A reader recently wrote in and asked if they should archive their sales notices on their website, or just delete them. There's no easy answer to this question because it all depends on how you made the announcement. Let's explore some of the reasons when and why to archive those notices.
Types of Notices
The question at hand is very general and does not specify if they wanted to archive a web page, a social media post, an email newsletter, or a sales email so I'll cover all three formats, but first I'll explain what they are and how to recognize them.
Web Page / Landing Page
Every one of your ads should have an associated landing page. It doesn't matter if your ads are related to trunk show events, week-long sales, or holiday promotions; each ad should have a call to action that invites people to find more information on your website. The link to your website should bring them to a landing page that you specifically set up to match that ad.
Social Media Posts
Sponsored social media posts should always include a link to a landing page, as I explained above. The photography on the landing page should match what they saw on social media, but it should also include additional photos from different points of view.
The email newsletter has editorial content that should be educational or somehow informational without trying to sell something. One approach here is to include a full editorial in the email, another approach is to include the first paragraph of the editorial with a link to your website to read the rest of the article.
I refer to a sales email as those with product photos and pricing. Clearly these emails are trying to sell something and they link back to a product catalog page on your website, or to a special landing page that shows all the products mentioned in that email.
When To Archive
Of the four types of notices I mentioned above, the newsletter version is the most important one to archive on your website. Those types usually have good quality content that can be helpful for Google to match your website to future search queries. This is especially good if the newsletter mentions product lines that you continue to carry.
When it comes to the sales emails, you might want to archive a special landing page you created for it. For example, you might create a special landing page for a specific holiday that has links to products relating to that holiday. That page might even have a link to a hidden holiday gift guide which can be reused year after year. Don't remove those pages; just hide them from your navigation and from the HTML version of your sitemap, but leave them on the xml version of your sitemap. Next year, you can update them when the time comes, and you'll have the benefit of Google already knowing about the page. It will appear in search results when people start searching for those holiday related phrases again.
Social Media Posts
After investing a lot of time to build a special landing page for a social medial post, it's hard to justify deleting it from your website when you don't need it any more. There are two considerations that you must think about. The first is that if you delete the page, it will cause a broken link from your social account to your website, which is not good. I always find it frustrating when I go looking through a business' social media history only to discover most of their old posts are broken.
The second consideration is if this landing page has good content that Google can use to match random search queries. Hiding this page on your navigation will allow Google to keep it in their index without your website visitors accidentally finding it.
On the other hand, if the social post is fun and interesting, without a sales pitch, then it might be good to leave it in an archive area of your website where people can find it.
Ad-specific landing pages might outlive their usefulness, especially if it's for something like Black Friday or a weekend sale. In those cases, you probably won't have the same products on sale the following year. Sometimes these landing pages have editorial content in addition to the items on sale, in which case I would remove the mention of the sale items and leave the editorial content on that page.
I probably would archive that page away from the main navigation so it's only found when someone digs deep into your website. As needed, you might have to rewrite the editorial content once you remove the sale information, but those rewrites are easier than writing a blog post from scratch.
Google is always looking for new content to be added to your site. One easy way to accomplish this new content creation is to add a blog post every month, but this archiving process also qualifies as a way to show Google that your website is updated often.
Consider that it takes you a bit of time to build an ad and the associated landing page, and you should not throw that time away, instead, plan ahead with the idea that you will archive your landing pages. Perhaps that will motivate you to put a little extra time to create a page that's more evergreen than just something you will throw away in a week.
I've found that every archived page tends to bring at least 20 new website visitors per month. This visitor count compounds over time and is another very attractive reason to archive sales notices that can be reused every year.