Content creation is a critical part of digital marketing. New, fresh content is appreciated and rewarded by search engines. If your content is stale, it’s been months since you last posted anything, or your most recent update to your site was two years ago… not good.
But there’s another problem on the opposite side of the spectrum. You could be posting so often and so fast that you amass a trove of low quality content on your site. That’s not a good thing either.
This tends to become a problem for ecommerce sites and small businesses that want to keep their blogs updated but aren’t really focused on the quality of the blog’s content. The main efforts of their digital marketing strategy are all about their product and category pages.
As it should be! Ecommerce sites need to be more worried about their product pages ranking and getting organic traffic than their blog posts.
But what if that same brand is churning out two blog posts a week for years? What if all that content starts looking pretty similar – all with the same backlinks to product pages? What if the content is feeling repetitive and cookie cutter?
Now you have dead weight pages. They’re not helping anything. They’re not improving rankings or helping SEO or driving organic traffic.
They’re just there, accomplishing nothing.
Or worse, they’re spreading your page authority thinner than necessary with endless links coming from pages that are getting zero traffic.
What’s the solution to this common problem?
1 – Dedicate as much time to publishing new content as you do to improving old content.
If your site has blog posts with quality topics that aren’t getting enough traffic, it’s time to dedicate some time to improving those pages. There’s value to be had here.
- Refresh the page with new images.
- Add an engaging video.
- Include an infographic.
- Build out the content with updated or expanded information.
The point is, don’t just abandon your old content and churn out new stuff. That’s not a strategy – it’s a rut. Take the time to refresh your older content while also writing new posts.
Depending on how much of a content archive you have, you may want to devote 50% of your content creation efforts – or even more in some cases – to refreshing old content. You’ll be rewarded with more organic traffic and more engaged readers.
2 – Consolidate duplicate or similar content.
Do you have multiple posts that are all on just about the same topic? Do they go after nearly identical keywords? When you read them side to side, is it the same basic information?
Reality check: you almost certainly do.
This is a common issue for any website that has focused in on its niche topic or audience. That’s a good thing – but it can begin to feel limiting when it comes to your content topics. Eventually, everything starts to look the same.
Those identical – or nearly identical – posts should be merged and consolidated. First, do some research. Identify which of the duplicate-like posts is currently getting the most traffic. Then, choose that as the one to keep live. Finally, work the content from the others into it (which is a lot like the refresh process from step 1)and republish it with the less popular posts deleted and redirected to the refreshed one. This accomplishes several goals.
- It reduces the number of junk pages on your site.
- It builds out and improves the most effective of your posts on a similar topic.
- It makes it easier for readers to find the content they’re looking for.
- It narrows the focus of your links so you’re not spreading your authority so thin.
- It keeps your site up to date, preventing the feel that your old content has been abandoned.
3 – Obsess over content, not keywords.
Yes, keywords and keyword research matter. Yes, you should be sure that your site is ranking for keywords that your target audience is actively searching for.
But no, keywords should not be the starting point for every piece of content on your site.
That’s because you are hoping that real human beings will read and engage with your content. SEO is just the process of getting your page in front of them.
If you are writing for search engines, you will get on the SERPs. And it will end there.
Your readers, customers, potential clients, and target audience are not SERP’s. Google is never going to buy your products. Bing is not going to subscribe to your newsletter. DuckDuckGo is not going to share your blog post on its social media accounts.
But real humans – they will. And you want them to. Because that’s how success is ultimately measured for your business and website. It has to be about more than just identifying the right keywords. You have to publish content that people want to read, share, and interact with.
So while you need to know what keywords are best for your SEO efforts, you also need to know the difference between a well written post that implements keywords the right way – and a garbage post built around keywords that reads like a 1950’s sci-fi robot wrote it.
Get Results by Trimming Content
If you want to drive more organic traffic to your site, convert readers and searchers into customers, and keep people engaged with your content, you’ve got to trim down the dead weight on your site. Use the tips above to be proactive and avoid having a glut of nonsense posts littering your site and weighing it down from the success you could otherwise reach.
Feel counterintuitive to delete old content? Don’t see it as removing old content – this is a beautification process.
By ripping out the weeds and trimming the bushes, you’re allowing the most beautiful plants to flourish. Everyone appreciates a trimmed bush (ha), but no one wants to hack their way through a jungle just to get to the front door.
Your website is the same. Trim, enhance, and beautify. Then sit back and enjoy the results.
But don’t relax too much… the weeds will come back. The process is ongoing – and well worth it.