I received a question recently along the lines of “Is it OK to delete blog posts if I’m not writing anything new?” My immediate instinct is to shout NOOOOOO! Since that’s not really professional, here is why I would strongly advise against deleting your blog posts.
One of the key factors for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) nowadays is relevant content. Having lots of relevant content on your website, spread over many pages, will rank your website highly. Only having “thin” content over a few pages will, of course, do the opposite. That’s why blogging is so important. It is one of the best things you can do for the ranking of your website. You can therefore understand why deleting content is a really bad idea.
As long as the existing blog posts are relevant to your business, keep them on there. If you’re worried that the last post was a long time ago, simply remove time stamps from your blog posts. You can usually do that in the settings of your website. Then no-one will be the wiser when the posts were written.
But what about content that is either out of date or even irrelevant?
Let’s deal with out of date content first. If the content in your article is no longer valid, i.e. facts have changed, then simply update the article. You don’t want erroneous content on your website. Mark it as updated somewhere within the text so people know it’s up to date. If the blog post was written about an event you attended in the past, leave it. The event still took place, and it’s simply historical. Write a new article about the latest event if you’re so inclined.
If, on the other hand, your old articles are irrelevant to your business, i.e. your business has changed direction, and the content is no longer suitable for your new target audience, then by all means delete blog posts. Be mindful – if you delete content, you need to ensure that there are no dead links anywhere that used to lead to it. Google spots that sort of thing! If you don’t do this, existing links will send visitors to the dreaded “404 Page Not Found” and Google will rank you down for having lots of broken links (= bad user experience).
Make sure you redirect any deleted page to a valid page that either replaces it or explains why the page is missing. This is not only important when you delete blog posts.
Over to you
Are there any blog posts on your website that need to be updated? Go ahead and do that, it’ll be great for your SEO as every update counts towards an active website. And Google loves active websites.
This is only one of the tips I share with my clients when training them in blogging for business. If you would like to find out more, why not check out my About page.