A quick assessment of your site’s expired or broken pages can put you on a clear path to a more adaptive content marketing strategy.
Identifying expired content
Any content on your site that is outdated, like old promotion pages, duplicate blog posts or defunct product pages, are all prime examples of content that may be dragging down your site. You should be able to identify some of this content right away, though a more thorough investigation of your site files may be in order to find the rest.
This process could take a little time, but there are plenty of sensible reasons why you should be working to identify expired content.
Benefits of fixing old content
Ignoring broken, neglected content can have serious consequences for your content marketing strategy. A well-edited site will reap the following rewards:
- The more pages your site has, the more bandwidth search engine bots will require to crawl through it. A streamlined site speeds up that crawl process for better optimisation.
- Broken content and expired pages tell search engines and your audience that your site is neglected and stale. Reviewing and updating content keeps things fresh.
- Following broken links, reading duplicate blog posts, coming across inaccurate or outdated information – these issues will turn many users away. An efficient site improves the user experience and invites them to return again and again.
Fixing broken content
Generally, there are four ways to fix broken or expired content:
- Leave it be. Sometimes, you can justify leaving broken content alone, especially if it’s still earning inbound links or driving traffic to your site. However, stale content can ruin the user experience, which can turn visitors away.
- Give it a (404) page. Old content can always be deleted, but this is not an ideal way to deal with the problem. Deleting content wastes links, annoys visitors and impacts search engine traffic.
- Redirect old content. When done correctly, this option makes it possible to redirect expired content to a fresher page that’s similar in user intent, style and message. This is a sophisticated solution, but it can be a complex, labour-intensive process.
Make it better. This is the ideal approach to managing broken content, but it’s also the hardest. Take a look at the flawed content requiring fixes and see if there are ways to make it better by updating or consolidating information.