Managing Old Content Online

If you have had a website or blog for a while, chances are you have a lot of content online. On one hand, that establishes your longstanding expertise. But there is a down side. Search engines and people look for fresh content when determining relevance and accuracy, so that legacy content can actually work against you unless you actively manage old content online.

Update Valid Content

Content you first published years ago may be accurate and helpful today. Set a schedule to regularly revisit this content to make sure nothing needs tweaking. Make sure there are no new nuances that need to be included. Perhaps cite a most recent example or case study to illustrate the main point.

If the content has gotten long, consider breaking it onto more than one page or post to freshen it. Have a checklist of your current brand guidelines, writing style and SEO needs and make sure the content is updated as needed.

The goal is to ensure readers and search engines know that the content is still timely and worthwhile.

Delete Unneeded Posts and Pages

Take a look at your analytics. Likely, you have many posts and pages that aren’t getting any traffic. (Personally, I am hoping that all my COVID-related content becomes obsolete very soon!)

This old content adds no value anymore, now or for the foreseeable future. In that case, you need to either tell Google to forget about these old posts or pages or give the URL another purpose.

When I talk about deleting old content, I don’t mean just pressing “delete” and then forgetting about it. If you do that, the content might show up in Google for weeks after deletion. The URL might actually have some link value as well, which would be a shame to waste.

So, what should you do? Here are two options:

  • 301 redirect the old post to a related one. When a URL still holds value because, say, you have a number of quality links pointing to that page, you want to leverage that value by redirecting the URL to a related one. With a 301 redirect you’ll tell search engines and visitors there’s a better or newer version of this content on your site. The 301 redirect automatically sends people and Google to this page.
  • Tell search engines the content is intentionally gone. If there isn’t a relevant page on your site you can redirect to, tell Google to forget about your old post entirely by setting 410 deleted status. This status code will tell Google and visitors the content didn’t just disappear; you’ve deleted it with a reason.

Create a Maintenance Plan

Cleaning up old content should be part of your content maintenance routine. Go through old posts regularly. Refresh the content that still has value. Unpublish the rest.

Tips to Increase Email Opens

Email is one of the most powerful marketing tools for building customer relationships, increasing brand awareness and driving sales. It’s a worthy part of your digital marketing strategy, but impact hinges on getting people to open your messages. Here are some tips for boosting your open rate.

Personalize

Personalizing email marketing based on customer behavior, history, interests and preferences can increase open rates and conversions.

Segment your list so that you can tailor messages to specific needs and interests. Personalization increases relevancy and builds trust and relationships with customers. Data from Statista shows that open rates for personalized emails average 18.8% compared to 13.1% without personalization.

Invest in the Subject Line

Spend as much time perfecting the subject line as you spend on the rest of the content. Readers make split second decisions on whether or not to open an email and that decision is based on the email’s subject line. A marketing email can be visually appealing and contain great content, but if the subject line is not compelling, the email won’t be opened.

Subject lines should be short and attention grabbing. Use action words that motivate the recipient to open the email. Use 40-50 characters and 4-6 words. Emojis that add to the meaning can be effective. Use strategically and sparingly.

Provide Great Content

Email newsletters should include content that brings value to the reader. Content should be brief, attention grabbing and relevant. Giving customers information they want to receive makes it more likely they will open the email.

Design with Your Brand

Your email design should reflect your brand. Don’t let the recipient question the legitimacy of the message because it does not look like it came from you. Use eye-catching images, short blocks of text and white space that allows the eye to rest.

Invest in ROI

According to the Data & Marketing Association, every dollar spent on email marketing has a return on investment of $42. To achieve that ROI, you need to send emails that people open. Take time to create email campaigns using these tips and you are on your way!

Is your contact page killing your leads?

The whole purpose of a website contact page is to let people connect with you, right? That concept could be going horribly wrong if your contact page is not accurate, structured well and technically sound.

First, a little story. I need something for my business. I asked for a local recommendation. Then, I went to the website and selected the contact page. So far, so good.

Two problems: first, there was no option other than to complete a contact form. I preferred to make a call. No go. Problem two, the contact form didn’t work. I found that out several days later when I dug up a phone number from Google and called.

Talk about turning a hot prospect into a dead lead. Your contact page needs to work for you, not against you!

Check Your Contact Form

When was the last time you checked the form on your contact page?

  • Do all the fields allow for the proper inputs?
  • Does the user get a confirmation letting them know the form has been submitted and when they can expect to hear from you?
  • Do the form results get emailed to you for immediate action?

When someone takes the time to submit your contact form, you need to get the information. Every time. No exceptions.

Offer Contact Options

Some people don’t like to complete forms. It can be hard to do, especially on mobile devices. Don’t make that a barrier. Offer alternate ways to connect. Include your email, phone and/or social media accounts on your contact page. List only options that you monitor and are prepared to respond to.

Make the Page a Complete Experience

The contact page might be the first and only page someone visits at your site. Make sure that your page reinforces what you do and who you help. If you are a local business, make your service area clear. Include your address.

Add content that highlights your value, such as testimonials, awards, certifications and client logos.

Be Thankful for Their Interest

The contact page should reflect your appreciation for interest in you and your company. Include a note of appreciation for connecting with you in whichever way the user chooses.