Time for an early spring clean? Like our homes, the old content lying dormant on your website can always do with an occasional polish. But when you understand the value of refreshing your old blogs – and the potential harm of neglecting them – you’ll no doubt want to go all out on a major content clean-up.
That’s right, leaving old content to gather dust could actually work against your online performance thanks to a little search engine called Google! And that should make choosing what stays, what goes, and what gets a face-lift a priority for you and your content team in 2024.
Why do I need to ‘clean up’ my content?
If you’re like most businesses, you’ll have been nurturing a digital presence for five years or more. Naturally, not all your content will have stood the test of time and might have even become irrelevant. And this is where refreshing or rewriting old pieces pays off.
No, you don’t have to say goodbye to that high-performing blog from 2016. Instead, focus on what has changed for it to become outdated – whether it’s your target audience, your value proposition, or the world around you. Then see if you can add new value to save you the time and resources of starting afresh. This also offers the opportunity to re-optimise with updated SEO.
Of course, you can’t and shouldn’t rewrite everything. A steady stream of brand-new content is vital to keeping your audience engaged and enlightened by your expertise, which is why decluttering is just as important. By freeing up space and removing content that simply isn’t relevant anymore, you’ll make it much easier for your audience to find value quicker.
And if that’s not enough incentive for a content clean-up, you might want to check out what Google has been up to…
What’s Google got to do with it?
Scare tactics aren’t our thing, but if you aren’t already aware of Google’s ‘helpful content update’ then let this be your trigger to get cleaning! Introduced in 2022, the lead search engine stated their intention to “ensure people see more original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”
In a nutshell, they’re cracking down on poor quality and inaccurate content that overly relies on SEO and feels less targeted towards the human reading it. Now, we’re by no means suggesting that you throw your keywords out the window. But developing a people-first approach is how to make your content successful in line with the update.
Sure, keep following SEO best practices when refining content on your clean-up journey, but ensure your words are written primarily for people not search engines.
To get the ball rolling, here are a few prompts to help pinpoint content that could benefit from cleaning.
Rewrite good content that isn’t performing
Investigate those pieces that you know performed well for you at the time. Have they decreased in traffic or views lately? If so, it’s a definite contender for a rewrite!
Out with the out-of-date
Some pieces just aren’t worth saving if they’re no longer relevant. Don’t be afraid to archive and unpublish them – and check that no other content links to them.
Bring pieces together
Make your website leaner for your audience by merging pages or posts that have similar themes and messaging.
Fill in the cracks with gold
After refining and removing, you might feel the need to publish new content. But don’t create for the sake of it. Identify any relevant topics that you aren’t covering and produce high-value, people-first content that stands out.
Ready to clean?
It makes perfect sense why businesses will be gravitating towards content clean-ups through 2024 and beyond: the world around us is changing, Google is more selective, and your audience demands more from online content. But like many things, agreeing with the concept is different to actually doing the thing – which is where we can help!
Our writers love a good spring clean and have plenty of experience in repurposing content that performs for growing businesses. Meanwhile, our content planning experts can help you define a killer strategy in line with your objectives. Get in touch with us today to discuss your content needs.