So you think it might be time to update your website content, but you’re not quite sure. Refreshing your content is a great way to ensure that everything on your website is relevant, and provide an optimal user experience for your customers.
Knowing when to delete a page, refresh your content, or redirect elsewhere can be tricky. When content gets old, it can be tempting to simply get rid of it. Unfortunately deleting pages can result in 404 errors – which customers and search engines hate. For usability and SEO purposes, refreshing or redirecting are better alternatives to simply deleting the content altogether.
Your information is incorrect
As your business grows, it’s likely to change. You should update all your information as soon as something changes in your business – such as your address, phone number, services offered, etc. You don’t have to delete the content and start again as you should be able to update the information easily.
If you have blog content that is no longer relevant and can’t be easily corrected, try redirecting to more relevant and recent information. For example, if you have an article about the best cafés in Melbourne, but now half of them are closed, you may want to redirect to an updated version of the article. Never redirect to your homepage, however, as search engines will hate you for it.
Your links are broken
No matter how snazzy your 404 page is, broken links are no one’s friend. Correct broken links as soon as you find them and – if no content is available to redirect to – consider rewriting the information that is missing.
If you find that your website contains lots of broken links, it’s a good idea to explore how they came to be broken in the first place. Deleting pages is often the cause of broken links, so a good cause of action would be to change this behaviour and update or redirect instead.
You don’t offer that product anymore
One common cause of missing or broken links is the removal of products or services that are no longer available. To reduce the risk of this happening, leave the original content on your website and simply add an explanation as to why that product is no longer around.
For example, if you run an online shoe store and stop stocking a specific shoe, don’t immediately delete the page. Update the content on the page to reflect availability, and remove links to that page from elsewhere on your site. A simple ‘Sold’ or ‘Not Available’ will often do the trick, and won’t frustrate your users by leading them down a maze of dead ends.
Your content is repetitive
When you post a lot of content, you’re bound to repeat yourself. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While posting the exact same content twice is bad for SEO, posting similar content shows search engines that you know and write a lot about that topic, and helps solidify you as a good resource. Plus, your audience is constantly changing, so if there’s a decent amount of time between posts, chances are that someone new is reading it.
However, when you’re repeating pages for things like an on-going event series, it can be a good idea to update the information on the same page, every time. For example, if you have an annual event, and use the URL ‘yourwebsite.com/big-event’, you can update that same event each year to convey the most recent information. Doing this establishes that URL as a trusted source, and provides an ongoing history of traffic to search engines.
If you’re looking to update your content, take a look at our 3-Page Refresh. Our professional, Melbourne-based copywriters will update your content with engaging and SEO-driven copy.