The problem with outdated copy is that it can be so easy to become inundated by it. The quality of your content is directly related to the quality of your site as a whole. This means that the more outdated content that you have clogging up your website, the less efficiently it performs.
What Qualifies as Outdated Content?
Depending on what sort of site it is that you run, outdated content can vary. Websites that hold searchable listings might have a database that is flooded with dead links or links to old contact sites for certain clients. In the case of a retailer or wholesaler, it could come down to stating that a product is stocked when in reality it isn't. Professional company websites can also suffer from this malady by having members of staff up on their company listing who no longer work with them. The impact of this content varies from site to site as well. In the case of the professional company website, it simply makes them look inept at maintaining their website. In the case of the retail store or the search database it can lead to loss of income.
5 Ways Outdated Content Makes You Look Bad
You might think that just because a piece of content isn't current, it doesn't generate a whole lot of traffic. This is a huge misconception. Many times, it's the existing content that causes the majority of your incoming traffic. Lots of people use search engines that direct them to pages that have been existing for a long time and have slowly climbed up the rankings for a particular keyword. When that "old" page gives the user misleading or outdated information the user is left to assume the worst.
In fact, outdated content almost always leads to the reader jumping to one or more of these conclusions:
- That your website is going out of business
- That your customer service must be terrible
- That your company is lackadaisical and just aren't "with it"
- That your website managers are technologically incompetent
- They're not good enough for my money
All of these things work towards causing you to lose revenue through lost conversions. This is definitely not where you want your site to be going. There are ways to get around outdated copy and to revamp content and keep it fresh to avoid these generalizations being applied to your website. The most effective method of dealing with outdated content is auditing.
What is Content Auditing?
Before you can properly fix your outdated content, you are going to need to figure out where that content is and how badly it affects your current website. In order to do this, you can utilize a methodology called "content auditing". In a nutshell, content auditing is a means by which the pages of your website are examined for things like broken links and outdated information. After the offending pages are identified, we can move on to making those content pages more viable by updating the information, removing dead links and generally cleaning up the copy.
The end result is a website that looks professional and features well on search rankings. Keeping your content current is as important as having a page that exists for a long time. The longer your page in in existence, the more trustworthy Google tends to find it. By refreshing the content on the page you make it a little bit more popular in the search rankings, which can translate into increased traffic and possible increased income through conversions and advertising.
How Can Content Auditing Help You? 5 Ways
Content auditing can help any website to become better and more efficient. When you content audit, you remove spurious information and revamp the copy in pages that need it. You check your current information and edit pages where the information needs to be updated. All of these can lead to a lot of different positive benefits for the entire site, including:
- Avoiding Panda penalties: Google's Panda algorithm is very picky when it comes to certain things such as outdated content. An audit helps you to keep your information up to date to get away from this pitfall
- Fix Pages for Copywriting: Some of your pages may be in dire need of an overhaul. An audit helps you to pinpoint these and allow you to fix individual pages without having to rewrite entire swathes of your site
- Consolidation: Some pages would be better if they were combined into one page. Information that is very closely linked can be placed on the same page, eliminating the need for a redundant page and making your site architecture more pleasing.
- Determine Keyword Specifics: Each page has a set of keywords that they are ranking for. By doing an audit you can figure out what those keywords are and if they suit you. You might be surprised at what keywords your site ranks for!
- Remove Bad Pages: Some pages just cannot be salvaged and your best option would be to remove them completely instead of getting visitors that end up with a bad impression of your site. Content auditing makes this easy by giving you an overview of which pages tend to shunt users off-page and which ones send users to other pages within your site.
Outdated Content is Slowly Killing your Site
Just like a bad investment, outdated content takes away a little more of your possible income every month. It's like an invisible lurker that steals away your customers and leaves them hating your site. You can fight back against it by doing regular content audits. These ensure that you are always at the top of your game regarding your content needs and that no outdated information exists on your site. Auditing can be a time consuming process, so you might be best served by finding a copywriting company to aid you in salvaging your site. The sooner you get down to it, the better it'll be for both you and your website.
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