I love keeping things tidy and this applies to every aspect of my life. If there is something I don’t need or use anymore, you better believe it’s either going in the trash or giveaway pile! I used to think that this was a no-brainer type of concept to apply to your online store as well. If you decide to no longer sell a product, why keep it? Just toss it into the virtual trashcan, right? Think again! You should always keep your products up on your site no matter how long it’s been since you actually sold them. Here’s why:
- Deleting products will hurt your SEO
If a certain product or group of products had garnered you a higher ranking with Google, deleting them will only set you back by eliminating the rankings as well. By keeping products instead of deleting them, you keep the organic and image rankings that you worked so hard to build in the first place.
- Customers can become frustrated when they don’t find what they’re looking for
Think of things from the mind of a customer. If they’ve bought something from your store in the past, they might want to use it as a comparison for purchasing a newer model based on the features they either did or didn’t like in the older version. If you delete your products, customers won’t be able to use them as reference points for making new purchases. They might then become frustrated when they can’t find what it is they’re looking for but knew the product was once on your site.
Instead, try keeping the products but making these changes:
- Add old products to a “Discontinued Products” collection
This keeps all of your past products on your site while still letting customers know that there are newer or better alternatives to purchase instead. In order to avoid customer service issues, make sure that you change the “add to cart” or “purchase” button to “sold out” or “no longer available” instead. Then the customer will know from the start that they will not be able to complete a purchase on this item.
- Add copy to the old product recommending the newer model
In the product description of the older product that you no longer sell, include information about a similar, newer model and include a link for the customer to follow over to it. This way, if a customer really liked your older model, they’ll still be happy purchasing a similar one. This also keeps the customer on your site longer and increases the chances of that customer making a purchase.
Following the steps above will not only keep your SEO and site ranking at an all time high, it will keep your customers happy and drive more conversions in the long run as well.