Around 2005 or so, corporate weblogs became the thing to do. Big players in the industry world touted that such systems could “ drive swarms associated with traffic to your main website, generate a lot more product sales” and even “ develop an additional stream of advertising income” ( Business owner Magazine circa 2006). With promises like that, what marketing expert or exec wouldn’ t hop on the blog bandwagon?
Sadly, initial forays into branded articles did not always dwell on minor problems like “ quality” or “ entertainment, ” instead focusing on pure bulk and, of course , all the key phrases. Now we have learned better, and many business blogs are less prolific and provide more value. But on a few sites, behind many, many “ next page” clicks, this aged content can still be found lurking within the background.
This situation leaves present SEOs and content teams in a little bit of a pickle. What should you perform if your site has excessive amounts of old blog posts? Are they alright just sitting there? Do you need to do some thing about them?
The reason why bother addressing old blog posts?
On many sites, the amount of pages are the biggest cause to consider improving or scaling back again old content. If past content material managers chose quantity over high quality, heaps of old posts eventually obtain buried, all evergreen topics are already written about before, and it becomes progressively harder to keep inventory of your articles.
From a technical viewpoint, depending on the scale of the old content material you’re dealing with, pruning back the amount of pages that you put forward can help improve your crawl efficiency. If Google needs to crawl 1, 000 URLs to get 100 good pieces of content, they will take note and not spend as much time combing through your content in the future.
From a marketing perspective, your articles represents your brand, and enhancing the set of content that you submit helps shape the way customers help you as an authority in your space. Enhancing and curating your existing articles can give your collection of content the clearer topical focus, makes it easier discoverable, and ensures that it provides worth for users and the business.
Zooming out for a second to check out this from a higher level: If you’ve currently decided that it’s worth investing in weblog content for your company, it’ ersus worth getting the most from your existing sources and ensuring that they aren’ capital t holding you back.
Decide what to keep: Inventory plus assessment
The first thing to do before being able to access your blog posts is to make sure you understand what you have. A full list of URLs plus coordinating metadata is incredibly useful in both evaluating and documenting.
Depending on the content management program that you use, obtaining this listing can be as simple as exporting the database field. Alternatively, URLs could be gleaned from a combination of Google Analytics data, Webmaster Tools, and an extensive crawl with a tool such as Shouting Frog. This post gives a great outline of how to get the data you require from these sources.
Whether or not you have a list of URLs yet, it’ s also good to do a complete crawl of your blog to see the actual linking structure looks like at this point, and exactly how that may differ from what you see within the CMS.
Once you know what you have, it’ s time to assess the content plus decide if it’s worth holding on to. While i do this, I like to ask these five questions:
1 . Could it be beneficial for users?
Content material that’s beneficial for users is helpful, helpful, or entertaining. It answers queries, helps them solve problems, or even keeps them interested. This could be something from a walkthrough for troubleshooting to some collection of inspirational photos.
second . Is it beneficial for us?
Content that is beneficial to all of us is earning organic rankings, visitors, or backlinks, or is providing company value by helping drive conversion rates. Additionally , content that can help establish personalisation or effectively build topical specialist is great to have on any web site.
3. Is it great?
While this may be a slight subjective question to ask about any kind of content, it’ s obvious whenever you read content that isn’ big t good. This is about fundamental activities such as if content doesn’ t seem sensible, has tons of grammatical errors, will be organized poorly, or doesn’ capital t seem to have a point to it.
4. Is it relevant?
If content isn’ capital t at least tangentially relevant to your site, market, or customers, you should have a really good cause to keep it. If it doesn’ t meet up with any of the former qualifications already, this probably isn’ t worth keeping.
5. Is it causing any problems?
Problematic content might include duplicate content, duplicate targeting, ripped text, content that is a legal responsibility, or any other number of issues that you most likely don’ t want to deal with on the site. I find that the evaluation phase is a particularly good chance to identify posts that target exactly the same topic, so that you can consolidate them.
Using these criteria, you can separate your old blog posts into buckets of “ keep” and “ don’ t keep. ” The particular “ don’ t keep” could be 301 redirected to either one of the most relevant related post or the weblog homepage. Then it’ s time for you to further address the others.
What to do with the posts you keep
So now you have a heap of “ keep” posts to work through! All the posts that made it this particular far have already been established to have associated with some kind. Now we want to make the most of that will value by improving, expanding, upgrading, and promoting the content.
Whenever setting out to improve an old post which has good bones, it can be good to begin with improvements on targeting and common writing and grammar. You want to make certain that your blog post has a clear stage, is targeting a specific topic plus terms, and is doing so in appropriate English (or whatever language your site may be in).
After the content itself is in good shape, be sure to add any technical improvements which the piece may need, such as relevant interlinking, alt text, or schema markup.
Then it’ ersus time to make sure it’ s fairly. Visual improvements such as adding range breaks, pull quotes, and symbolism impact user experience and can keep individuals on the page longer .
Expand or update
Not all old blog posts are usually necessarily in poor shape, which could offer a great opportunity. Another way to have more value out of them is to repurpose or update the information that they include to make old content fresh once again. Data says that this is very worthwhile effort, with business bloggers that will update older posts being 74% very likely to report strong results .
A few ways to expand or even update a post are to learn a different take on the initial thesis, include newer data, or integrate most recent developments or changed opinions. On the other hand, you could expand on a piece of articles by reinterpreting it in one more medium, such as new imagery, joining video, or even as audio articles.
If you’ ve invested assets in content creation and optimization, this only makes sense to try to get as many eye as possible on the finished product. This is often done in a few different ways, such as sharing and re-sharing on branded interpersonal channels, resurfacing posts to the front side page of your blog, or even a little bit of external promotion through outreach.
Once your blog has been pruned and you’ re working on having the most value out of your existing articles, an important final step is to monitor the effect these changes are having.
The most significant measure of success will be organic traffic; even if your website is designed for lead generation or other particular goals, the number of eyes on the web page should have a strong correlation to the content’ s success by other steps as well. For the best representation of visitors totals, I monitor organic periods by landing page in Google Analytics.
I also like to keep an eye on natural rankings, as you can get an early glance of whether a piece is attaining traction around a particular topic prior to it’s successful enough to acquire organic traffic with those conditions.
Remember that regardless of what adjustments you’ ve made, it will generally take Google a few months to sort out the particular relevance and rankings of the up-to-date content. So be patient, monitor, and maintain expanding, updating, and promoting!
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