Every piece of content has a shelf-life. Even the most high-quality, highly-performing pieces. You can make sure your content library earns the best ROI by regularly auditing it and updating it. You will often need to make a decision about whether to delete or optimize old content.
What are the key points to remember? Failure to follow the correct steps can lead to a ding in your content results, even small ones.
We'll show you how to tell when to optimize or delete content.
Before you delete or optimize old content, it is a good idea to do a content audit.
Content which hasn't received any views or generated traffic can almost always get deleted.
Always monitor page metrics (Google Analytics is a great tool to help you) and make sure to fill in any gaps left by content changes.
Tools such as Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider will help you to gather backlink information. This will ensure that you don’t lose it when you delete old content or optimize it.
CTAs can generate leads and increase website conversions. CTAs should be updated regularly along with other content changes.
Optimize or delete? How do you decide?
Audit your content
It's important to know how much content you have before you start optimizing or deleting it. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for optimizing old content, but it has one problem: it won't show pages that haven’t received any traffic or views.
To ensure a thorough site audit, I recommend using a two-step method. To conduct a thorough content audit of your entire website, you will need a page crawler such as Screaming Frog. Combine it with data from Google Analytics to rank each page using SEO performance KPIs such as traffic, page views and time spent on page.
You can integrate your Screaming Frog license with Google Analytics to get seamless site analytics. It costs about $200 per year.
Eliminate bad content
Although there are exceptions to every rule, this one is close. If content has been out for a while but isn't getting any views or traffic, it doesn't provide value to your audience. It could make it more difficult for Google to crawl your website and locate the most important pages for ranking in SERPs.
After performing your site audit, first look for pages that have received little or no traffic. You may find that one page isn’t performing well. If this happens, you should check for technical issues such as a noindex tag. If this happens, remove the content from your site.
Next, go through your rest of the content and evaluate its relevance. Relevance in this context means two things. It must still reflect your brand accurately and provide value to your audience (or have the potential to do so by giving some TLC).
A blog article on a discontinued product, for example, would not be relevant and should be deleted. An outdated product blog article can still be relevant, even if it ranks highly.
It doesn't matter if you want to delete or optimize content. You need to do it with care to ensure that your site isn't adversely affected by the changes. We'll be discussing how to delete or optimize responsibly, and what steps you should take before doing so.
Four Things to Consider Before You Delete Content
To make sure that your content strategy is still being followed, you should test your assumptions before making a decision to delete old content. Google Analytics allows you to see page metrics such as traffic, time spent on the page, visitor demographics and other information to get a deeper understanding of how your audience interacts with the content.
Even if you decide to delete the content, you can still use the insights to create new content. If the content is not relevant anymore but has received views from a specific target audience, you can create new content or redirect them to another page.
You should check if the content that you are going to delete is in a high ranking SERPs position. You should consider whether you are willing to sacrifice the visibility that you might lose by removing it. It may not be a problem to lose your ranking position in some cases if the query, product, or service is no longer relevant to you brand.
If you need to rank for these keyword terms, it is worth looking at other options such as redirecting or optimizing your content.
Some brands simply add a note at the top of their content stating that it is no longer up-to-date and a link to the updated content. You won't lose your rank, but you can still get your audience to where they need to go on your website.
Link building can be a lengthy process and requires many tactics over time. If you don't take preventative steps, losing backlinks due to deleted content could seriously impact your overall traffic. It's important to consider lost traffic due to broken backlinks, especially when you delete a lot of content (such as during an audit or site design).
Ahref's online backlink checker makes it easy to check your backlinks. Enter your domain name and Ahref will give you a list with earned backlinks to your entire website.
Image Source: Ahrefs
Once you have identified any backlinks to pages that you may wish to delete, you can take steps in order not to break them. A redirect is an option, as mentioned. If you want to delete the entire page it is a good idea. Reach out to the linking website and ask them to change the URL. This helps to avoid broken links.
Last, but not least: consider the purpose before you delete the content. Is it still necessary to accomplish that purpose? Is there any alternative content that can do the same job? Don't delete old content without giving it adequate thought.
Four Things to Consider Before Optimizing Old Content
Similar to how you must check page metrics before you remove old content, you should also be checking the optimization of new content. You might want to check how much search volume your target keywords are getting before adding or changing keywords in an updated version.
Also, consider how your current content is performing. Is there a lead magnet that converts well on your page? You'll want to keep that lead magnet up if it is.
In other words, make sure you are evaluating what is working and then optimize to ensure you don't lose a contributor who has been a strong performer in your content strategy.
Optimizing your website requires that you pay attention to backlinks. To maintain the traffic generated by your backlinks, it is important to ensure that you are not combining content or redirecting to another place. For information on what to do before you remove content, see the steps below.
Possibility to reuse
There are other ways to repurpose content than just updating the text. You can make popular blog posts more shareable by creating infographics, as we did with our perfect article. You can also recap webinars in blog posts or make a written guide into an instructional video.
Repurposing content for new channels and types gives new life and purpose to content that is in dire need of an update. This will help you attract new audiences and boost traffic.
How important is your content in the buyer journey? Are you directing your readers to a particular page, site, action, or other destination? Check your CTAs regularly to determine if they need an update or should they be kept the same.
CTAs are one the most read parts of your content. 90% of readers who read your headline also see your CTAs. So, failing to optimize them could be a big missed opportunity.
What's the point?
Optimizing old content and making it more search engine friendly is a sure-fire way to improve your site's crawlability and increase your overall ROI. However, it is important not to rush the process.
You can rest assured that you won't accidentally undo or break anything you have worked hard on (such as rankings and backlinks) by following the above tips. However, you will lose traffic, rankings or backlinks if you delete or modify content over time.
It is important to be deliberate about all you do. You can still create high-quality content if you have a plan.
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Marketing Insider Group published the post 8 Things You Need to Know Before You "Optimize" Or Delete Old Content.
By: Michael Brenner
Title: 8 Things to Check Before You “Optimize” or Delete Old Content
Sourced From: marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/8-things-to-check-before-you-optimize-or-delete-old-content/
Published Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2022 10:00:09 +0000