Alyssa Patzius

Alyssa Patzius is the vice president of sales. Intero Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency whose Content & PR Division helps businesses improve their lead generation, SEO, sales enablement, and thought leadership — all powered by content marketing and PR.

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updating blog content

How to Decide Whether to Update Blog Content or Delete It

How to Decide Whether to Update Blog Content or Delete It

Alyssa Patzius, Vice President of Sales • Intero Digital • February 8, 2024

updating blog content

Not all content ages like fine wine.

Some blog posts hold up years after they were posted, while others go stale. Maybe that’s because the business changed or updated its products or services. Maybe the content featured a subject matter expert who’s no longer with the company or is simply outdated. This doesn’t mean you always have to completely get rid of the content, though. In some cases, you can make content updates by strategically repurposing and updating blog posts for SEO.

Whether or not a blog post should get an update depends on a few factors, and it’s important to know those before you decide to update blog content or delete outdated content.

Updating Blog Posts: Not Just a Quick Fix but a Strategic Move

First, let’s talk about updating. Let’s say you’ve got a blog post from 2018 that’s pulling its weight in SEO but reads like a relic from a bygone era. Update it — don’t ditch it!

Here’s why:

1. SEO gold: If a post is ranking well, it’s an SEO treasure trove. By updating the blog post for SEO by adding new keywords, for example, you’re reinforcing its relevance, making sure Google keeps loving it.

2. Brand consistency: Your tone and brand might have evolved. Updating ensures your content reflects the current, fabulous you.

3. Freshness factor: Both Google and readers love fresh content. An updated post can mean improved rankings and renewed reader interest.

Now, here’s a tricky situation you might encounter when repurposing blog content: What if your content is ranking for keywords, but those keywords aren’t relevant to your services anymore? It’s a bit like being known for the best seafood in town when you’ve switched to a vegan menu.

In such cases, it’s crucial to reassess the value of this traffic. Is it bringing in the right audience? Is it contributing to your business goals? If not, it might be time to revamp or remove that content. Remember, irrelevant traffic is just noise. It might look good on your analytics dashboard, but it doesn’t contribute to your bottom line.

For example, we helped our client, Pekin Hardy Strauss, update this blog post over the summer of 2023. The updated blog post went live in August, and the page jumped from ranking for 21 keywords to a whopping 63 in just a month — and still has some of the strongest keyword rankings the page has seen in two years. The blog post also drove 144 new entrances to the Pekin Hardy Strauss website. So, not only did updating the blog post for SEO improve our client’s keyword ranking, but it also led to more traffic.

Deleting Outdated Content: A Strategic Decision for Brand Relevance

In light of the benefits of updating and repurposing blog content, is it bad to delete old blog posts? If not, when should you take that step?

Let’s explore when content deletion is the right choice. Picture an article from 2015 that no longer aligns with your brand’s goals. It might be off-brand, outdated, or misleading. In these cases, it’s wise to say goodbye. Here’s why:

1. Brand integrity: Content that contradicts your current brand identity can create confusion. Removing such content maintains a clear and consistent brand message.

2. Relevance over history: Clinging to old content for nostalgia’s sake is akin to keeping clothes that no longer fit. What mattered once might now detract from your present image.

3. Quality control: Eliminating outdated or incorrect content enhances the overall quality of your website, ensuring that each piece adds value for your audience.

Ultimately, content deletion is not just about discarding the old; it’s a strategic move to uphold the integrity and relevance of your brand in the digital world. For example, a post that has extremely low or no traffic, very low conversions or CTA rate, and a super high bounce rate isn’t doing you any favors.

Remember, though, that if you delete outdated content, you should also redirect that URL to the blog page or a related blog post to reduce the number of 404 redirects on the site. Or, if there isn’t a relevant page on your site to redirect to, you can tell Google to forget your old post entirely by serving a “410 Deleted” status to Google. This status code will indicate to the search engine — and visitors — that the content didn’t just disappear — you’ve deleted it for a reason.

The Bottom Line: Updating or Repurposing Blog Content vs. Deleting It

Updating, deleting, or repurposing blog content isn’t just about SEO. It’s about ensuring that your digital presence accurately reflects your brand’s current stance, offerings, and expertise. Your website is the digital face of your business, so make sure it’s showing your best side.

Whether you decide to update or remove older blog content, do it with a clear strategy in mind. Keep what adds value and discard what doesn’t based on your keyword rankings, website traffic numbers, or other goals. Your content should be a dynamic, evolving showcase of your brand’s expertise and personality. Keep it fresh, keep it relevant, and, above all, keep it true to your brand.

Need help implementing an optimized content strategy that drives results?

Alyssa Patzius

Alyssa Patzius is the vice president of sales. Intero Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency whose Content & PR Division helps businesses improve their lead generation, SEO, sales enablement, and thought leadership — all powered by content marketing and PR.