Clean up your content

Online content that no longer reflects who you are can do you a lot of damage, as the case of Paris Brown shows...

 Clean up your content

The unedifying story of Paris Brown, Britain’s first youth crime commissioner, is an obvious lesson in the dangers of social media. The 17-year-old resigned from her post after the discovery of certain tweets – at best misguided, at worst offensive – some of which she’d posted when she was only 14. 

When it comes to social media, your content might be live and accessible for a lot longer than you want it to be. In fact, so great is the damage potential of embarrassing content, that companies dedicated to moving content down the search rankings have sprung up. This only underlines the importance of managing your social media presence carefully. 

What about old web content?

Most companies know that a clumsy tweet or Facebook post can damage their reputations. What perhaps fewer are aware of is that old, forgotten, and no longer accurate web content can do the same. 

Many company websites grow organically. That means organisations can end up with hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pages on their sites. And they may have little or no knowledge of the content of many of them.

These pages might contain details of old offers, out-of-date events or no-longer accurate product information. They might even use old company or product names, or contain obsolete contact information. And potential customers might still be landing on them.

Old content that no longer represents what you’re about can damage your credibility wherever it appears. So how to clean up your act? It starts with knowing exactly what you’ve got.

content inventory is your first step towards having content that reflects your business as it is today. It lists everything on your site, so you can see exactly where duplications and obsolete content are lurking. Plus, it can identify gaps and assess whether content is performing in line with your business aims. Keep it updated, and your inventory becomes a living document that helps you make sure your content is always on track.