When was the last time you audited your website content? Six months ago? A year ago? Never?
It can be easy to forget your back catalog of old content when you focus on creating new, fresh pages for Google to crawl. But keeping previously published content up to date and ensuring you remove outdated content should be a core part of your on-page SEO efforts. Here’s why.
It Can Optimize Your Website
If your outdated pages are ranking, are they ranking for keywords that are the most relevant to your business now?
Removing pages that target keywords that are no longer a core business focus can help Google prioritize newer pages with more relevance. Additionally, sites that are updated most frequently will be crawled more regularly by Google’s bots, which seek out new content first.
Ranking for the most relevant keywords brings the right organic traffic to your website: The customers most in need of your product or services and most likely to convert.
Outdated Content Removal Decreases Bounce Rate
Your old pages may still drive a decent amount of organic traffic to your website. But, if the content your would-be customers find is inaccurate or irrelevant to the services you currently provide, then they’re unlikely to stick around for long.
Bounce rate is a key metric in SEO for website ranking. High bounce rates lead to low rankings, as Google infers poor user experience and low-quality content.
Plus, it’s not only Google that won’t like it. When you fail to remove outdated content, it can dent the trust your customers have in your brand and damage your reputation as an expert or industry leader. With knock-on effects for sales and conversions.
You’ll Stop Content Cannibalisation
When you have too much content with the same keywords, Google doesn’t understand how to rank or read it. Too many similar pages essentially eat each other up, as the Google algorithms struggle to differentiate between them.
Imagine the breakfast cereals aisle in your local grocery store just stocked multiple variations on Froot Loops. Choosing the right one to buy would be difficult and confusing. How can you pick when they are all essentially the same? But, ensuring each box offers something discrete and different, Froot Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Rice Krispies, etc, means each advertises what they bring to the metaphorical breakfast table.
Removing your outdated, duplicate content helps Google pick out what you offer.
Content Audits Help You Plug SEO Gaps
When you remove outdated content and update irrelevant, duplicate content, it can also help you identify SEO improvements. Content gaps offer opportunities to exploit relevant keywords that you have not previously targeted. Address them for higher Google search rankings and to drive more organic traffic to your site.
What To Consider Before You Remove Outdated Content
Before you get too trigger-happy with the delete button, remember that many older pages on your website will hold significant SEO value. When you remove outdated content, you’ll find yourself in a careful balancing act between customer relevance and organic traffic. Here are a few tips to help you keep those scales in order:
– Consider if the page can be updated. Pages containing out-of-date information but which rank well on Google may be able to be updated without damaging your traffic.
– Could the SEO on old pages be improved? If traffic from outdated pages is low, but the information within is still accurate and relevant, consider whether they should be optimized rather than removed.
– Check target keywords. Does the old page rank well for a highly competitive relevant keyword? If so, get creative about updating the content rather than losing the page completely.
How A Content Agency Can Help
If you have a list of pages that need updating but have neither the time nor manpower to do it, a specialist content agency like Wizeo can help.
You’ll benefit from the editing experience of expert writers specializing in your industry niche, who can ensure your content is fresh and relevant and that the SEO for each page is bang on point too. Why not contact us for a chat?