I read a great article on search engine land by Damien Bianchi
The article was about refreshing content on your website and this made me start to think about some of the work I have done on sites and how that has affected rankings.
Photo is from flickr
If you want to change the content on your site, you should consider for what reasons and which areas of the site.
You should also consider the SEO impacts. Do not just update the content for the sake of it. If the site is already ranking well, don’t change it. If you must amend some text, just amend a small area.
Damien Bianchi gives three tips to avoid having your rankings drop.
1. Run a rank report for all URLs that will be updated
I call this a benchmark report, you need to measure where you are currently ranking for your keywords. You should also see which keywords are driving the search traffic which will show the top priority URLs. I have helped clients change content on their website and have seen a drop in rankings for key terms. It has sometimes taken four weeks to see rankings get back to the positions they were previously. From my experience, another URL may be ranking for the key term which is an unexpected result for the market team.
2. Establish 301 redirects
If you are refreshing the content, it may include removing sections of pages or whole pages of the website altogether. If a page that is ranking well and is driving a lot of traffic is removed, then this traffic and link juice is not passed on to the new page. To avoid this valuable traffic and link juice from being lost, you should put a 301 redirect on that URL.
3. Carry out research and plan new content
When a client asked me for help with a content refresh and wanted help optimising pages, it involved a lot of research. It is important to use the seo tools such as Google keyword to find out the keywords that are driving the most volume. If you are working with the paid search team, it is also a good idea to find out the keywords generating the highest impression data and clicks. This is a more accurate representation of the terms that are driving the most traffic.
If you have any other experiences of content refresh where you have seen a change in rankings and traffic, let me know.