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Your website content is like a beautiful garden. You put in a lot of effort to maintain it, and as a result, you can be proud of your hard work. But every garden needs a little weeding from time to time. And just like pruning your garden is beneficial to its health, updating and deleting old blog posts can be helpful for your website and its overall digital performance.

What exactly are the benefits of updating and clearing out old content? And how can you know which posts to edit and which posts to delete? As always, Uyo Digital Marketing has your back with a comprehensive guide on the matter.

Why Should You Update Old Content?

woman working from home editing old contentAs a small business owner, you likely have trouble finding time to write new content, let alone revising the posts you already have. But that’s precisely the reason you should do so. Since you’ve carved out the time to write the content, wouldn’t it make sense to have it benefit you as long as possible?

All content eventually diminishes in value. It can become “old” in just a few weeks in some industries. By comparison, other content may continue to drive traffic for years. Inevitably, however, you’ll see metrics dwindle at some point.

Since content marketing and SEO work so closely together, updating old content keeps you ranking well in search engine results and improves your web traffic. Search engines will crawl your site more frequently if you offer it fresh content. This is a huge advantage, especially if your competitors are not updating their content as often as you are.

It also allows you to do more with less. What’s easier? Growing a new plant from seed or refreshing a wilted one? The same is true with your content strategy. While it’s important to publish fresh content on your website consistently, you can save time by working with something you already have.

Why Should You Delete Old Content?

Of course, some types of older content are just not worth the effort to update. Blog posts that promote a service that you no longer offer or an event from five years ago, for example, will not benefit you or your visitors whether you update it or not. 

Don’t be afraid to delete old content that no longer serves you. A gardener will not hesitate to remove a pest from their garden because they know the consequences of ignoring it. Likewise, keeping out-of-date, irrelevant content can drag down your overall SEO and even detrimentally affect your new content. Weed it out to maintain your digital performance and its related revenue streams.

smiling black woman editing old content on laptop

How to Determine Whether To Update or Delete an Old Blog Post

Now that you know why you should update and delete old content, how do you determine which posts get a refresh and which posts get the ax? It can be hard to know the difference, even for experienced content writers and marketers. Consider the following criteria.

Is The Blog Post Still Relevant?

Search engines want to deliver the best answer to the searcher’s query. As a result, relevancy is a major ranking factor. Old blog posts may be outdated because of industry shifts or include outdated examples, links, photos, or references.

To determine whether to revise the content or delete it outright, consider the post as a whole. Is the topic related to a subject you no longer blog about or a service you no longer offer? Is the topic itself still relevant to your industry or audience? If the answer is no, it’s better to delete it. If you decide to delete a post, always set up a redirect to another page on your website.

Is The Blog Post High-Quality?

Evaluating the quality of older content can be tricky, especially if it was content you personally wrote in the past. The fact of the matter is that a lot of content may have been effective and high-quality when you wrote it but has not held up to the test of time.

Delete any old giveaway or diary-style posts, as well as any content that is very short, incomplete, or serves little purpose to your current audience. It’s better to delete a beloved blog post that no longer helps you than risk users receiving a poor first impression.

Performance icon, concept for website performance

Does The Old Blog Post Have “SEO Juice”?

If you’ve evaluated a blog post on the above criteria and are still unsure, it’s time to see what the data tells us. If the content needs a major overhaul to remain relevant or high-quality, it would be worth the effort if:

  1. The content is still bringing in a significant amount of traffic.
  2. The content has several quality backlinks pointing to it.
  3. The content still ranks well for targeted keywords.

To begin, investigate your website traffic. Has the old content brought in traffic in the last 3 – 6 months? If the blog post hasn’t received any traffic or very little, you can safely delete it.

Secondly, evaluate whether the blog posts have quality backlinks or not. Backlinks are a link from someone else’s website back to yours. They are essentially a vote of confidence for your content, and posts with good backlinks will typically rank higher than ones without them.

Building backlinks is a time-consuming and sometimes difficult process, so keeping the ones you have is generally better than starting from scratch. If a low-quality, out-of-date blog post doesn’t have quality backlinks, it would be better to delete it. On the other hand, if you discover that an older post has several quality backlinks, you might consider revising it to keep the links pointing to your website.

Lastly, dig into your keyword rankings. Does the old blog post rank well for one of your targeted keywords? Like backlinks, keyword rankings take a lot of time and effort to build. If old content ranks poorly for relevant keywords, it’s time to delete it.

In some cases, however, your content could be doing well in the search engine results, but once visitors come to the web page, they immediately leave because it’s out-of-date. A high keyword ranking isn’t going to do you any favors if no one stays on your website. If you see such a situation occurring with one of your older blog posts, revise the content to engage your visitors better, and you’ll likely see traffic metrics improve for the better.

If you’re not sure how to check these metrics or whether you have them set up at all, Uyo can help.

Evaluating and maintaining older content can be a time-consuming and difficult process, but remember why you’re doing it. Pruning a garden is necessary to keep it beautiful and healthy. Do the same with your website by updating and deleting older content. 

If you need help maintaining your old blog posts or writing fresh content, the experts at Uyo Digital Marketing can manage your content marketing for you, leaving you with more time to run your business.