How to Breathe New Life Into Old Content

 

Blog posts, articles, white papers, infographics, and other types of content can be extremely valuable for your website and brand. Great content answers people’s questions, establishes your brand as an authority, helps to garner backlinks, builds up your site’s authority, and brings more traffic to your site. Most brands recognize the value of great content and have a strategy for creating quality content on an ongoing basis. This might include a content calendar that details plans for new blog content on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. However, I rarely encounter content teams with a good strategy in place for revitalizing existing content.

We have helped hundreds of companies to evaluate their content marketing strategies and I am often surprised at the relatively short lifespan that most content has. A new blog post can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, and sent out in an email blast. This typically results in an initial traffic boost, but in many cases that success is short lived and content becomes stagnant with little or no traffic within a matter of weeks or days.

This is a shame, especially considering the significant effort it takes to produce quality content! Reviving your old blog content is one of the easiest and most effective ways to quickly increase traffic to your website.  

When evaluating content to revive, I like to look for pages that were previously successful and have dropped in rankings. These pages can often jump right back up in rankings with the right optimization and updates. I also look for pages that are at the bottom of page 1 of the SERPs (search engine ranking position) or right on the verge of page 1 (position 8 to 15) for a particular keyword. Moving these pages a few positions can mean big things for site traffic.

 

Here are a few things you might consider to refresh and Improve the quality of your content

  1. Refresh your content to make it up to date or add additional detail if needed. Consider what you can add to make your content more in-depth, interesting, or relevant to what’s happening in your niche right now.  If you feel like your content is “thin” or lackluster, consider applying narrative and storytelling techniques.
  2. Check all of the links and resources in your article. Make sure your links are all working and that you are still linking to the best available resources.
  3. Add images and videos, or improve the images on your page. Adding visual content can make a big difference in terms of views and social shares. Infographics can be especially compelling and shareable.
  4. Follow up on articles with a case study or examples of how the methods being taught can produce the desired results.
  5. Add additional resources or link to new articles you have written about the same topic since the first article was published.

 

You will also want to optimize your updated content for search engines

Here are a few ideas you might try:

  1. Evaluate the keywords you are using and make sure your content is on topic. If the blog post was published without keywords in mind, can it be updated to better address what people are searching for? Or, if your blog post does rank for a particular keyword or phrase, can you make the content more relevant to those keywords? Consider updating the Title Tag of your article, and the heading (H1) to include your most important keywords.
  2. Find related pages on your website and add internal links to your newly refreshed content. This helps search engines to see that this page is important and also improves user experience on your site.
    1. Consider adding your newly refreshed content to a “featured content” section of your website if you have one, or add a link to the content on your homepage or important category pages.
    2. If you have multiple pieces about the same topic, consider creating a “roundup” post that lists and links to all of them. You can make a special note for any that have been recently updated.
  3. Look for opportunities to point new links from other websites in your niche. Here are some great blogger outreach ideas.
  4. Optimize your articles and blog posts for featured snippets
  5. Look for opportunities to convert your viewers into customers with conversion rate optimization.

 

Keep in mind, If you have a page or blog post that is already bringing traffic to your website you will want to be very cautious with these pages. It’s tempting (for good reason) to revamp a blog post that you want to move from the 3rd position to the 1st position in the search results. Completely rewriting your content might cause you to lose your rankings for the page. For pages like this, focus on supplementing the existing content and making minor changes, rather than large content updates.

Once your content is refreshed its time to relaunch your content! Most content publishers have a strategy for promoting every new blog post; that might include posting to Facebook and other social channels, an email blast, paid promotion on social media or Adwords etc… when content is updated, you can follow the same process to re-launch your content.

Creating a plan for evaluating and improving your content periodically can have a massive impact on your search engine rankings and traffic. Implementing the strategies above will help you to improve the quality of your content, extend the lifespan of your content, and ultimately enhance the value you receive from each piece of content published.

CJ Lewis
Digital Marketing Director
CJ has more than 7 years experience in digital marketing and loves helping individuals and brands to tell their story online. In his free time, CJ can be found spending time outdoors with his family, tinkering in the yard, reading, jogging, or playing sports.