Update or Delete? What to Do With Old Content on Your Website

Is old, irrelevant content on your website costing you prospective clients and a good ranking on search engines? In order for the content on your site to be useful for users, it needs to be up-to-date with the latest information.

Sometimes the content on your website becomes outdated and no longer applies. This is when you must decide whether to delete it or replace it with updated content. If you choose to keep older content, such as videos or blog posts, it will take a few tweaks, but it can be improved to include new data or recent developments depending on the topic.

But if you think some content is completely disposable because of how dated the information or quality is, you can choose to just delete it. No matter which option you decide on, they can both assist in increasing your Google ranking and the organic traffic that comes to your website.

If you’re having difficulty determining which option best suits your website, we’re here to give you a few tips on how to choose whether to update or delete old content on your business website.

Assessing your content.

Before you start to delete pages, it’s important that you know all the content that is available on your website. You can curate a list of all the URLs (for blog posts, videos, etc.) by doing a full crawl and begin evaluating what you have.  

Now, don’t start worrying about how you’re going to do a full crawl when you have a lot of archived content. There are programs that do it for you so you don’t have to be occupied with aggregating it all by yourself. That could take weeks! Luckily there are services readily available to help you get the job done.

Once that is complete, you should start to look at what type of content you have present on your entire website. You must decide what information you think would be of interest to your targeted demographic. Here are some factors to consider to help you make that decision:

1. Is it valuable to users?

When visitors come to your site and read or watch the content you have, what are they gaining from it? Will they leave your site feeling like they learned new and helpful information that could be applicable to something in their lives?

If so, keep it! Your content should either be able to provide people with assistance to solve problems or entertain them. And it is definitely possible for older information to be handy for users as long as it’s still valid.

2. Is it quality content?

Back when corporate blogs first became common practice, everyone was creating one. They were also using blogs as a platform to create an enormous amount of content without necessarily editing it all. But, it wasn’t about understanding how important quality content was. It was more so believing that uploading a bulk of information would drive much more traffic to your website.

As we see in today’s digital age, that just simply isn’t true. How informative and well-written your blogs are is much more important than just producing a large amount that is lacking in relevancy.

This may seem obvious, but you have to simply ask yourself, is the content good? And by good we mean, when you consider the fundamentals of writing, does it meet the standards? If there are a ton of grammatical errors or it just doesn’t make sense, it’s probably best to scrap it.

Say it with us, quality over quantity! Be honest with yourself. If much of the old content on your site isn’t on par with content that you are currently creating, let it go!

3. Does the content benefit your business?

If a certain blog post or video is still helping to drive leads and increase your conversion rate, why not keep it. Even if the information is slightly dated, you can improve it so that you continuously drive more traffic to your site and boost your organic ranking on the search engine results page (SERPs).

Editing old video content.

As far as video content, this may be a bit more difficult to update. Because videos have been recorded, edited, and exported onto your site, it can take longer to refresh it. But it is possible. Just think of it like a facelift. You can edit the text, add newly filmed updates, include graphics, etc.

Keeping video content up-to-date helps to save you time, money, and re-engage with your targeted audience. And come on, who doesn’t want that?

How to update a blog post.

When you do find that some old blogs can still be used on your website, you should be constantly researching hot topics in your industry so you can add to old content. If you feel that the older posts are now capturing the attention of your readers, spice it up.

Updating old blog posts can easily be done by adding captivating images, including videos, attaching interviews, with authority figures or inserting infographics! Whatever you can do to keep readers interested and scrolling to the very bottom of the page.

Update or delete?

When it comes to this decision, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what goes and what stays on your website. You must analyze whether old content can be repurposed and transformed into something educational or if it’s just taking up space. If you still can’t decide also consider a few more questions:

update or delete
  • Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Is it original?
  • Is it credible?
  • Is it optimized?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the word count?
  • Do all the links still work?

While there are many variables to consider, it’s important to get this process done. To avoid devoting so much time on this that could be spent on clients, try to do this quarterly or even annually. Just don’t wait years to decide to update all your content because that would be some list you would have on your hands!

Promote updated content.

If you spent the time to revise your content, why wouldn’t you want users to see it! You can do this by posting it on your social media channels, email marketing, or sending out newsletters.

Make sure that the titles, tags, and meta descriptions are optimized so you can get as much organic traffic as possible. Get the most out of your refreshed content and use it to attract even more business.

If you need more information on content marketing for your business, check out these resources

What is Custom Content and Why is it Important?

How to Tell a Story Through Content Marketing

Debunking 5 Common Content Marketing Myths

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