Website traffic is the lifeblood of most businesses in the modern world. In an age where everybody is online either via mobile devices or home computers, the majority of potential customers are going to come to you through your website – but only if that website can be easily found and provides a good experience for the visitor.One of the most important aspects of internet marketing in Phoenix, or anywhere else in the world, is having good content that is relevant and up to date. Making the most of an old, outdated website is largely about being diligent in dealing with expired content.
Expired content hurts your website’s rankings with search engines and can actually drive customers away from your website. Before you can deal with it, however, you need to understand precisely what we mean by expired content. This can entail pages for products that are obsolete, expired sales events, or outdated blogs or service pages that are no longer accurate or relevant. More often than not, these are the pages that have long since been forgotten in your archives and are in desperate need of attention. You may be aware of some of this content right off the top of your head, but in order to truly make the most of your website, you’ll have to take the time to go through your archives. Other outdated forms of content include broken links, unwieldy and unattractive design, and old, low-resolution photographs.
What Are the Benefits of Updating Your Website?
Fixing up the old, broken content on your website will have a number of effects on your business. First, it will cut down on the number of pages that don’t contribute to your online branding. It may be true that having more pages on your site will result in a wider reach when it comes to search engine traffic, but if the content on those pages isn’t particularly unique or valuable, it can actually hurt your website’s ranking. According to Moz’s Stephanie Chang, this can waste your “crawl allowance” with search engine bots, which will use up more bandwidth to crawl all the pages on your site.
Secondly, keeping your content fresh means that your site is fresh, too. If a lot of the content on your site is outdated, this tells visitors and search engines alike that your website is stale. Nobody wants to visit a site with stale information, so not only will visitors bounce quickly, but your site won’t rank well on search engines, which will hamper visitors from finding your site at all.
On the other hand, a website that is well-designed with current, up-to-date content will enhance the user experience. Nobody wants to have to search multiple pages or blogs to find the information they’re looking; when they do find it, they want it to be accurate and relevant. By pruning expired content and keeping it updated and neatly organized, you can provide a positive and rewarding experience for your visitors.
There are four things you can do with the expired content on your site.
First, you can simply leave it alone. If the content is still driving traffic and earning inbound links AND if the information is still relevant, accurate and necessary, then it may in fact be worth keeping. The downside to this option, however, is that traffic to old, stale content has a higher tendency to bounce. If you can, try to improve this content to be more current and your rankings will likely improve!
The second option is to redirect the page, but you have to be careful with this and make sure it’s done right. The intention of a redirect (301) is to have the expired page point to another page as similar as possible in category, intent and style. This process involves a lot of work, but if done right, it can help your website out a great deal.
Your third option is to delete the page, which leads to the dreaded 404. While some websites have an amusing 404 page, this is little more than a lazy solution for expired content that annoys users, irritates search engines, and wastes incoming links. Few things will tank your website’s ranking faster than a bunch of 404 pages, no matter how funny they are.
We’ve saved the best option for last and that is to improve the content. This is often even harder than redirecting the pages, but it will also net the largest benefit. If the information is no longer accurate, update the page. If you notice a content overlap between two blogs, consolidate them into a single page. If a product or event is obsolete or outdated, update the information instead of deleting the page.
Is There Another Option?
Yes, there is! The fifth option is a full redesign of your website. This option is not as expensive as you might think. CyberMark offers a complete, all-inclusive website redesign with everything you need to run your business online starting at only $195/month. Let us take your website to the next level. Contact us online or call (623) 889-3380 today for a free internet marketing evaluation!