When a site owner wants to revamp their content or redesign their site, it’s important that SEO stays in the back of their minds. Small changes to a site, like adding a few paragraphs of text here and there, won’t have much, if any, impact on your long-term SEO success. However, major changes, like rewriting your content or consolidating pages, can have a dramatic effect. If you don’t remember to make the necessary adjustments to keep your SEO alive and well you risk losing everything!
1. Cutting content can harm the trust factor of that page.
I’ve worked with some site owners whose sites were so aged and trusted that they did really well organically with minimal link building. Because the content on the site was so good, the search engines knew what a good source their website was for related searches. However, removing that content means the search spiders have nothing to work with and their site risks losing its well earned trust. Your site is constantly proving itself to both the search engines and your audience. When you make a dramatic change, such as cutting a page of content from four paragraphs to one, you risk losing some of that trust factor.
If you want to cut your content on a well-performing page be sure you are supplementing it with quality, off-site content that links back to that page so that the page’s trust factor isn’t impacted too much. Remember, internal pages don’t tend to get as many links as the homepage, so if you want an internal page to continue performing well you have to give the search engines a reason to value it.
2. Deleting pages without a proper 301 redirect means you lose valuable inbound links.
One of the most common mistakes I see site owners make when they cut or consolidate the content on their website is they forget to implement proper 301 redirects. When you delete a page from your site, all the links pointing to that page, both internal and external, still exist. If you don’t use a 301 redirect you lose all the SEO value of those links. 404 errors are like a wall to the search spider (and your visitors) and block their crawl path. It’s important to remember that each page on your site can be a landing page for visitors, so every link to every page needs to work properly! A 301 redirect can save those links and keep your SEO intact.
3. Cutting content could impact your conversion rate.
This is especially important for B2B websites. The content on your site has a dramatic impact on your conversion rate. Your content is what convinces someone to fill out a lead form, buy a product, download a free trial or pick up the phone and call. If you drastically cut your content you risk cutting your conversion rate with it. There is no “right” amount of content you should have on a page on your website, but it needs to be enough to give a potential customer all the information they would need to feel confident in doing business with your site. As I mentioned before, you are constantly proving yourself to your target audience. Don’t count on your brand reputation to be enough to inspire conversions.
These are just three things to keep in mind when undergoing a major site renovation. It’s important to remember that SEO is long-term. Should you completely revamp your website and target a whole new set of keywords your site is essentially starting from scratch. It’s completely in your prerogative as the site owner to change content and target new keywords as you see fit, but make sure there is a real reason to rewrite your website and that you don’t sacrifice your SEO in the process.
About the Author – Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing (http://www.brickmarketing.com/) a Boston Massachusetts SEO firm. With nearly 13 years of SEO experience, he shares his knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing blog, hosting SEO trainings and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter.
Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org