Sometimes you simply have to swallow your pride.
You’ve invested an unimaginable amount of editorial hours over the course of the better part of a decade molding your company’s B2B blog into the presumed masterpiece it has become. It’s your baby, and on a good day your online readership oohs and ahhs over it.
Yet with a short series of keyboard strokes you can eradicate content faster than a ceremonial book burning, nullifying not only your blog posts but also much of the effort that went into crafting them. Erasing content can be a necessary evil pitted against the prideful content marketer within you.
Rustbelt cities faced with massive population loss often resort to tearing down vacant housing stock. Despite the cost of demolition and possibility of losing historical structures, this option outweighs the threats posed by increased crime and decreased property values within a particular neighborhood.
Similarly, your B2B blog as a whole can benefit from removing select posts, though the potential consequences of each deletion must be carefully considered beforehand. While eliminating a value-producing blog post can produce negative effects ranging from nonworking hyperlinks to lost lead generation opportunities, deleting a “vacant” blog post offers several improvements for your content neighborhood:
- Improved SEO: Google’s revamped search algorithm rewards content that’s timely and relevant. Don’t let outdated, irrelevant blog posts hinder your SEO capabilities.
- Enhanced Voice: Your blog’s persona has likely evolved over the years. By eliminating those posts less aligned with this persona, you can magnify your current voice and ensure it resonates more clearly.
- Increased Topic Authority: Rid yourself of weak links within your blog post arsenal and your expertise within your subject matter will be more readily apparent to your audience.
- Second-Chance Opportunities: Now older and wiser, you can start over and revive a previous blog topic that underperformed initially.
Here are five instances when deleting half of your blog is smart:
1. Your Blog Post is Inaccurate or Misleading
Not all content stands the test of time. Whether or not we’re willing to admit it, we all make occasional mistakes with our proclamations and predictions. And when my wrongness is floating around the Web in a publicly-documented fashion, then it’s probably time for me to take action by deleting any misinformation-spewing blog posts (and correcting my mistakes).
It’s entirely possible the future of content marketing will provide evidence that posts should not be removed from a blogger’s archive. If and when this occurs, I will need to remove or rewrite this post (though all other blog posts will need to remain, based on this realization).
2. Your Outdated Blog Post Can be Recycled
A fresh start at tackling a troublesome topic can do wonders for your blog. Perhaps a previous blog post left you dissatisfied, or perhaps new information has come to light since your old post was published. No matter – don’t hesitate to repurpose that post into an updated, SEO-friendly blog entry.
Your industry expertise has grown considerably over the years and there’s no reason you shouldn’t take a stab at refurbishing an old blog post that now rings hollow. But remember: To maintain a forest’s canopy, a new tree must be planted whenever a dead tree gets chopped down.
3. Your Content is No Longer Relevant
Relevancy can be fleeting. A blog post from 2008 regarding whether Facebook or Myspace would enjoy more unique site visitors in the coming years seems less compelling when viewed with the advantage of hindsight. This represents a prime candidate for removal from your B2B blog.
Moreover, the rules of online relevancy have changed since Google overhauled its search algorithm in late 2013 to discourage link building and keyword stuffing, while rewarding relevant content. Now more than ever search engines demand that you produce blog content that offers timely and helpful information about your area of expertise.
4. Your Content Underperformed
A high-performing blog post achieves strong rankings within search results, drives customers to your website and ultimately injects new business opportunities into your sales funnel. This online visibility is bolstered further when Web traffic links back to your blog post and authority sites republish it.
However, when your blog post’s performance measurement falls far short, the motives for maintaining that content start to crumble. You don’t need to worry about generating “Page Not Found” results when inbound links to your blog post don’t exist. Why not replace an underperforming blog post with new content that will truly serve as a lead generator for your business?
5. You Wish to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
Modern SEO best practices are only a few years old, and your B2B blog may predate these standards significantly. If so, chances are your blog contains content that’s too thin and too dependent on external links, and some cleanup may be in order.
While you may wish to preserve your oldest posts for the purpose of showcasing your blog’s origin and longevity, consider trimming subsequent posts that fail to comply with modern SEO requirements. Even if half is too much, digital agency Koozai experienced search engine success with erasing 30 percent of its blog content, amounting to 900 posts.
It’s never easy to let go of the past. But by convincing yourself to remove the weakest posts from your blog, you can improve the overall quality of your content offering, more effectively engage your audience and build better online results. Everybody wins…except your pesky pride.