Is it worth the effort to dust off those old pages and give ‘em a shine? The answer may surprise you.
When it comes to SEO and website traffic, everyone is looking for an edge on the competition. It’s no surprise that sometimes, that competition can force the focus directly on to what’s next, and away from what works.
While it is always important to be adding fresh, dynamic new content to your website, don’t overlook what’s already in the process. Many websites are loaded with old hidden landing pages that can be re-tooled and then re-indexed by search engines, like Google.
Depending on the total number of visible and hidden pages on your website, refreshing most or all of them could end up seeming fairly daunting and intimidating. So, before you do, we must address the question:
Will swapping out that stale, old content for fresh, new content improve your site’s SEO performance?
The answer is a resounding, yes. Yes, it will.
The single biggest advantage to refreshing and reenergizing those old pages is astonishingly simple: It’s easier. According to renowned SEO experts like Neil Patel, updating your current content takes less work than coming up with new pages, and it delivers faster results.
Now, that sounds like a win-win situation.
I could end it here and declare my answer to be a proven SEO fact. But, there is more to the story about why it’s important to give your old content a second look.
Turning Junk into Gems
Far too many website managers use the old set-it-and-forget-it approach when it comes to site content. That leads to a whole lot of outdated and potentially irrelevant content bogging down your site, and likely killing your SEO rankings. At best, you still get a couple of main pages ranking well, but much of your overall site exists somewhere out there in Google limbo – which at this point, is anywhere after page two.
However, this is a problem that also opens up a unique opportunity. Thankfully, there’s plenty to be done with all those dusty and musty pages that have long been cluttering up your website, like boxes of old junk in the attic. The difference here is that instead of tossing those old pages in the trash or the donation pile, you can make them relevant and useful once again. Try doing that with those old jeans you loved when you were in high school, or that Chia Pet you forgot you had.
Unlike that old junk in the attic, your old site content can become a veritable SEO gold mine. As the algorithms used by major search engines continue to change, they grow even more complex and varied. For instance, Google now utilizes a “fresh score” when ranking search results for users.
The fresh score measures the freshness of page content and determines if the information is current and thus, useful – or outdated and, well…useless.
It’s that simple. There’s the direct correlation we needed. Refreshing your site content will literally increase your “fresh score” from Google, causing an increase in organic search rankings.
Now the next question: When can you expect to see the payoff? Honestly, it could be even sooner than you think.
The Re-Index Effect
Google will likely re-index your page in a few weeks at most, or in some cases, even less than a minute. This ultimately comes down to the overall quality of your content.
If you can revamp a dead page into one that has the potential to be seen as a legitimate resource to users, and that can rank for a variety of keyword combinations – all related to the subject matter, of course – you might see some very immediate rewards for your efforts.
Prior research has also shown that some URLs may be crawled as little as once every six months or so. If this is you, then your site may be more out of touch than you realize. In this case, updating every bit of content is more imperative than ever – particularly those long-forgotten landing pages from days gone by.
When your pages have all been polished and appropriately updated, you can also force re-indexing of newly revamped site content by submitting a sitemap to Google. This is an easy and effective method to get all your pages noticed right away.
You Can’t Lose
Not only is it smart to keep your website pages fresh, but it’s also surprisingly easy to do. As you now know, updating your site content will benefit your SEO performance across the board. There’s no reason to put it off.
Take some time to go over each page that exists on your website – or even enlist the eyes and minds of SEO specialists to comb through it all – and develop a plan of attack that addresses and prioritizes each page in need of updates.
Once you dig in, it won’t take long to sort out the clutter and get it all polished up. If you just take a look at what’s already there, you can be certain that you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make your website shine again.