Finding New Value in Old Content

It’s no surprise that content is crucial to establishing your website’s authority which is, in turn, crucial to its SEO. To many site managers and SEOs, this means creating a constant stream of new content, publishing it, and promoting it through various marketing channels. While this has its benefits (with varying degrees of success, of course), it’s not the only way to harness the power of content to build your site and your brand.

Revisiting and refreshing existing content on your site can be just as beneficial as creating something from scratch.

How Do I Do It?

There are a few ways that you can give new life to content that already exists on your site. I’ll get into those in just a minute. First, it’s important to discuss how to find content to revamp and update.

  • Look for underperforming pages – If you’ve got Google Analytics and Google Search Console set up for your site, you’re in luck. They’re seriously powerful tools for helping you audit your site’s content. In Google Analytics, look under the content reports for pages that receive decent amounts of traffic but have a high bounce rate or pages you expect to be popular that don’t get a lot of visits. These are pages where the content needs some work. In Search Console, head over to the search analytics reports, then select a page form your list of top pages and click the queries buttons to get a list of searches sending traffic to that page. From there, you can examine clicks, impressions, clickthrough rate and position to find areas for improvement.
  • Scan your site for outdated content – Chances are good that your site has some content that was valuable a year or two ago but needs to be updated to reflect the latest trends and news within your industry. Click through the pages on your site to find these pieces and add them to your list of content to revisit.

Ways to Update Your Content

There are a few approaches you can take to update your content. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Optimize it for new searcher intents – One of the most effective ways to breathe new life into your content is to find ways to make it more comprehensive. Do some additional keyword research and find other searches that people are performing related to your topic. Does your content cover this? If not, consider adding in new information to generate traffic from those additional queries.
  • Repurpose it – Just because a piece of content doesn’t resonate in one format doesn’t mean it can’t generate big returns in another. If you write a blog post and it flops, try producing a video or making an infographic. Figure out what your audience responds to and adapt your content accordingly to get better results.
  • Update it – I hinted at this above, but if your site has content that isn’t evergreen (and it probably does), go back and update it to reflect the latest information. This will ensure that everything on your site is always a valuable resource to your users and will likely reduce drop-offs on pages that have become outdated over time.
  • Re-promote it – Did you promote your content after you published it? Sure, you did. Well, if you update it, it’s time to promote it again. Whether it’s through an email newsletter or social media, let your community know and get eyes on it. In some cases, you don’t even have to make updates in order to share your content again. If it’s been live for a while and is still relevant as is, promote it again and see what happens.

“Set It and Forget It” Doesn’t Always Work

Content creation is an ongoing process and, sometimes, the “set it and forget it” mentality just won’t cut it. Not every piece of content you produce is going to strike a chord right out of the gate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. Sometimes you have to give yourself some distance, then go back and revisit it to figure out what needs to change. Find a way to give your old pages a second life, and you might be surprised at the results.