Creating new content on your site improves SEO by keeping it fresh—something search engines like. But what happens to your old content?
Over time, content can become outdated or obsolete. But it’s still there. And chances are it can be hurting your rankings over time.
Auditing old content isn’t something that many people talk about when it comes to optimizing your website. It’s easy to just focus on creating the new stuff.
But knowing when it’s time to clean your site’s old content and how to go about doing it will ensure that you keep your site optimized for users and search engines.
Why You Should Audit Your Old Content
There are a number of reasons why you should revise or remove old content from your site. If you have information related to a particular niche, it’s easy to repeat ideas and themes across many different pages.
Identifying similar pieces of content lets you take the best parts of each one and combine them into one strong page. This reduces clutter for users and maximizes the value of a single post.
It’s common these days for companies to change their branding. This might be the company name, logo, or names of products. Your old content might reflect a previous brand and can cause confusion to new users.
Content related to promotions expire the fastest. If you still have a page floating around related to an old promotion, you want to get rid of it to avoid attracting and disappointing new users.
Optimize the Experience
When you remove old content from your site, you reduce the bandwidth required by search engines to crawl and index your site. Bandwidth impacts crawl allowance if much of it is spent on content that’s no longer useful.
Auditing your old content also keeps your site updated, which tells search engines that it’s still active. This keeps your rankings high and ensures the best experience for your users.
User experience is perhaps the most important element to the long-term success of your business. It keeps you from delivering information that’s outdated or incorrect. You strengthen your position as an authority in your industry by staying current.
What to Do With Old Content
There are different ways to address old content. Remember that just because it’s old doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful. If you have old blog posts that still provide value and rank well, then there’s nothing you need to do to it.
For content that’s no longer valuable to you or your users, redirect it to better content with a 301 redirect. Use this to direct users from one outdated page to a new one. Keep the content consistent between the two to meet the needs of your audience.
Sometimes you just need to create new content to replace the old. In that case, you’ll need to invest some time into improving on the existing content. Review what you have and ask yourself how you might improve it.
If your brand has changed, update the content to reflect your new message or brand “voice”. Include new information on products that may have been previously unavailable.
Auditing and updating old content is one of the best investments you can make in the success of your business. Stale content impacts the user experience by providing information that may no longer be useful or relevant.
Let us know what types of old content you’ve discovered in your site and what you’ve done to improve or eliminate it in the comments below.