Old blog content: what to do with them
Blog on the corporate website — this has been the norm for about 20 years. This section contains articles with information that reveals in more detail the specifics of the company's activities of the goods and services provided. Here, potential buyers can explore information that will help them find the right product quickly and easily. And the constant filling of the blog with text content has a positive impact on the indexing of the site by search bots, as it indicates that business owners are actively working on their resource.
That is, such a site attracts a fairly significant amount of traffic, which, with the proper approach, can easily be converted into leads and, accordingly, — into sales. But over the years, blog posts accumulate. Some of this material is outdated and completely irrelevant. It does not collect views, which calls into question its usefulness in general. So what should those who have already accumulated a lot of articles on their blog do? Is it worth paying attention to it at all? Is there any way to bring back the relevance of the old content? Now we are trying to understand this issue in more detail and find reasonable answers.
An old blog post — is this a problem or not?
Technically speaking, and considering the scale of the old content that you have accumulated on your site, removing such material can improve crawling of your search crawlers. The fact is that if the same Google, after checking a thousand articles posted on your blog, finds only a couple of dozen good ones, then all your efforts applied to the promotion of the site will simply come to nothing. Do not forget that the material that was previously presented on the blog is not always of high quality. Previously, search bots were mostly focused on keywords. Therefore, when writing content, the main focus was on them, while quality was often neglected.
Today, the algorithms of search bots have changed significantly. Crawlers are getting smarter every day. They evaluate the material comprehensively, look at the sequence of presentation, the relevance of information, the correspondence of the article to what is written in the tags, etc. to search engines with a bang, today they can play a cruel joke on you.
If we evaluate the old content from the point of view of marketing, then there are also many questions here. The fact is that any material posted on the — it is the face of your company. It indicates your expertise in this matter, authority. This is what ordinary users pay attention to. Based on it, they understand whether it is worth trusting the content itself and, accordingly, your company. That is, if it turns out that a user has landed on your site at his request and saw an article that is no longer relevant at the present time, which contains conflicting information, it is highly likely that he will simply leave your resource.
That is, the old content in the same blog — this is something that can negatively affect the subsequent development and promotion of your portal, worsen business performance as a whole. To prevent this from happening from time to time, it is necessary to conduct an inventory of text content, evaluate it and, if necessary, optimize it. Thanks to this, you will be able to add value to your resource for both search bots and ordinary users.
Now let's show you how to inventory content and old articles, evaluate the quality and suitability for subsequent use.
Checking old content
Working with old content should begin with its comprehensive review and assessment of its usefulness in the future. That is, at this stage you will need to perform 2 types of work:
Let's consider both points in more detail.
Inventory of old content
Let's note right away that you must clearly understand what content is already on your site. That is, you should have a complete list of all addresses and the metadata associated with them. This will allow you to subsequently inventory the resource as quickly and easily as possible. There are many software products available to solve these problems. You can also combine data obtained from site scanning tools and analytics services in your work.
It makes no sense to make changes to content that is already obsolete today. Those questions that are no longer relevant for modern users will not attract traffic. This means that such material can be deleted and forgotten about with a clear conscience.
Those articles that are still relevant and of decent quality can be left. But still they need to be further checked, in particular, pay attention to reforging. The fact is that not every content management system of the site correctly displays this information. But for the correct crawling and indexing of the site, relinking is very, very important. Therefore, it is recommended to perform these works manually.
Rating old content
In order to correctly evaluate the old content, it is necessary to answer the following questions for each article in the article:
- Will this article be useful to the user? Essentially, the benefits of — this is a rather flexible parameter that does not have clear norms and indicators. Only logic can be used to test it. That is, you need to read the article and understand whether the material presented can teach the target audience something, provide answers to pressing questions, or even just entertain. If the answer is “Yes”, then the presented material is really useful. And it does not matter whether it is a huge article that takes several hours to read or a small article. Also evaluate how close the topic of the old content is to today and the activities of your company.
- Is the article useful for you as a representative of business? Everything is simple here: profitable content – this is the one that brings you traffic from organic search, gets natural backlinks, leads for certain key queries. This is where the value of the material for your business lies. If the article shows your company in a favorable light, notifies users about the corporate culture that has been observed for many years, if it helps them navigate your product and make sure that they find what they are looking for — it will be useful for you.
- How good is the content presented? Here, too, everything is not very clear, because there is no clear definition of good material. But on the other hand, you can definitely tell which article will be bad. If in the process of reading you are forced to return a few paragraphs above in order to catch a lost thought, if it is difficult for you to visually perceive the material, if the information presented causes you deep doubts about its veracity and relevance, then such an article — bad. And all that is not bad — automatically write to good.
- Has the content retained its relevance? We will not consider how irrelevant content could end up on your site in principle. This is especially true for old content that was posted 5 or even 10 years ago. You probably don't remember why it happened. But at this stage, your task is simply to remove it. Now you need to check the title, tags and make sure that they are fully consistent with the content of the article, and the article itself clearly fits into the subject of your business.
- Are there any additional content issues? In this case, we are talking about copy-paste, duplicate material, articles that today may fall under the restrictions established at the legislative level in your country, etc.
Thanks to such an inventory and evaluation, you will be able to remove from the site a fairly impressive amount of articles that today no longer benefit you, but only drag the resource down the search results. But this site's blog work is not completed. The old content that you decide to leave most likely needs to be finalized and improved. How to proceed?
Make adjustments to old content
We assume that at this stage we have already weeded out all unnecessary old articles and left only those materials that have a certain value for you and your business. And here we need to give this content a new life. Improvement may involve changes in grammar and general style, technical improvements. Here you can explore how users previously reacted to your content, what they liked, and what caused them to abandon the order. You may have to pay attention to additional warming up of the target audience, offer them additional interesting stories.
But in any case, the site is waiting for scaling and updating. Practice shows that such actions can increase the number of applications coming from the blog by an average of 70-80%. So what needs to be done in order to make changes to the articles and increase their value for your site? Here are some suggestions:
- Compose new semantics. The fact is that those requests, on the basis of which articles were written earlier, have already lost their relevance today. Therefore, you need to use data parsing and collect new semantics , including from competitor sites. It is optimal to use data for the last 3 months. The resulting phrases should be clustered for one or another search engine, taking into account the total frequency and high relevance of the keys, the content of the article. The resulting keys should be used when optimizing both the oldest content and meta tags. But at the same time, you should avoid crooked wording, incorrect declension and clearly monitor the number of occurrences in order to avoid overspam. It is also optimal to check the sites of competitors in order to determine for which particular requests they attract the most target audience, to determine for themselves the so-called "information markers" that will allow you to fully reveal the topic.
- We make adjustments to the content and increase its relevance. It is optimal at this stage to change the headers and prescribe them based on the updated semantics. We do the same with other meta tags. Check if the ALT attributes are specified in the graphical addition of the articles. Also, all links are analyzed without fail. If broken ones are found, they need to be fixed. If necessary, you can also expand the structure of the content, add lower-level headings and other formatting elements to it that would improve the visual perception of the material and make it more attractive to users. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that one old content may require minimal edits, while another would be desirable to completely rewrite. The first is relevant for those cases where the information presented is applicable today. But hopelessly outdated articles are better, as they say, just "let go"; and rewrite. Practice shows that about 50% of old content can be updated with minimal edits, while 15-20% are new articles.
- Checking the linking. We have already talked about this point above and indicated that it is very important for the effective promotion of your site on the network. Internal links are important for both search bots and visitor engagement. It is highly likely that your articles written 5-10 years ago did not contain internal links at all. But this is not a problem, since the blog contains a lot of material and choosing the best place to go to another article is not difficult. You can place links both in the text and in separate blocks.
- Updating the publication date. Along with making changes to old content, it will also be important to update the post date as well. Optimally about a couple of weeks, a month earlier than the actual date for today. This way you won’t overwhelm recently published materials with updated articles, but at the same time let search engines know that your pages need to be re-indexed.
- Redirect. It is necessary to make changes to the url if you update the title of the article or change it drastically. That is, it is important that the title of the page is as close as possible to the title of the article and its essence. But you need to understand that redirect — in many cases this is already redundant. The main task of the url is that the user can understand what the article is about by its name. And if he goes to this page, then he must find exactly this material.
- Native inserts. The presence of ad units directly on your topic inside the updated article does not cause such irritation among users as banners. This means that you get a great opportunity to advertise your product without diminishing the usefulness of the article or triggering a negative reaction from people who will read.
- Promotion. Since you have taken up the optimization of old content and decided to put it in order, breathe new life into existing assets, you need to develop the work further. External link building, targeted advertising, etc. can be used as promotion tools.
As you can see, in order to return the relevance of the old content, to increase traffic to your site with it, you will have to spend a lot of time and effort. But practice shows that it's worth it. Companies that have already implemented this in the near future after the launch of the updated site noted a significant increase in leads and customers. To speed up and simplify all the work, you can use special tools that automate your actions. And there is one point on which we would like to pay special attention. The point is that the use of this software, as well as work in multi-threaded mode, is easily identified by search bots, as a result of which your entry is simply blocked.
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