Let’s face it, from top to bottom, your WooCommerce store, any kind of online store run on WordPress, needs to be maintained. But whatever you do in all this, don’t forget about your content.
A couple of things had me thinking about content and how to maintain it.
The Challenges of Store Owners When Creating Content
In a presentation I did at local WordPress meetup, “How to Create a Content Strategy for Your WooCommerce Online Store,” I opened with the fact that store owners struggle with creating content.
Their focus is on the store.
Is everything running smoothly?.
Are orders being fulfilled efficiently?
How are my conversions doing?
For sure, these are things you need to be on top of.
But the session was lightly attended because creating content is scary to contemplate and often, hard to keep up on, especially for small shops. If I mention blogging, podcasting, v-logging, whatever, I see concerned looks on their faces. So creating the content, let alone maintaining it, is a challenge.
Site Maintenance is Critical
Of course, as with your car, your house, everything around you, maintenance. You need to be able to have the time and energy to fix things when they go sideways. You cannot afford to have your site down. Plugins breaking. This translates into money lost. So the focus on site maintenance is a natural.
But I’m not here to talk about technical maintenance.
What Does Content Maintenance Mean?
Let’s say you churn out the content, whether it’s via written posts, videos, audio or a mix of all three. You occasionally update your content as your store and products grow, to reflect those changes. These are likely your product pages and some static content that needs to be changed. But as you add more and more content, things tend to build up. Then it’s time to plan maintenance for your whole site.
6 Ways to Maintain Your Content
1. Repurpose Your Exisiting Content
When you create a mix of content, there are creative ways to extract additional content from your existing posts, videos, etc. Or the opposite. Maybe a short video or post will inspire something more in-depth.
2. Get Rid of the Dead Wood
There may be posts wallowing on your blog that are pretty much worthless. If you were to go through your older stuff, you would probably agree.
But with an online store there might be much more dated content that is crying to be removed. Maybe it’s something you can’t update. Maybe the product you were writing about has been discontinued. In any case, make sure you have your redirects in place and if you can redirect to another post or product, do it.
3. Keep Tabs on Broken Links and Streamed Content
When it comes to broken links, save yourself some time and use a plugin.
Broken links can be both internal and external, both of which will make the customer’s experience less than positive. Dreaded 404 errors of pages that do not exist, are frustrating. Consider creating a custom 404 page that at least is more user-friendly.
Also, use Google Webmaster Tools to help you keep track of those 404 errors.
4. Find Friends for Your Existing Content
This is just one piece of the next SEO tip, but revisit your posts for internal linking. Yoast SEO calls it orphaned content. You know, those posts that have no incoming links for other posts on your site. Taking some time to revisit the content and find creative and useful ways to interconnect like-minded posts will do good things for your site. Google will get a better grip on who you are and what you are talking about.
On your products, be careful to stick to the related products, cross-sells and up-sells to avoid destroying a potential conversion.
5. Other Work on That SEO
The value of maintaining or repurposing your content is the impact it can have on your search engine optimization. Even little things, like fixing spelling errors or rewriting a sentence that didn’t make sense, can help your SEO and, in turn, your readership.
Look at your product and post titles. Meta descriptions have grown and the Yoast SEO plugin reflects that change. Also, revisit keywords. The key here is not to mess with posts that already rank high when it comes to the meta and title.
6. Don’t Interrupt Your Live Site with Changes and Updates
When you are making changes to your content, specifically your products, it’s important that you are not messing around with your live site. You want to make the changes, then test to get things ready.
The best way to do this is to make those changes on a local install or your staging site. Once you are sure everything is working fine, then you need to be able to push those changes to your live store easily. Here is a post that shows you how you can do that with a simple click of button.
So there you have it. I know this can seem overwhelming, but take your time. One way to do this is to revisit posts when you are:
1 Answering a comment there
2 On the post to share it
In the end, make your maintenance plan a two-parter. Have someone keep the tech side running for you and don’t forget to give your content some loving care, too.
Oh, and don’t miss our post here: Creating Your Content Strategy for Your WooCommerce Store.