Just a quick SEO question. We are now seeing a lot of organic traffic coming to the site and it's growing everyday. The nature of our business, means, what is popular today, nobody wants it in 2 months time, let alone 6.
So, my question is this, if I delete the old products will it have an adverse affect on our rankings? For now I am hiding products that no longer sell. But the back end is still cluttered with a lot of old products. I'd like to just delete them, but I'm wary this will harm things.
Any insight is greatly appreciated.
PS. The majority of the products I'd like to delete are not driving any traffic to the site.
I would strongly suggest deleting products that you aren't planning on ever restocking - having "dead pages" (pages that are no longer relevant - in this case, products that you no longer sell) is not good for your business. You want to make sure that new, fresh content is coming up in search rankings - it's better for business that way.
Work on building SEO for your home page, blog, pages, entire collections! That way if you have to delete products it won't mean much in the longrun.
I'm still uncertain as to the best course of action on this one myself. Having outdated pages isn't great, but neither is having broken links (404's, both hard and soft) it seems.
I've yet to find a consensus on how to handle expired content. What we tend to do is remove old and inactive products from the collections but leave them on the site, this way they don't clog up the range when people are browsing, but the pages are still active for people who may stumble onto them from old links or search results. We deal with seasonal products, but it's not uncommon for people to go looking for information on something older and outdated, so while they're not active they may still be useful to some customers.
Do not delete products link, you can display the products as out of stock and show relative products on the products page. Check out following link.
Like Technokrats said, you need to create redirects.
In your Shopify Store choose Online Store > Navigation and then click the 'URL Redirects' button in the upper right. Click the 'Add URL Redirect' button in the upper right, add old URL, enter new URL, and then you're done.
For the new URL, since you're deleting a product, I'd enter the collection that product previously appeared in.
Hope this helps!