OK so you have a website that has been around for a while and you may have had a few of those old blog posts that just have a stale vibe sitting in the back of your mind and not been sure what to do about it. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to determine what the right course of action is and there is a temptation just to delete the old blog posts and be done with it, but making changes to your site especially in relation to updating, adding or removing content should be approached with caution as it can definitely impact your website’s organic search visibility..
Read on for some of the many reasons why you should improve your old blog content.
Panda… Panda… PANDA!
If your mind went to the song by Desiigner then you’re wrong in this instance. I’m talking about the Google algorithm update responsible for identifying websites with sub-standard content. Here is a visual representation of what it does to sites that don’t comply.
To maintain your organic search visibility it’s really important that you are providing really high quality written content. Although this algorithm update is a few years old now, having gone global in April of 2011 it’s still important to talk about as it is part of Google’s core algorithm. It’s also something many webmasters forget or are not aware of unless they are working with digital marketing and search engine optimisation experts.
Things change with time
As time goes on there is a constant shift towards improving website content quality and user experience. A few years ago you could write a blog post of around 500 words or less which was very keyword driven and get some positive impact from it. Not so much the case today, its really about ensuring you are crafting high quality and engaging content that satisfies your user’s intent. Take this opportunity to refresh your old blog posts and boost the value your content with additional information and resources. Evaluate the blog post and ensure it’s still relevant and also accurate, especially in the case of any data and statistics. It’s also a good idea to add an editor’s note at the bottom informing people that this post was previously published and has been updated for accuracy. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated it can be as simple as “This blog post was originally published July 2010 and has been updated to reflect accurate statistics as at November 2018”.
Optimise for the algorithms of today
As mentioned above things do change with time, it’s important that not only the content and data is fresh but also your approach to SEO. If you have a search engine optimisation agency working with you then it’s likely that they can/will handle this for you depending on the scope of your activities. It’s important that your post when refreshed is optimised for the way search is today and moving forward. There is such a thing as over optimisation for the current engines and some older blog content can have that issue which really holds back your SEO rankings.
Benefits of a URL with age behind it
Don’t be tempted to scrap everything entirely and start a new blog post from scratch. URL’s are like a fine wine they only get better (and more valuable) with age. So unless absolutely necessary try to retain your existing URLs. This is why it is also important that when setting up your website that you have great structure from the beginning. SEO professionals are of great value here when they can construct the navigation and URL structure of your site for you, as this will minimise the chance of you having to amend URL’s in future.
Google likes to keep it fresh and functional
If you don’t have an SEO agency working on your website, chances are you have dead links floating around. When refreshing your blog content take the opportunity to crosscheck any links you have in your posts, then you can also look for newer or more comprehensive posts to link to which will add even more value for your reader. Search engines don’t reward stale content, so by freshening things up you give search engines like Google a signal that you are maintaining your site and providing value, which is what they want.
Better internal linking opportunities
If your blog has been around for quite some time the chances are that some of the items you briefly touch on in the older blog posts may be covered in more depth within newer posts, giving you an internal linking opportunity. This is good for your blog and your readers as they can review more content that would be of value to them and it increases the user engagement on your site which is of great value to you. Win/Win!
Having said this there may be a few instances separate to your blog where there is no way to salvage old content such as old products that are no longer offered, team members that don’t work with you anymore or old job postings. If you have a couple of pages like this or you have some trend based blog posts that aren’t really evergreen and can’t be improved then it’s best to work with your content marketers and search engine optimisation specialists to ensure you aren’t doing anything that is detrimental to your organic search visibility before removing the content.
If you would like to have our team work with you on your content marketing strategy then feel free to get in touch with us for a no obligation discussion on how we could work to achieve goals within your marketing budget.