SEO Tips: Revive Remove Outdated Content to Increase Traffic

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a multifaceted strategy. Many marketers will approach SEO differently and everyone is always on the lookout for SEO tips to to improve traffic, conversions, and sales.

While there may be many different ways to approach SEO and develop a unique strategy, there are also some tried-and-true best practices that apply across all industries and business sizes. These best practice strategies are much more than SEO tips because they truly are a foundation for operating a business that grows organically. This article will help you boost SEO and traffic.

SEO tips are primarily going to focus on boosting traffic and encouraging those visitors to take a specific action. Whether that’s to download something, purchase something, read a blog, or even join a community, SEO is the driving force behind traffic.

As you’re in business for longer and longer, there’s likely tons of content on your site that has been there from the beginning. Each year in business is another year of additional content being added to your website. While this new content is great for SEO, because Google loves to have something new to crawl, there can also be a lot of content that has gone stagnant and isn’t doing its job of pulling in organic traffic.

So what do you do with this content? There are a few options here to ensure that the content that is on your site has a clear directive and is performing.

SEO Tips

SEO Tips: Revive / Remove Outdated Content to Increase Traffic

It’s important to note that while we will be offering solutions and SEO tips to increase traffic, completely removing content is not always advisable. We’ll dig into that later.

With the years of content on your site, it’s super important to perform an audit and see where you stand on every piece.

Here’s how to review the content on your site and decide what to do with it:

  1. Perform an Audit
    This is definitely not the most fun job, but it’s going to be so worth it. A site-wide audit is incredibly beneficial and should be done at the very least annually. Start a spreadsheet to organize the links to each page and notes on actions to take. This will help you stay organized and will allow you to see everything in one place. You’ll want to go through every single live page on your site. This includes landing pages, sub-pages, blogs, and product pages.An easy way to ensure you don’t miss a page is to go through the backend of your website and just go down the line. It’s easy to forget a page when you’re just clicking around.
  2. Research Fresh Keywords
    This is a top SEO tip. The relevance of keywords to your brand/industry can change over time. People’s interests and searches change with their needs, so it’s always a good idea to gather new keywords that are aligned with what you’re doing now. This will also help you determine what people are looking for and how they’re searching online. Keyword refreshing will always be something you want to keep in your SEO tip toolbox, not only when you’re performing an audit.Sometimes, people think SEO doesn’t work, but it’s really just an issue with using the right keywords.
  3. Analyze the Content
    Once you have links to all pages in the spreadsheet, begin analyzing the content and looking at keywords, relevancy, timely content, and anything that may have already happened like events or webinars.This is where you’ll determine what changes need to be made on each page if any, and how you’re going to revive the content. The only time you want to completely remove content from your website is when it’s irrelevant. This can be due to a timely situation like an event or special promotion, or it can be from a change in products or services. You want to make sure that all the content, on every live page on your website, is current and relevant. People can find pages in a number of ways, and if they land on something that’s out of date or completely irrelevant, they can become confused and unlikely to engage.Create a column in your audit spreadsheet for the analysis of the page. This can be a selection between “good, revise, remove” or some other key that will help you and your team determine the next action.An easy way to get into the data of your pages and content is through your Google Analytics dashboard. You’ll be able to see all stats and look at the performance of each page. Whether the page used to perform well but no longer does, or if it never performed well, you’ll know in an instant with Google Analytics.
  4. Create a Plan
    For each page on your website, there needs to be a plan and action taken. When you organize this in your audit spreadsheet, you’ll have a clear direction and will be able to delegate tasks to your team.With a bank of new keywords and knowledge of what needs to happen for each page, you’ll be applying this SEO tip to ensure that everything on your website is relevant and current.Even changing a few lines in a blog, adding fresh keywords to a high performing page, or removing copy about a limited time offer can boost your organic traffic. For each page, put action notes in the spreadsheet of how to proceed. And remember this SEO tip, unless the content is completely irrelevant or pulling in absolutely zero traffic, it should always be revived rather than deleted.
  5. Take Action
    Taking action on this SEO tip will get you well on the way to boosting traffic organically and resting easy knowing your entire website is fully updated. This is a great time to involve the entire team and delegate tasks to everyone. When your team understands what’s on your website and what goes into keeping things relevant, you’ll have more cohesion throughout and will have a clear vision for exactly where your website is going.Taking action can also look like developing a plan around going forward. By setting a schedule for a regular audit, you’ll be implementing this SEO tip each year, if not more often. Depending on the needs and content on your website currently, there are many ways you can continually freshen up content.

SEO Tip: Google Loves New Content

Beyond posting regular blogs, Google also loves when content on static pages is refreshed. This gives Google something new to crawl and index, which will help boost organic traffic. Fresh content is a huge SEO tip and can help ensure that your team gets in the habit of this regularly.

If going into the backend of a website isn’t the most efficient way to look at all pages, you can use a service like Screaming Frog that will run a report on all pages, even the ones that aren’t getting traffic. Google Analytics is great for pages that get even one visitor a month, but not for the ones that get no traffic at all. And if you’ve been in business a while or just have tons of pages on your website, then Screaming Frog will help you identify each and every page so you can audit and analyze it.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine the action to take on each page. If the content is out of date, these questions will help you apply this SEO tip to your entire website with clarity.

  1. Does the content still represent the brand?
  2. Is the content still relevant to your audience?
  3. Is the content about an event or special offer that has passed?
  4. Are there outdated keywords that are no longer directly relevant to your product/service?
  5. Can you improve the content to make it relevant?
  6. Is it possible to refresh the backlinks if they’re broken or irrelevant?
  7. Is the page still getting organic traffic?

Once you answer these questions for each page, you’ll have a clear action plan for how to refresh the content. Deleting content entirely, or pages are the last resort. It’s much more beneficial to refresh and revive content rather than deleting it entirely.

If you do remove content entirely, there are precautions to take so Google doesn’t drop traffic for your entire site.

SEO Tip: How to Safely Remove Pages

Removing pages completely from your website doesn’t mean that they also disappear from Google immediately. Google will need time to re-crawl your site and index new pages. Google also has a service to remove content directly.

Here are a few ways you can go about this and ensure that Google keeps your website in good standing:

  1. Redirect the page: using a URL redirect is a great way to prevent people from landing on an outdated page without completely deleting the page. A simple redirect to a more relevant page will look like a seamless experience to the user, and Google won’t have to reindex pages.
  2. 401 Deleted: Different from a 404 no found page, a 401 deleted status page tells Google that the page was intentionally deleted and that it won’t be live again. This is safer than just deleting the page entirely.
  3. No-index Tag: To keep a page on your site but remove it from Google and search results, using a no-index tag will do the trick. You’ll also need to remove the page from your sitemap.
  4. Google’s Remove Outdated Content Tool: Google has developed its own tool to remove outdated content. It’s an easy way to go straight to the source without risking repercussions. 

SEO TIP: Refresh Now!

The sooner you take steps to revive and refresh pages, the sooner you’re going to boost your organic traffic with this tried-and-true SEO Tip.

If your site is complicated or you want the opinion and assistance of a digital marketing company, we are here to help! Get in touch with us to discuss the ways we can apply this SEO tip to your website and get your traffic moving in the right direction.

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