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Why You Need to Improve or Remove Old Content

August 23, 2019

As digital marketers, we are used to weekly meetings, emails, and phone calls focused on brainstorming new content ideas and strategies. We all want to keep our blogs fresh and informative, but do we ever go back to look at our old content? A report from Hubspot showed that 76% of their monthly blog views came from "old" posts and 92% of their monthly blog leads also came from older posts. These numbers represent a trend happening in blogs throughout many industries. 

If around 90% of blog leads come from old posts, why do we spend almost 100% of our time on creating new content? It’s time we shift our focus to those posts that we may not have looked at in months or even years. As we take a look at each old blog article, there is a choice we have to make. Do we remove the content, or do we update it? 

The Case for Removing Content

When // There are three scenarios where you would want to remove old content: 

  • Content is driving little to no traffic
  • Content is converting few to zero customers
  • The industry has changed so much that the article is irrelevant 

Why // Why should you remove old content? Two words: Google Panda. This change was rolled into the main Google algorithm over five years ago. Panda looks at old and/or poor-quality content and penalizes you by dropping your search ranking

The Case for Improving Content

When // There are three scenarios where you would want to update old content:

  • Your posts are generating a lot of traffic but have low conversion rates
  • Your posts are converting well but aren’t getting a lot of traffic month after month
  • There have been slight changes to the industry and some updates would help the article stay relevant 

Why // Updating old content on your blog works for the very same reason removing articles works—Google rewards freshness. When you build on existing, well-written blogs, you are capitalizing on your existing search authority. 

How // Now that you know when and why we are addressing old content, let’s take a look at the steps you should take when improving your older blog posts:

    1. Audit your old content and analyze if you should remove or improve each article
  1. Crawl your posts to see which posts bring in the most traffic and leads, and start there (most sites get more traffic from less than 10% of their posts than they do from the other 90%) 
  2. Combine multiple content pieces where appropriate
  3. Update keywords based on updates in the company and/or industry 
  4. Remove broken links 
  5. Republish old blogs to increase CTR 

It’s that simple. During your next content conversation, bring up the plan above. It’s a surefire way to mix things up in your marketing plan and create meaningful change. You’ll also invest less time than you would when creating content from scratch. If you find yourself stuck on content updates, our team is here to help. Contact us today!

It’s time we shift our focus to those posts that we may not have looked at in months or even years.

Hope Perri

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