It’s exciting times publishing a new page to your website or getting that new blog up and running. You’ll promote it, send it out to everyone you know, and then let it do its thing for a while.
That’s all great, but at what point do you go back and look to see if it needs to be updated? And what about your older content, does it need updating? How frequently should you be checking and how do you establish a routine so it stays top of mind?
The life of a marketer is already hectic. Adding the task of checking in on pages and seeing if they need updated can be cumbersome, especially if you don’t know how to assess which pages should be updated to begin with. So, how do you make it work and fit it into your already busy schedule? That’s what I’d like to talk through with you today as a one-person marketing team trying to find the right balance myself.
Why It’s Important to Update Your Content
Updating your content does a few different things:
1. It allows you to make sure your information is up to date.
2. It helps your visitors/readers see that you are on top of your content.
3. It sometimes is a trigger for Google to know that you still exist and are relevant.
All around, updating your content is a great way to show that you are active and engaged. No one likes coming to a page only to be turned away because it was relevant 10 years ago.
5 Signs It’s Time To Update Your Content
Like I mentioned earlier, it can be challenging to figure out what content needs to be updated. As I’ve worked through updating pieces for Lift, here are some tips that I’ve found useful in helping me decide what should take priority.
1. There is incorrect data on the page. Whether someone informs you that the current information on your page is outdated or wrong or whether you find it yourself, it’s time for a refresh. In some cases you just have to update the data, and in others the entire piece will have to be updated to reflect the change.
2. The page’s look-and-feel is outdated. Text isn’t the only thing that will spark an update. If the page doesn’t look like your current website, people are going to think that they’ve come across something that shouldn’t still be up or is out of date.
I can’t begin to describe how many pages get missed when going through a large site update, so things like this are bound to happen. If you come across a page that looks like it’s from a previous version of your site, give it a fresh look to match what you currently have.
3. Your opinions on the content have changed. Opinions can change over time, especially as new information and stats come out. Something that you may have believed 5 years ago may not be what you believe now. If that’s the case, don’t keep content up that doesn’t align with your current thought process. Update it or find a way to incorporate it into a piece to let people know that’s not the take you have anymore.
4. The piece is really old. Old doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be updated because there are evergreen pieces that will stand as great pieces for years. There are pieces, though, that are old and just need the cobwebs dusted off. With the marketing and business world constantly changing, it’s best to make sure those changes are reflected. A page you posted 10 years ago may not be as relevant today and needs a refresh.
5. You have more assets now that will improve the page. As you continue to work on content, there will be times where you create a video or another asset that works well with a piece you already have published. Adding the video or infographic to highlight your point will help to improve and update the blog. It could even be a new finding that you want to add to make the piece stronger. Nothing has to be wrong with a page for it to be updated; it could simply be that you want to enhance what you already have in place.
So Where Do I Start?
Starting is always the hard part, especially if you have a lot of pages on your site. It can be overwhelming to figure out what should get attention first. A few things you should consider include:
1. Look at your page metrics. Find out what content is getting the most traffic and start there. For example, if there are pages that are bringing traffic to your site, but they’re old or outdated, start with those. If they’re old, outdated, getting a lot of traffic and also have a high bounce rate, that’s another strong indication that you need to update those pages first because people are visiting your page and could think your information is irrelevant because of the outdated look. That’s why it’s important to look at metrics, and even heat maps from somewhere like Lucky Orange to determine how the page is performing and whether it should be updated.
2. Put an action plan together. Making a plan for how you want to tackle looking through and updating your pages will help immensely. While it’ll take some time to initially set up, you’ll be rocking and rolling in the long run.
2a. If you really want to be proactive, include updating content as part of your content calendar. So when a piece posts, automatically include a task or notification for you to go in and check in on it a month after it’s released (or three, depending on what cadence you want). Having a reminder already in place for you to review your pieces will make it an integral part of your routine.
Updating content can seem like a daunting task on top of everything else you’re doing, but in the end it’s worth refreshing your pages. Stay relevant, on top of world changes, and on top of the trends by going through and making sure your pages remain up to date. It may be a pain to begin with, but in the long run you, your visitors, and your website will thank you.