“A shiny new website; oh no where have the blog articles gone?”
Recently one of my consultancy clients decided to get themselves a new website. I wasn’t asked to quote for the job, I was just told it was happening a week before the new site went live.
Over the past 4 years, I have been writing bespoke content on their old website blog, which had given my lettings mentee some high-profile ranking on those pages (the remainder of the website pages were not ranking at all in Google). It had been a labour of love as new leads are incredibly hard to come by in their location and due to the lack of SEO functionality on their old website I was having to put each blog through my own site’s SEO platform to ensure it was ranking well, before transferring it over to their own site. (I use Rank Math PRO by the way!)
Not only that, but our monthly newsletter pointed to all of the blog articles on the website, which are highly informative for our landlord clients, and are always updated as trends or legislation come into force.
Now, to be honest with you, this just sounds like sour grapes on my part because a new website was being commissioned and I was not involved, but that is not the point of this blog post at all, I can assure you. So timing-wise, our latest 3 blog articles went live at the weekend (Lettings Market Update, Mastering Your UK Landlord Taxes: 8-Step Guide to Smooth Self Assessment and Legal Landlord Expenses: Know What You Can Deduct) the newsletter went to the entire database on Monday evening, on Tuesday morning the new website went live, and, low and behold, all of the previous 4 years of blog articles (2-3 per month) were removed in favour of 8 new ones. So all of the clicks on the news links went to error 404 pages. Perfect!
BTW: The 8 articles on the new website are duplicated content across all of the website designer’s ‘template’ (or cheaper) web-designs (meaning that they will never bring leads to my client and potentially Google will penalise the site for plagiarism). In addition to that none of them have any relevance to the company’s audience, location or business vision, mission, ethos, tone of voice, or any of the things you should portray in your marketing. Here’s an idea for you:
- Moving house in Northern Ireland: Cookstown (nowhere near my client)
- Renting to students: all you need to know (client has no student tenants)
- How to create a garden oasis in the city (the client is in the Countryside not the City)
- Top 15 homes for sale near Britain’s best pubs (no pub mentioned is anywhere near my client)
Just to top it off, the end of every blog article links off their website onto the web company’s site, so there is no way of keeping the viewer’s attention, and there is no call to action, or newsletter sign-up (as previously).
“Nobody reads anything older than 1 month”
Upon questioning one of the company directors, this is the response as to why they happily binned all of the 4 years of amazing content that had been propping up their SEO. So it made me think, do estate agents or small business owners not understand the power of words?
It hadn’t occurred to me before, especially considering the value of physical writing as books age! Yes, the allure of the latest trends and breaking news often steal the spotlight, but beneath this surface perception lies a treasure trove of timeless value that these articles continue to offer. The power of words transcends time, and while the online world may move at a rapid pace, the wisdom and insights encapsulated in well-crafted articles last well beyond their publication date. Evergreen content, which is carefully researched and written to the right audience has the potential to educate, engage, and inspire visitors long after they are written. In this digital age, where information is constantly moving, it’s essential to recognise that the true impact of our words extends far beyond the confines of a month on the calendar!
When I think about the hours and hours I have spent writing those articles, ensuring I am using all of the correct keywords, and key phrases to attract the right audience, I feel heartbroken that they have just been relegated to the rubbish bin. So for anyone who really does NOT believe in the value of words, here are some points to think about!
- Evergreen Content: Some blog articles contain information that remains relevant over time (this is especially true in the property industry!). These are often referred to as “evergreen” articles and they can continue to attract readers and provide value long after they were initially published. I had one article written for an estate agency client that was still the top traffic source on their site after direct traffic for over a decade.
- SEO Benefits: Older blog articles can contribute to your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. Search engines consider the overall content of your website, and having a diverse range of articles, including older ones, can improve your website’s credibility and ranking. This is incredibly important when you have a niche market, and you must ensure that your content is unique and contains your relevant keywords and phrases.
- Backlinks and Referrals: Older articles might have accumulated backlinks from other websites or social media shares. These backlinks can continue to bring in traffic over time, even if the article is not actively promoted.
- Resource for New Visitors: New visitors to your website might find older articles useful and informative. These articles can help them understand your expertise, offerings, and the topics you cover. So long as you give a call to action on each page you can always find leads coming through from older articles.
- Content Refresh: Instead of completely discarding older articles, consider periodically reviewing and updating them. You can add new information, refresh the examples, and ensure that the content remains accurate and valuable. This means if you are writing an article about (for instance) lettings legislation, and that is updated over time, you keep the same article and add your updates, and the date of the update, and that allows the reader to fully understand that they are reading something current and still relevant.
- Archives and Authority: A comprehensive archive of articles can showcase the depth of your knowledge and establish your website as a reputable source in your industry.
- Promotion and Repurposing: If an older article is still relevant, you can promote it on your social media channels, in newsletters, or through other marketing efforts. You can also repurpose the content into different formats, such as videos, infographics, or podcasts.
So I do hope that if you are reading this article and are in the process of either i) starting a blog ii) building a new website or iii) changing websites, you will consider the importance of your words, that you will write unique, engaging and thoughtful articles, that you will never buy duplicated content unless you plan to use it as a guideline and then re-write it in your own words, or that you will never just dismiss your older articles. Who knows, they may become protected attributes one of these days, stop being so ageist!
If you would like to discuss a new website or some amazing blog articles (provided you promise never to delete them) then please get in touch!