By C J Oakes
When evaluating websites, one of the most pressing issues we have come across at Oakes Writing is dead content. What is dead content? How does dead content impact your website? More to the point, what can be done about dead content?
What is Dead Content?
Dead content is content which is killing your website. It can take many forms such as old, outdated content, evergreen content which has not been updated, or content which is far too brief to be effective. Most pages like these fail to get search traffic over long spans of time, which is one great way to tell if content is dead.
Old content is really one of the least common forms. When news or other information is no longer relevant or current, the content retains some value for future reference. Such articles are never entirely dead, but appear so.
One common mistake many webmasters make is to not alter or update older content that is evergreen in nature. The search engines pay attention to the freshest content on a website, so pages and posts which have not been updated, modified slightly, or kept as current as possible can drag a site down.
But the worst mistake comes from content which is far too brief to be of benefit to readers.
How Does Dead Content Impact a Website?
After a time, content which has not received traffic must be tended to or the search engines will begin to penalize the site. This is especially true of pages and blog posts which are far too brief to be of use.
In general, the search engines look for content which is long enough to provide the needed information to readers. Although there are no set rules, most in the content marketing industry agree that to be effective, blogs must be at least 300 words in length and pages at least 500. According to one study, the ideal length for a page is a seven minute read or 1700 words.
Current reseach by leading firms indicate that the longer a page is, the better. There is some disagreement regarding blogs, but as a rule, keep them shorter than pages. Impart only what is necessary to get the point across and little more. Pages should be more in-depth.
What Can be Done About Dead Content?
The most important thing to remember is to keep your readers entertained and informed. Be sure to include only what is needed in the content and keep it flowing. Do not fluff up your blogs and pages with fluff, filler material which adds little to the understanding.
Also, keep sentences simple. This makes for a better read and keeps people returning to your website.
Keeping this in mind, start to think like an editor. An aditor looks at material, whether it is a book, a newspaper piece, magazine article, or whatever and decides what needs to be there and what does not. The interesting thing about editing, each time a work is edited, something extra that is not needed is always found. Take this approach to the blogs and pages on your site.
Once your site gets alot of pages and posts, start going back at least once a week and edit existing material. Especially helpful in identifying dead content is Google Webmaster Tools, which offers a way to check the traffic to each page. If any are getting zero traffic, address them. Update the material, edit, cut extraneous words, perhaps add where useful, alter headings to better clarify the subject…something.
The point is, there is always something that can be done to help a webpage better perform. If the content is dead, bring it back to life.
Bring Your Website to Life with Oakes Writing
Bring Your Website to Life is our slogan at Oakes Writing because that is what we do. When a client comes to us they are usually desperate. They have tried everything and nothing seems to work. They have gone to SEO experts, their webmaster, and searched the Internet themselves but cannot seem to find out why their website is not performing as it should.
We evaluate the site and often within minutes can identify some of the most glaring mistakes. The irony is that these mistakes are repeated over site after site. One of the biggest is dead content.
If you have such a site and would like to have Oakes Writing perform our 100 point website evaluation, we will be happy to take a look. Learn more about our 100 Point evaluation here or complete the following brief form. We will get started right away and be in touch within a few days to a week (depending on demand).
Oakes Writing is a content marketing firm located in Lubbock, Texas, USA. Since 2009, Oakes Writing has been creating content for the Internet, mostly business and real estate. Starting in 2016, our founder C J Oakes took his passion and training in law to Law Firms.
Noticing a trend, he recognized that a need existed to help Law Firms improve and grow their websites. Combining his skill in writing with his formal training in law and criminal justice, he decided to take Oakes Writing in a new direction…helping Law Firms specifically.
Copyright 2016 Oakes Writing, 6402 Albany Ave, Ste 1305, Lubbock, TX 79424