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Keeping Content Fresh

One of the most important aspects of maintaining your website is keeping the content fresh.Search engines look for content that is current, up - to - date, and shows your expertise in the subject area, not to mention any references back to your content from social media and emails.The more you turn to outside sources for your content instead of webpages, like an email to an Adobe PDF document attached, the less valuable your website becomes. In order to increase your legitimacy and authority on the internet, your goal should be to get them to your webpages on the official Tarleton website as often as possible.

Cascade CMS allows you to set up timers on your assets, so you can remind yourself of when to check your content.Under More on each asset, you can select Schedule Review to start your reminder on the asset.Depending on what best fits your habits, you can set a timer to look ahead 1, 3, 6, or 12 months(or a custom time), or you can Review on a schedule that repeats on of these intervals. 

You can review your content at any time on your Dashboard if you set up your Content to Review widget.For example, if you set up content to review in a month, you can have it set to list the content you need to review 14 days before it is due, including any overdue content. 

Even if you don 't own the content, you can uncheck "Show only content I own" from your default Site, and look at other web content that may be of concern to your department. After all, we share a lot of content! If you see something that obviously needs an update, you can help others by commenting on their asset about the soon-to-be outdated information.

What should you review?

The basics

Check your links to ensure they are going where you expected them to go. If a link is broken, you can remove it or find an appropriate link to replace it with. 

Check your copy. Spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar should be checked along with your instructions. If you've been received user feedback regarding some confusion about your program, now is the time to clear it up.

Check your facts. Did someone get married? Promoted? A new position? Is there a new business procedure? A new application process? Update your information as soon as you can regarding important life and university events.

Clean out the dust bunnies

Make sure none of your content is sitting there gathering dust. If it was meant to be deleted a while back, do it now. Outdated content also sits in search engines. You know how dust bunnies grow? The longer your old content sits out there, the more search engines think it is important, despite any more recent documents with the same or similar name. As those dust bunnies get larger, users will unknowingly find your old content, think it is the most current information, and sometimes, act on it. 

That can be bad for you and your users. Changes to your business processes could have affected your instructions or form field options that users must fill out. The wrong content could cause customer service woes. If you have content that informs your users of partnerships, discounts, or deals that no longer exist, your users may not know the consequences of acting on them. Just because you know that doesn't mean others will, and some businesses may not offer refunds despite the confusion.Protect your users at all costs.

Create sustainable content

Make sure outdated content is replaced with fresh content on a regular basis. There are two routes to go with outdated content:

  1. Archive it: You had a great lecture last weekend, but it doesn 't have to disappear entirely. Add pictures or videos from the lecture into your calendar event - it stays in the calendar system despite being in the past! You can point to old events in news articles or ask Web Services to give you an archive calendar widget to showcase those events interactively on your website.
  2. Replace it: Out with the old, in with the new! Replace the old lecture announcement with a new lecture announcement. The calendar widgets replace these automatically, but if you want to showcase specific services or events seasonally in a big and bold way, like with a slideshow, you need to create a content calendar that helps you identify content throughout the year that should be ready to go after a previous major event has passed. Have a service you need to showcase in March? Make sure you have all the components ready in February, or sooner, to give your users ample time to make decisions or go through application processes.

Once you've finished reviewing your content, you can mark it reviewed by going to More, then Mark as Reviewed. While this is a proactive approach to keeping your content fresh, Cascade CMS also checks your content for staleness without a review schedule. On your Dashboard, the Stale Content widget indicates essentially that content hasn't been updated in a certain number of days, which you can customize to be longer, shorter, a certain folder, or specifically content you own. As content reaches that date, it becomes stale and appears in the list for review. As each asset is updated, it disappears from the stale list.

Does that mean you should edit each asset and submit it to remove it from the stale list? Not necessarily. Consider images that have been on your website for a long period of time. A new image to replace the old might do your website a bit of good, just like a fresh coat of paint.