Why You Should Never Delete Pages From Your Blog

Learn From The Blunders Of Big Companies Like Nivea®

I have the hands of a great grandmother from years of neglect, so I thought that perhaps this year I’d start taking a little better care of them:) One of the solutions for that was to always be prepared with some sort of hand cream in my purse and at my desk (where I spend much of my time:) So I purchased a travel tin of Nivea hand creme probably about two months ago to keep at my desk. The tin lasts a pretty long time and today I noticed that they were running a promotion which was printed inside of the lid.

deleting pages

The promotion looks like a contest to win tickets to see singer Rihanna. I know that Rihanna is still on tour, so I thought there was a chance that the promotion was still running although I bought the creme over at least eight weeks ago. There’s a page url and a code for entering the contest but when you go to the page there is a dreaded “Error” page. Ugh!!!

nivea error page

This is because they deleted the page on their website, probably when the promotion was over. This is a HUGE mistake primarily because the goal of any business owner should be to keep the visitor on your site and once Google/Bing indexes your page there’s always a chance that it can be found organically through a search much less through any offline promotions that you may be running.

Let’s repeat that. The goal of any business owner with a website is to…

Keep the visitor on your site

Coming to an error page written in German from a company that distributes in Connecticut and which I purchased in Pennsylvania is not good business. Honestly it turned me off. So what could they have done differently? A few things. And they can all easily apply to our own businesses.

Change The Copy

1. If you run a promotion on your site which is time sensitive, when it’s over you should still KEEP the page up but change the copy on the page. Let visitors know that you were running the promotion but that it’s over. Announce the winner on that page. I’m pretty sure there are legalities around just that. Nivea doesn’t tell us anything about the promotion or if it even existed because we are sent to a generic error page.

Create A Special Page

2. If you are an entrepreneur who typically runs promotions, perhaps they are weekly or monthly, then it makes sense to create a CONTEST or PROMOTIONS page on your website and the copy for that page changes as your promotion changes. If you want to create separate pages for each promotion for SEO purposes, then you can set up your contest or promotions page and then send folks to various optimized pages for each specific promotion. Either way you choose to do it — all of those pages need to stay up live on your site.

Forward The Page

3. Forward the url of your page to another page that visitors of that promotion may be interested in. I would have appreciated being sent to a page with a $1.00 off coupon!

Forget About It!

4. I rather had been sent to an out of date Rihanna promotion page. You know the pages on your site that you’ve forgotten about. Where the information is outdated. I rather would have seen an old promotion then an error page. So at the very LEAST – leave the pages on your blog alone. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to make the changes yet to the page, then just leave it there, do NOT delete.

Outsource It

5. Sounds a little too tedious? Hire a virtual assistant to do this for you. That’ll work too:)


  1. says

    I always learn sooo much from you. Thank you for blogging and sharing your knowledge. I have signed up with you a few days ago with my email and need to sit down and FOCUS on reading them all and following your advise. I will I promise! 😉
    The How to Guru

  2. says

    You SO got that right, Lisa. You have to leave those pages there. I cannot believe Nivea made such a huge mistake.

    I love their products, too. Excellent advice, as usual. :)

    Make it a marvelous Monday!

    Deb :)

  3. says

    Oh, man, I never thought of that. I have deleted past giveaway posts because they get hundreds of hits in a short amount of time and end up in the list of “popular posts” that runs along the right margin. I’d rather people not click on them and be taken to something that is expired. Now I’m not sure if I should re-edit them after the contest (seems like bait and switch), delete them, or leave them as is. Any thoughts?

    • says

      Hi Debra,
      The first thing you need to do is to change the parameters for your popular posts if you’re always going to run giveaways or manually add popular posts to your sidebar with html. Second – do NOT delete the pages. Edit. It’s not bait and switch if you let them know that the particular promotion is over but if they’d like to go to your latest promotion “click here”.
      Hope that helps,

  4. says

    Nice point and you make it well. I’d like to add from my own experience that it’s a good idea not to remove old pages, but for a different reason. I recently had a press contact from the BBC because I blogged about something 3 years ago which had just now hit the news again. I got my comment, name and a web link to my site onto the BBC website as a result. I’m never deleting anything ever again 😉

  5. says

    I couldn’t agree more. I find it very annoying when I try links in books or on products and I get an error or worse, the site itself doesn’t even exist anymore. I’d much rather get a list of who won a contest than an error.

    • says

      I hope the bigger companies get a handle on this. I can give a solo entrepreneur a pass but not the larger entities. They have the resources to hire people that know better.

  6. says

    I always wondered why such large companies can’t get such basic things right. Especially when you consider the amount of staff that a company such as Nivea employs.

  7. says

    It sure is a disaster if you delete a page that has been promoted earlier. Nobody will reach it. I have some same experience with a Facebook post. I posted a valuable offer on my wall and there was a spelling mistake. There was no way to correct it than reposting it. After 15 minutes of time since it was posted, I deleted and reposted it. The next day I realized there are very few hits on the offer. I was wondering why? Then I checked few peoples wall, then realized that they have shared the wrong link which was deleted by me!

  8. says

    I did it! I deleted a page but not the links that lead to it. Aarrgghh! Thank you for publishing this. Even though it’s a couple of years old now, I always learn so much from you that I stop by to read things at random from time to time. Glad I did today!

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