Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I provide tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about how cleaning up your content for spring.
According to the calendar, spring officially sprung last week and it’s even starting to warm up here in Chicago. Birds are singing and the trees have started to grow buds. For many of us, spring is a time to restore order to our lives by doing a deep clean of our homes and/or offices, but for small business owners and content strategists, it should also be a time to clean up old content.
1) Understand What It Means to Clean Up Old Content
For some people, it means deleting old content that isn’t driving traffic. I don’t actually recommend deleting old content, but there’s a whole debate around that topic with professional content strategists taking different sides.
My idea of spring cleaning my content tends to focus more on updating old content. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, which means a lot of my old posts are not optimized for today’s SEO rules. That’s the most likely reason content strategists find their old content no longer drives the traffic it once did, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to ditch the content altogether, that means it’s time to update it.
2) Delete Broken Links
Since link building is an important part of any content strategy, the first thing you want to do is make sure all your backlinks are still valid. As other content managers do their own content clean ups, they might decide to delete some of the pages to which you linked in your own content. Or someone could stop keeping up with their website and decide to stop paying for the domain name and/or the SSL certificate, which could leave you with a backlink to an error page. That doesn’t look good to your site’s visitors and it’s not doing your SEO any favors, so the first thing you need to do is delete those broken links. Crawly is a great tool that can help you identify and delete broken links on your site.
Similarly, if there are new sites you’d like to link to on your site, you can absolutely take this opportunity to add those to old content.
If you’re anything like me, your strategy is probably changing almost as often as Google is updating its algorithm. For example, I’ve decided I want to do less social media work and more blogging and overall strategy, which means I should have less content about social media and more content about blogging, SEO, and content strategy. I haven’t started deleting posts about social media marketing yet, but it is something I’m considering. However, I have started updating some of my old posts so they have more of a focus on blogging tips and content strategy.
This part can also be done in conjunction with Step 1, since a changing strategy usually comes with updating things like which keywords you focus on, so when you’re cleaning up your content, look for ways you can insert new keywords into your content and maybe delete old keywords that are no longer aligned with your current content strategy.
4) Spring Cleaning All Year Long
I’ve never been big on spring cleaning. I do laundry every week and I tend to give my apartment a good cleaning every month or two. I suggest doing the same with your content. If the thought of doing a big content clean up once a year leaves you feeling overwhelmed, consider breaking it up into small chunks and keeping up with it on a regular basis, whether it’s every month, every quarter, or whatever system works for your schedule. I tend to republish old posts when I get too busy to create new posts, when there’s a holiday, or when I get stuck in a rut, but I always make sure to update the content before republishing it and then I say at the top of the post that it was originally published a while ago, but has since been updated. That lets readers know that I care about the quality of all the content on my site enough to include old content that was written months, or even years ago, and update it to make sure the quality of the content remains consistent across my blog.
Do you have any spring cleaning tips for content managers? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments.
Thanks for reading! If you like what you see here, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. If you’re ready to ditch the DIY and level up your content, let’s chat.