blogs and saw a significant boost in their SEO results.
Now, Don’t Delete Content So Quickly!
Deleting old, or any, content has to be done the right way. You can’t just go on a backspace spree and expect results. It involves a lot of time and effort with initiatives like:
- Auditing content from a qualitative and quantitative standpoint
- A content mapping and redirecting strategy
- In-depth technical SEO mapping and planning
- Tons of redirects
It may sound like a lot to do, but the results are worth it, as we have read in the previous examples.
If You’re Not Ready to Delete Content, at Least Update It
We get it, deleting old content is lengthy and can involve a lot of back and forth. You might even receive unwanted pushback from your management or clients. So if you’re not in a position to delete, focus on giving old blogs a fresh update. This still helps boost SEO traffic and drive even more engaged visits by following a few basic best practices:
- Start with content that you still think brings value or has potential. Review them to make sure they’re still relevant in some way to your organization and your audience. Do you have new content you can link to? Are there new keywords you can update?
- Update old references. Bring in new data points, provide more or additional context, and remove anything that is no longer relevant. Are there any new studies you can link to? Any relevant case studies you’ve done that can help support the content?
- Optimize posts to fit your current SEO strategy. This includes technical SEO pieces and also metadata.
- Republish and re-promote. Include a note about when the content was originally published and when it was updated, when appropriate. Promote on social channels, in newsletters, on podcasts, etc. when relevant and appropriate.
The Efforts are Worth the Impact
Cleaning up, removing, and refreshing outdated content isn’t an easy task, nor should it be done willy-nilly. When done right, results can be impressive and significant. It can help break the cycle of just focusing on publishing more new content on top of old outdated content.
If your content could use some refresh and you’re not sure where to start, contact our awesome tribes at Tribu. We’ll help you liven up your content and get your SEO back on track!