Maintaining Content

It’s important to establish a plan for maintenance. Content should be continually reviewed to ensure that it's current and relevant.

To ensure that your content remains current, continually:

  • Review metrics - email CMS Desk to request a listing of pages and how long it has been since they have been updated.
  • Add or modify your understanding of audience needs.
  • Update organization goals.

Audit, Organize, and Revise Content #

Content should be as up to date as possible. Search engines boost website rankings when their content is updated often. This happens when they crawl your website. If they notice content is updated more frequently, they will re-index your pages in their search index. If you have outdated content, search engines will lower a page's ranking and review your website less often, allowing your competitors' pages to rise above yours.

Search engines aren't the only place outdated content has a negative impact. If your target audience is misinformed or notices content with old dates, they will develop a negative expectancy about the rest of the content on your website.

Things to keep in mind about your content:

  • A website is never finished.
  • Content should be reviewed as often as possible.
  • All information related to your target audiences should live on your website and things like social media should drive people to that information.
  • Unpublish content that doesn’t work.

When content is reviewed for accuracy and completeness, one item that is commonly overlooked is links. As with anything web related, links need to be double checked to make sure that the linked resource has been migrated or is not broken. To assist with this task, Site Improve automatically scans your website once a week and finds broken links for you. If you do not have access to Site Improve, please email CMS Desk. Site Improve is utilized by WVU University Relations and only WVU branded websites can can use this service.

Pages with only a listing of links to external resources are discouraged. These pages often become neglected and, in turn, the broken links can have a negative effect on how a page is displayed in search results. Search engines serve the same purpose and have the advantage of automatically updating their results.

Avoid Archives #

We recognize that some websites keep content archives (newsletters, yearly events, lectures, etc.). Though discouraged, if necessary, archives should only go back up to five years. Website traffic data has consistently shown a huge drop off of viewer interaction beyond the current year, continually dropping exponentially as the dates get further from the present.