NEW! Listen to the article
Did you know that your online content needs regular spring cleaning?
While it may be tempting to think of your digital assets as one-time transactions, you should discount them as you would any other sales or marketing material. Most websites could benefit from regular cleaning to improve their technical health, continue to meet ever-changing search engine standards, and ensure audience relevance.
From a technical and health perspective, spring cleaning your content can identify potential issues. For example, you might not realize that readers are leaving a page too early due to slow load times or poor design. Once you understand the issues on your site, you can make the necessary repairs.
Additionally, search engines are continually revamping their algorithms, resulting in new search rankings. Search engines are businesses, after all: if they don’t provide a decent service to searchers, they won’t be happy.
This is where scouring, adjusting, and updating your content really comes in. If your page is lacking in valuable, expert-level content, the Google bots won’t lag and the traffic and leads to your website will decrease.
How to Spring Clean Your Content Until It Shines
So where do you start spring cleaning your website?
A good starting point is to examine each web page to determine its relevance. Check out your blog posts, white papers, case studies, and other content. Anything that you think might entice viewers to learn more about your business should be put to a litmus test for relevance.
This litmus test consists of two questions:
- Does this content address and solve a common challenge or showcase your company as an industry expert?
- Is this content relevant to your target audience?
Answering “no” to both questions indicates that the content should be shelved or reworked. A full or partial “yes” means you must put the content away.
Analyze the content to make sure the language and subject followed the trends. Make sure all statistics, dates and studies are relatively recent. A good rule of thumb is to research sources from the last three years. Otherwise, your content might seem outdated and irrelevant.
Once you have completed your analysis, focus on introducing the content. Does he need a more relevant or time-sensitive hook? If your hook is not exciting, the content is unlikely to attract readers.
Don’t be afraid to crowdsource ideas from your marketing colleagues. If your content is permanent, you may not want to update anything. Just make sure nothing in the room ages it.
Finally, check the URLs of your web pages. Believe it or not, URL value matters a lot in the relevance of website content. Take all those “Top 10” lists, for example. You never want to start a URL with “top-10-things-to…” because what if you need to change the title to “Top 8” or “Top 12” in the future? The simple solution to this problem is to remove the number and make the URL “top-things-to…” so that your content remains relevant even if it is updated.
Four steps to help decide whether website content should be saved or deleted
Now that you’ve gone through your content, you might be wondering what to do with the items that are no longer relevant and the ones that don’t show your company’s expertise as an industry leader. Changing a hook or stat may not be enough to refresh it. In these cases, you will need to consider these four metrics to determine if you should remove the content.
1. Bounce rate
If a page has a bounce rate of 70% or more, you can be sure it’s flawed in some way. Maybe it charges at a snail’s pace, which can be fixed; or maybe he just doesn’t read well. Your job is to explore all the possibilities so you know how to proceed.
2. Target rate
Every piece of content should have a trackable goal. In fact, you might want to create a goal-related spreadsheet for all the content you spring clean.
If you’ve never assigned goals to your content before, start with simple goals. One of the purposes of a blog post could be for readers to download a guide. If the goal isn’t met, you know the content isn’t working.
3. Total number of lifetime users
Web pages that have been around for at least six months or more have likely accumulated a decent number of lifetime users. Let’s say, however, that the total number of users for a piece of content is almost zero. This could be a sign that the webpage is of no use and could even harm the overall performance of your website.
4. Keyword cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple web pages on your site target the same keyword. Usually none of the pages rank well.
You can use a tool like Semrush to help you identify cases of possible keyword cannibalization. Next, consider deleting all but one of the pages. You may decide to reuse content from old pages to turn the best performing URL into a massive, rejuvenated pillar page.
* * *
Your website is an important extension of your business. By giving it a spring cleaning, you can be sure that customers see your brand as bright and relevant, and not dated and outdated.
More Website Content Resources
A 12-step checklist for creating great website content [Infographic]
Does your website really need it? Five things to think about
Fix Your Funnel: 15 Things to Remove From Your Site Immediately | Webinar MarketingProfs