While maintaining a regular flow of posts to your website, as part of your marketing strategy, the importance of keeping your content relevant cannot be overstated. It might be easy to think that keeping your posts regular will achieve this on its own. However, this is not always the case.
In order to really keep your content relevant, you should also be willing to update old content, merge old posts, and, on occasion, delete posts that have become irrelevant.
Although you might have gotten away with it so far, eventually, out of date information is bound to catch up with you. Whether that be through visitors reading information that is now incorrect, or your website ranking suffering from too much similar content. But these steps will help you to prevent this from happening, and keep your website as effective as it can be…
Updating old content
Depending on the industry you work in, things can change fast. Keeping your cornerstone content (the most important and informative pages on your website) up to date is extremely important. In addition to regularly posting new content, it is a good idea to make content maintenance a key part of your content strategy.
What’s more, you can even use your old content to create new, useful posts for your website. Updating an old post gives you the opportunity to re-share the updated information, effectively hitting two birds with one stone…
Merging old posts
Another way to keep your website up to date and working as smoothly as possible for your visitors is to merge past content which may be similar. For example, if you have written three posts that contain a lot of the same information, merge them into one super-informative, new post.
However, if you do this, remember to redirect from the old links to your new post… This can be done using a 301 redirect. This will also help you to maintain any links that are directed towards the original post, by instead sending visitors to the new and improved post.
Deleting old content
When you have been running your website for a while, it will become almost inevitable that some of the posts and pages won’t be needed anymore. For example, products that you don’t sell anymore, announcements for an event that has already taken place, or ‘thin’ pages with little useful content.
The best course of action for this type of page and content is to remove it from your site completely. It sounds like the most straightforward of all the options, right? Well, the best way of doing this actually takes a little bit more than simply pressing ‘delete’.
First of all, determine whether there are a lot of valuable links to the page. If there are, then see if there is a related page that you can redirect to. If there isn’t, or if there really isn’t any value in the link at all, serve a ‘410 Deleted’ status to Google. Unlike a simple delete, this will help Google to react to the missing content much faster. This means that the link will be removed from search pages more quickly than through a simple ‘delete’.