Although the focus in the content marketing world is often placed exclusively on creating new content, it would be short-sighted to overlook the benefits that revisiting older content can bring.
Some of the biggest obstacles we face as content marketers, writers and creatives trying to make an impact online is how to break through a slump in user engagement. This often comes up when website traffic slows and the engagement with the content you are publishing plateaus.
In these circumstances, our first instinct is usually to rush to the ideas board and to start brainstorming in the hope that all we need to get out of this slump is a fresh idea.
While this is certainly a good tactic at times, we also need to recognise that creating new content can often take a toll on the creative mind. When we are required to constantly pump out fresh new ideas, over time this can lead to creative burnout and the dreaded ‘writer’s block’. This becomes all the more likely when your traffic and user-engagement metrics begin to slump.
Rather than constantly trying to create new content from scratch, however, an often overlooked alternative is to return to previously published material that can be refreshed and revamped as a way of jump-starting your website traffic again.
With this in mind, in this short article, we will look at some of the ways that you can refresh older content. These simple optimisations will not only boost your content but also save you resources.
The value of older content
Before we set out some strategies that you can use to refresh older content, we should first set out in general terms the benefits of this approach.
If you have been tracking your website traffic and other metrics for any amount of time, you will more than likely have noticed that often the majority of this engagement comes from older posts. Indeed, when compared with your latest outputs, the traffic you cumulatively gain on previously published posts will generally always be much higher.
This is simply by virtue of the fact that website traffic will build and grow organically over time. The more time that passes, the more likely it is that end users will have found their way to your blog posts or articles through organic searches or through direct linking.
This is particularly good news, as given that you have already created this content and now simply need to ensure that it stays up to date, this significantly lessens the resources you need to maintain – particularly when compared to the resources required to come up with new content from scratch.
How exactly should you refresh, revamp and recycle new material though?
Fix 1: Check for accuracy and update where necessary
The first thing you need to do when refreshing older content is to ensure that the material itself is fully up to date. This is particularly important where the content might have made references to specific events, dates or other time-sensitive occurrences. Inaccuracies might also emerge over time as the information available on a topic goes out of date.
Ensuring that the content contained in a particular blog post or article is accurate helps to maintain your reputation as a trusted source of information. This is particularly important where you are using blogs and articles to build up your brand authority.
With this in mind, when refreshing older content, look out for dates, information, trends, numbers, statistics, and any other time-sensitive information.
Fix 2: Give the visuals a makeover
Although the focus is often on getting the text locked in and properly optimised for the search engine algorithms, visuals are an important element of creating compelling content.
Pictures and infographics are a great way of catching the attention of readers, and can also be used to present the most important information contained in a blog post.
Refreshing the visuals and any graphics contained in a blog post can be a relatively low-resource way to refresh older content. This might include putting more modern images in the post itself or adding in a new infographic where there wasn’t one previously.
Fix 3: Expand and increase
Another relatively low-resource strategy for updating older material is to consider expanding pre-existing posts.
As we have written about previously on this blog, long-form content often performs really well from a reader engagement perspective, on top of the many SEO benefits it has.
An easy approach to refresh older content, then, is to simply take older, shorter articles and to expand them. This could include not only expanding the word count, but also adding in new topics or themes.
Although this will require additional research, it will not take nearly as long to complete as you already have a topic and basic structure to work with.
When expanding older posts, it’s important to not just add filler word count. Engage with the article and find ways of adding in new material that is useful and enhances the material as a whole.
Fix 4: Update your keywords
The importance of keywords for creating impactful content online scarcely needs to be repeated. However, it is important to remember that this is as equally true of older content as it is of newer material.
Use keyword research tools to figure out what keywords are now trending for a particular topic. Use this new information to go and update older material. This will ensure that your older posts get picked up by search engines, which will in turn increase the likelihood of click-throughs and other forms of reader engagement.
Fix 5: Don’t be afraid to promote older content
Once you have followed some of the tips set out above, you should also not be afraid to take this as an opportunity to re-promote older content.
Promoting content you have published isn’t a ‘one and done’ action. It is perfectly acceptable to re-promote older content, particularly where this has been refreshed and updated.
In fact, you might find that the second or third time you promote a piece of content, it will get more engagement than the first time. Some social media tools even allow you to do this automatically using scheduled reposting.
Refresh, reuse, recycle
Although it is often overlooked for the shinier, newer material, older content holds a lot of hidden potential. By following the tips set out in this article, you will be able to breathe new life into existing content. Search engine algorithms love material that is fresh and updated, and by updating older posts, you can ensure that their visibility extends beyond their initial posting.
With that said, if you want to discuss content management and production strategies that will ensure that you continue to have an impact online, feel free to reach out to Purecontent today!