If you’ve been working on your website for a couple of years, chances are that your website has become a giant collection of posts and pages. When writing a post you might find out you’ve already written a similar article (maybe even twice) or you might get a feeling that you’ve written something related that you can’t find anymore. This can become even more complex when you’re not the only one writing for this website. Cleaning up your older content can be overwhelming, that’s why regular content maintenance is key. In this post, we’ll give you some tips to create a good content maintenance strategy!
1. Reserve time for content maintenance
It might be tempting, especially if you love writing, to keep on producing new content and never look back. But if you do this you might be shooting yourself in the foot. Your articles that are very similar to each other can start competing with each other in the search results. Having too much content that isn’t structured can also confuse site visitors, they might not know where to go on your website. And the more content you get, the more overwhelming cleaning up your content becomes. So, don’t wait too long with the implementation of a proper content maintenance strategy.
It’s a good idea to plan regular content audits and reserve some time to review older content. How often you should do that, depends on a few factors. Like the amount of content you already have, how often you publish new articles and how many people you have in your editorial team.
At Yoast, we plan team sessions with our blog team, every month or two, to improve existing content in a structured way. We create lists or do an audit (more on that later) and start cleaning up. But in addition to these team sessions, we also improve and update blog content in our usual publication flow. When we encounter articles that need updates we add them to our backlog, assign them to a team member and update or even republish it on our blog.
2. What does the data say?
When you sit down to actually go through your content and tidy up, it’s sensible to base your decisions on data. Apart from looking at the content on the page itself, you should answer the following questions:
- Does the page get any traffic?
- Does it have a page value (meaning that the visitor completed one of your goals during the same session on your site)?
- How high is the bounce rate?
- How long do people stay on this page?
This kind of data can all be found in Google Analytics. If you go to Behaviour –> Site content –> All pages in the left-hand menu, you’ll get a nice overview of the traffic on your pages. You can even export this to a spreadsheet to keep track of what you did or decided to do with a page.
If you want to know how your articles perform in the search results, Google Search Console is a great help. Especially the performance tab tells
This article was written by Willemien Hallebeek and originally published on SEO blog • Yoast.