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Delete or Revise? How to Do an SEO Boosting Content Cleanup

To delete or revise old content, that is the question. Well, at least that should be the question buzzing about in any decent SEO copywriter’s brain.

Like the world around us, the internet is continually changing and updating. So, it stands to reason that eventually, your content becomes stale. Stale content, like stale bread, is less appetizing to site visitors and search engines.

Stale Content is a Bad Thing

Old content can be detrimental to your web traffic and dissuade readers from coming back. For example, let’s assume you posted an article about the latest update to Google’s search engine a couple of years ago. Google and other search engines display the publish date on results pages. Therefore, searchers will see the date you published that article. Understandably, if users see that your post is a couple of years old, they’ll likely assume that your information is outdated. Outdated information statistically prevents searchers from clicking through to your site.

Search engines track the number of visits your site obtains through various links posted in their results. They also factor those clicks into your ability to rank on their platform. Less search engine visibility means less website traffic. That’s not good. After all, the entire point of web content is to drive traffic to your website.

OK, now you know why you should avoid stale content. However, that leads us to a few questions: How do you know how old is too old? Also, if you have too much old content, how do you fix the problem?

Content age and oversaturation are complicated concepts, so let’s answer each of those questions one at a time.

How to Audit Your Website for Content Overload

To answer our first question, you’ll need to audit your content. How do you do that, you ask? Well, all you have to do is check page visits using Google Search Console. If you’re unsure of how to set it up, visit our Google Search Console guide.

Once you’re set up with Search Console, it’s time to check for outdated, low-traffic content. To do so:

  • First click on the “Open Report” button in the “Performance” tab at the top of the page.
  • Then click on the pencil icon in the “Date” tab at the top of the reports page and set your date range to “Last 3 Months” (this should be the default setting).
  • After that, click on the “Pages” tab underneath the graph and click on the “Clicks” button twice to sort by the number of clicks each page received over the set date range. Make sure that the arrow next to the “Clicks” button points up.

Once you’ve finished your Search Console window should look something like this:

Any page that hasn’t got a click in the last ninety days is most likely stale. But don’t panic! We can fix that.

How to Solve Your Stale Content Problem

There are a few different solutions to the stale content problem. Let’s break them down in a little detail.

One way to rid your site of stale traffic is to delete it. However, if you decide to delete any old content from your website, make sure you remember to redirect the deleted page’s URL to a related live page on your site. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a 404, which is a significantly worse problem than a stale, low-traffic article. Honestly, this tactic is best avoided as it adds unnecessary risk.

Another, considerably better way to solve your stale content problem is to freshen it up. Just updating a page (and changing the posted date) helps show search engines and searchers that you place importance on the piece in question. It also shows that you care about the accuracy of the information you present on your website. There are several different ways you can go about doing this, including:

  • Changing up the language you use in the piece
  • Updating any links, images, videos, and other media with more relevent ones
  • Promoting your updated piece on social media

The easiest way to rid your site of stale content is to hire the SEO copywriters here at Contractor Advertising. We have the experience, knowledge, and tools needed to easily handle stale content management. So, if you have stale content, then why not give us a call? We’re always standing by to give your web content a helping hand.