Things to do with outdated, stale or expired website content

Old and outdated website content is not quite like throwing out an old pair of shoes. A recent article by Erin Everhart (an experienced digital strategist, content developer and search marketer), published on Search Engine Land on 25th August 2015, has outlined the best way to manage old content.

With the new Google Panda 4.2 algorithm rolling out over the current few months, more of us are turning our attention to our website content. Ultimately, in order to rank highly on the search results pages, our content must be high-quality, useful and relevant. But should we just throw out outdated content or can we make use of it?

What to Delete

Firstly, let’s consider what content should be deleted. According to Erin Everhart, there are some words that we simply can’t string out and, once out of date, should be removed from our website completely.
Type of content that may well need deleting are as follows:

 

  • Old products or services that are no longer offered.
  • Former employee or executive profiles.
  • Job postings.
  • Similar or duplicate blog posts.

 

That said, some products could return to your page in future. In which case, it may be helpful to add a note for the user, such as, “This product is currently unavailable but will be in stock at the beginning of November 2015”.
What’s more, you may wish to include redirecting pages. For example, a job post may have been filled but you could redirect the user to another available job listing within your company. Make sure not to include too many redirections though, just in case you cause your website to significantly slow down.

What to Optimize

A lot of content though will not need to be deleted and can actually be optimized to work effectively for your business once again.
Erin Everhart has outlined a few things to consider when optimizing your outdated content.

Update the existing content of a current URL

There is no need to create a new URL. Although this often works, it is much better to keep your domain authority in one place. You don’t want to compete with yourself after all!

Update Your Keyword Research

Don’t forget to check the keywords you are optimizing on your website. Search changes all the time and, therefore, it is important to keep up-to-date with what people are searching for.
Google Adwords is a great way to check for popular search terms and can be a good starting point for creating website content and blog posts, as well as updating outdated keyword research.

Optimize your Call to Action

Get your customers to do what you are wanting them to. Updating blog posts, website content, services pages and how-to guides can be a great opportunity to optimize your call to action.
Think about how you can get passive readers into converted customers. Perhaps include a product review and combine it with a “Buy now” button or promote a new offer on your updated blog post.

Promote your Updated Content

Once you’ve updated your content, promote it again. Perhaps over Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. Get as many people reading it as possible!

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