What To Do With Old Content On Your Website – Rewrite or Delete?

After a few years of publishing blog posts and articles to your website, you may think about the old content that is on your website. Do you just leave it? Will your hosting plan have enough space to store everything? Depending on your website type, this content could be outdated and actually lead visitors astray as trends change. Should you rewrite the old blog posts or just delete the posts that are misleading?

Think of old content on your website like a kitchen pantry. If you leave food, it will go bad and also clutter your pantry, making it harder to find the good food. If you accidentally grab an old can of food and cook it, it could spoil everything. The same goes for old content on your website. When there is a bunch of outdated content, it can make finding the fresh, high-quality content hard to find. Old content can also be misleading. If statistics or information has changed since your original post, this can cause a break of trust between you and your visitors. Google also can drop your overall rankings if they see content that is never updated.

Rewrite or Delete?

If the content is misleading, it can feel like deleting it could be the easiest way to clean it up. Even though this may seem the easiest, the truth is don’t delete it, always rewrite or simply update.

Content creation is always harder than rewriting. Don’t spend unnecessary time trying to create fresh content if you have old content that can just be updated. If you have lots of posts/pages and you wonder how to know which one to update, look at analytics and start with the posts or pages which are getting the most traffic.

Rewrites: What to Do With the Old Content

Don’t create a new page or post for rewrites

For content which has already been published, don’t create a new post or page to update it. The original post or page has been indexed by Google or other search engines, and when you create a new page or post, you lose the SEO and keyword ‘power’ that has already been established. Copy the full page and paste it in a Word document, and make all your edits there.

Review the topic and check to see if it is still relevant

Some topics only trend for so long and as time goes on, it gets outdated. Do a bit of research and make sure your topic is still relevant. While researching, look for trending keywords which could help boost your existing article. Sprinkle these keywords throughout your article to help improve its ranking in search results.

Now, if your topic is no longer relevant, there are still options. Maybe you wrote a post a few years back about the iPhone 5 release. Obviously, this topic is outdated. How can you update this post to make it relevant? To prevent having to make major changes a few years down the road on this particular post, maybe rewrite it to something like, ‘How technology has changed since the iPhone 5’. You can talk about the changes in camera, battery, screen to body ratio, etc. This post still targets the iPhone 5, but the content is now more relevant to today’s technology.

Make sure your Call to Actions (CTA) are relevant

Every post or page should have a CTA, known as a ‘call to action’ button or link, to click. Using the previous example. If the iPhone 5 post had a CTA ‘Get a free LifeProof iPhone 5 case when you sign up for the ‘Super iPhone Email’ hosting plan’, we would want to update this. For this example, the first issue is the ‘Super iPhone Email’ hosting plan is no longer offered. Secondly, the iPhone 5 is old and most people won’t be enticed by a free case. Let’s update this CTA to something like, ‘Get free email hosting that works on your iPhone with the purchase of any business hosting plan.’ This prevents your CTA from dating itself as you are not stating a specific iPhone version nor specific hosting plan.

Once you have made all updates, copy everything from your Word document and paste it back into your website. Do a final review and then hit that ‘Update’ or ‘Publish’’ button.

Delete: Specific Types of Content to Delete

Even though previously we recommended to not delete anything, there can be content which isn’t possible to be rewritten.

This would be content about products or services which you no longer offer, old career opportunities, highlight posts about employees that are no longer with the company, and topics that you may deem unprofessional.

Before you hit that ‘Delete’ button, you will want to setup a redirect so that visitors who find the original URL will be redirected to another product page or post that is still live or current. Adding a 301 redirect is a wise way to keep your traffic, and funnel it to a similar post or product for a great user journey. Read how to setup a 301 redirect.

Conclusion

Keeping your content updated and fresh can be a challenge. We recommend that you don’t delete old content, but work to rewrite and update it to fit with current trends. Business hosting has many affordable plans with unlimited storage, allowing you to store as many blog posts and pages as you like.

Easily edit your website with the power and speed of shared hosting from InMotion Hosting.

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