Content decay refers to the gradual decline in organic traffic and search rankings of a specific piece of content over time.
Whenever new content is published on a WordPress website, search engines crawl it. After a period, this content may begin to rank for relevant search terms and generate new traffic for the website.
However, there are instances when the traffic starts to dwindle, and certain content experiences a drop in search rankings. This decline can occur even if no changes are made to the content itself.
It is important to note that content decay does not exclusively pertain to old articles on a website. An older article can consistently maintain its ranking and continue to attract traffic.
Conversely, some newer content may start decaying, which can have a negative impact on a business, sales, and profits if not addressed promptly.
Causes of Content Decay on Your Website
Various factors contribute to content decay on a website. Here are some of the primary reasons:
- Better content from competitors: Competitors may target the same keywords with more comprehensive and informative content, surpassing your own.
- Declined interest: The search volume for a particular keyword may decrease over time due to various factors, resulting in a decline in interest.
- Keyword cannibalism: Your WordPress blog may contain similar content targeting the same keyword, leading to a split in search traffic. Google may struggle to determine the search intent and match it with the appropriate content.
- Change in search intent: The reason people search for a specific keyword can evolve. For example, you may have an article about different types of solar panels, but the user intent might have shifted towards purchasing a solar panel.
- Search features: Google constantly modifies search results to align with user intent. Shopping results, featured snippets, local listings, and other search features can divert traffic away from traditional search results.
Before determining the cause of content decline, it is necessary to identify which pieces of content on your WordPress website have experienced decay.
How to Identify Decayed Content in WordPress
Content decay occurs gradually, making it easy for site owners to overlook it initially.
However, if left unattended, other articles may also start decaying, resulting in a significant number of posts and pages requiring remediation, which can be time-consuming.
How do you fix content decay?
Fixing content decay requires a strategic approach to revitalize and improve the performance of decaying content. Here are some steps you can take to address content decay:
- Content Audit: Conduct a comprehensive content audit to identify which pieces of content have experienced decay. Analyze metrics such as organic traffic, search rankings, and user engagement to pinpoint the specific content that requires attention.
- Update and Improve: Once you have identified the decaying content, update and improve it to make it more relevant and valuable to users. Consider adding new information, refreshing outdated statistics or examples, enhancing the visual elements, and optimizing it for search engines.
- Keyword Optimization: Revisit the targeted keywords for the decaying content. Ensure that the keywords are still relevant and align with the current search intent. Update the content accordingly by incorporating the right keywords naturally throughout the text.
- Enhance User Experience: Evaluate the user experience of the decaying content. Make sure the content is easy to read, well-structured, and visually appealing. Improve the formatting, use subheadings, bullet points, and images to enhance readability and engagement.
- Internal Linking: Incorporate internal links within the decaying content to connect it with other relevant articles on your website. Internal linking helps search engines discover and index related content, improving the overall visibility and SEO performance.
- Promote and Share: Once you have updated and improved the decaying content, promote it across various channels. Share it on social media, email newsletters, and relevant online communities. Consider reaching out to influencers or websites in your niche to see if they would be interested in sharing or linking to the updated content.
- Monitor and Measure: After implementing the fixes, closely monitor the performance of the revitalized content. Track metrics such as organic traffic, search rankings, and user engagement to assess the impact of your efforts. Adjust your strategy if needed and continue to monitor and optimize the content over time.
By following these steps, you can effectively address content decay and revive the performance of your decaying content, attracting new traffic and improving search rankings.