Your website is an ever-evolving library of information and resources. Continuing to create and publish content is key to attracting and acquiring new customers. However, your website should have a content maintenance plan. With this approach, content stays fresh and up-to-date. You’ll also know when it’s time to say goodbye to posts that are no longer relevant.
In this post, we’ll discuss content maintenance, creating rules, listening to your data, and developing a schedule.
What Is Content Maintenance?
Content maintenance describes a method of ensuring that all content on your website is relevant, accurate, and current. Since you develop timely and evergreen content, you must keep up with the content lifecycle of the latter. As a result, you should have content maintenance “rules” as part of your content strategy.
It’s a large part of what makes your strategy a success. According to 38 percent of content marketers, updating and repurposing content is a key tactic to achieve this.
Developing Content Maintenance Rules
Maintenance falls under the category of content governance. This document is your single source of truth on how you create, distribute, and maintain content.
In drafting these rules, your enterprise content team should discuss and define them. You’ll need to consider several things, such as your current content throughput, resources, and content workflows. Here are some examples of internal rules:
- All content should go through a post-publication review process every X months. It could be annually or more often, depending on how time-sensitive it is.
- Content that falls under specific content clusters is always timely and requires updating more often. A good way to manage this bucket is with metadata. One example of content in this category is anything dealing with regulations or policies that go through regular updates. So, you’d want to schedule its update at the time each year when these things occur.
- Revisiting content if keyword ranking falls to recoup placements. Strong performance that drives traffic should be a priority for updating content.
- Poorly performing content, if optimized, should go through a review process to determine if you should kill it.
In the case of rules, there are almost always exceptions. Many of these parameters correlate to data. So how do you use it to make content maintenance decisions?
Look to Content Analytics to Make Data-Driven Decisions
When it comes to content, data is your best tool. You and your team may have biases about content that you “think” resonates with audiences, but your content analytics reveal the objective truth.
The key metrics you want to scrutinize when determining the fate of content include:
- Organic keyword ranking
- Engagement in distribution (e.g., social media, email, etc.)
- Clicks from the content that equal conversions
You’ll also need to look at the data over time. What once performed well may now be obsolete. For example, consider all the pandemic-specific content most organizations have developed. Much of it may now be irrelevant to the state of your industry and audiences. It was likely once high-performing. Now, it probably isn’t adding value to your website or visitors.
Conversely, you may have content on a topic that is still highly pertinent, but you’ve lost rankings because competitors published a massive amount of content on it. You were the “first,” but they’ve taken advantage of the keyword. In that case, your analytics show a decline. Rather than remove it, you need to keep optimizing it.
With rules and data analysis in place, the next thing you need is a maintenance schedule.
Creating a Maintenance Schedule for Your Content
Do you really need a maintenance schedule? Absolutely, but it doesn’t have to be a heavy lift for your team. Its importance helps you stay organized and sustain content over its entire lifecycle. If you do it ad hoc or simply in response to one metric, it’s hard to be consistent. Content operations will run much smoother with a schedule in place.
While you could develop a schedule in spreadsheets, you’ll find it’s much easier and seamless to use a content calendar. Such a tool is the core of content marketing, as it details all your assets and projects. These dynamic calendars also have a maintenance data field to enter during production. The Divvy content calendar includes this, and you can filter by maintenance date to view all upcoming dates.
Key Areas to Update in Content
When it’s time to update content that you’ve decided to keep, what are the most critical things to change?
- Data and citations: Data can get stale quickly, especially in industries where research and studies are prevalent. When it’s time to review an article, check to see if new data is available. Also, check external links to ensure there are no broken ones.
- Case studies or examples: Do you have a recent case study or example that could make a post more impactful? If so, that adds value to the content and another internal link.
- Keyword optimization: Another update could be around keywords. The topic’s evolution may mean that you need to update the phrases you initially used. Doing a quick review through your SEO tools can tell you if the keyword has volume. Adjust accordingly and watch your analytics to see if it improves.
- Improving formatting and visuals: Often, content may be high-quality but doesn’t “fit” your new templates. You may have determined that all your blogs need more imagery, videos, and other formatting changes. In that case, you don’t need to change the content but update how it looks.
- Expanding the audience: You may have many types of buyers that share similarities and differences. A post could be specific to one of those but not others. If you are trying to capture those new buyers, refreshing content from their perspective can be helpful.
Operationalize Content Maintenance with DivvyHQ
Our content marketing software supports content operations so that you can streamline maintenance. Our content calendar and other tools are critical for ensuring organization around this initiative. See how it works today by starting a free trial.