You may have old posts or pages on your website that are no longer needed. Perhaps some stock that is no longer for sale, an out-of-date service or a blog that was only relevant for a short period of time, such as a piece of topical news. But what should you do with your old content?
Updating old content
There are a couple of options when considering whether to remove or update an old piece of content. First of all, it’s important to consider whether this page or blog could be used again another time, such as seasonal content – check out our blog about events and seasonal content for more on this. If so, it might be worth repurposing and updating annually with a quick refresh, maximising the use of your content.
If your content is no longer useful, and is unlikely to be again in the future, there are a couple of ways to approach this. You could place a 301 redirect on the link to this blog, and send the blog traffic to a new, more relevant piece of content; this works well for old products that have been replaced with newer models.
Deleting old content
If the above scenario isn’t applicable and you want the content gone and banished forever, make sure to tell search engines that it’s gone for a reason! Save yourself the embarrassment of 404 “file not found” errors with a 401 or 410 status code, which tells visitors and search engines that this piece of content has been intentionally removed from your website.
If you decide to delete your old content without using 301 redirects, search engines may still crawl and show your content in search results, which will lead to high bounce rates when they come to find that the page is no longer there – so it’s best to avoid this by utilising status codes, encouraging search engines to remove the content faster.
Improve SEO by updating what you already have
One of the (many!) foundations of SEO is the ‘freshness’ of content. Search engines like to know that the results they are providing have the most up-to-date information within them as possible. While a piece of content may work well when first posted, over time the ‘freshness’ of your content will degrade and become slowly less successful. Your CTR may also reduce the further from the original publishing date you get, as search engine users prefer to access content that was published within the last year.
A quick-win here is to update old pieces and ‘republish’ (change the date) on any older blog posts or content pieces. Similarly, adding an update to the end of your original piece and republishing can give you a great SEO boost.
Need a hand with optimising your content for SEO on a longer-term basis? At Verkeer, we’ve got the expertise to support you. Get in touch today for a chat with our organic SEO experts.