Refurbish Old Content
Constantly developing quality and relevant content marketing strategies is one way to increase web traffic, but how about that older published material?
With Google’s increased emphasis on content relevance, one of the easiest tricks to increase visitor traffic can be to refurbish old content. Whether you’re running a blog or simply distributing informative articles related to your industry, chances are you have hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs posted with no recollection of even producing them.
These articles serve no purpose to your website collecting dust on your domain shelf, and they’ve most likely lost considerable visitor traffic since they were first published. One of the prime foundations of content marketing for SEO is producing content with staying power.
It’s important to reevaluate old content—not only to simply redistribute it and ease the burden of creating new content, but because these pieces of content served a critical importance to your early branding experience, as well as for your readers. First, some of the basics of refurbishing older content.
Increased Search Engine Recognition
Search engines will pick up on any content changes—either in a few days or weeks—and you could receive immediate traffic boosts and increased rankings almost instantaneously. Whether it’s producing fresh content or re-marketing old content, producing more content means your website will be indexed at a higher frequency, which could increase your chances to rank your domain and webpages higher in the process.
Increased User Experience
Re-marketing old content further establishes topical authority by giving readers a wider selection of materials based on a wide array of keywords and topics, which you may not have ranked highly for in the past. Simply by inserting an original publishing date at the bottom of your post, you can also show readers how relevant your content still remains, and how well you predicted and evaluated industry trends before they even occurred. Old content can still be accessed through existing links on your website, and updating older links with relevant information will establish trust with your readers.
Increased Writing Experience
As a more experienced writer, your writing abilities and content marketing strategies have evolved. Updating old content with better writing strategies, such as inserting new industry jargon, fixing sentence structures, and adding more emotional appeal, will spice up your early writing with the new skills you have attained as a consistent writer. Remember old content can always be updated with new information. Whether you were covering an industry event or a new product launch, update existing stories with new information to complete the narrative.
Determining Content Marketing Strategies
95% of content receives most of its visitor traffic within three days of its publication. This means content has a very short-half life for high visitor traffic, but still may receive minor or decreased traffic throughout its continued existence. Use your search analytics tool, such as Google Analytics, and look over the traffic for individual webpages over the last year. Identify which webpages still retained a high enough visitor traffic to be deemed relevant. This will be the first and easiest place to start refurbishing old content for renewed visitor traffic and increased SERP rankings.
Maybe there are old pieces of content you produced, which you really felt had strong information and industry relevance. In most cases, content does not rank due to technical site errors, poor writing, or irrelevant keywords. These content pieces could be the gold rush of your website. Simply identify these pieces of content and fix any errors plaguing their dwell time and ability to rank. These pieces of content will produce the most substantial rise in visitor traffic for your website.
Deleting Old Content
There will be old pieces of content that no longer remain relevant, and you have no choice but to delete. These pieces could include: irrelevant blot posts, products/services no longer offered, job postings, etc.
This is a good exercise to evaluate areas of your website, which may be leveraging penalties against your domain. Often times, older domains may contain spammy links, keyword stuffing, or spam content, which may result in a number of penalties by search engines.
The best way to delete an existing URL is to attach a 301 redirect and redirect it to a URL with updated or more relevant information. Of course, 301 redirects take up a lot of bandwidth for your website, so you may want to insert a message and related links on URLs that barely garner visitor traffic.
Resurrect Old Content
It’s important to keep existing URLs when updating old content so search engines don’t index these pieces as new content or duplicate content. Search through any existing webpage links using a backlink tracker to identify any broken links or irrelevant links. Webpages with broken links do not communicate trust or effort among you readers and may decrease your dwell time and your domain authority.
Chances are you’ve written about a specific piece of information, which you may have elaborated further on a different post. These will provide excellent opportunities to insert anchor text ands internal links to further deepen your linking strategy. Be sure to insert relevant links at the end of a post to deepen your domain authority and to provide easier routes for your updated content to be discovered by readers. Updating old content with new links provides benefits for other existing content webpages, simply by increasing their visibility in the process.
Top 10 SERP links tend to have a higher word count than lower ranking websites. It’s important to add more information to old content to make them more relevant and detailed. This will increase your webpages ability to rank and be shared as a result. Of course, maintain your content’s readability and change any confusing or outdated jargon for more everyday words. This opportunity also presents a second chance to edit your article for grammatical mistakes or formatting errors. Consider updating any dates or statistics used within your post with updated information to increase its modern relevance.
It may be ideal to spice up your introduction and conclusion paragraphs with better writing, adding stronger ethos for reader appeal, and more pathos as an established thought leader in your industry niche. Consider altering existing paragraphs and condensing them with more precise information, even transforming them into a list for increased readability.
Zoom out your web document and view it as a reader would at first glance. Does its utilize white space and paragraph chunking appropriately? If you encountered this on the internet, would you continue reading this after the first paragraph? A majority of writing is spent in editing; simply write, rinse, and repeat.
Identify areas of content where videos, gifs, and images may be relevant. Update existing images with proper formatting and file sizes to increase load speed. Images, just like words, must be updated for increased relevance and social shareability.
What keywords were you attempting to rank for when you wrote this piece? Are they still relevant or do they rank? Insert new keywords within your title and your piece to increase your chances of ranking for an alternate or multiple keywords or topics. Titles determine SEO friendliness as much as the writing itself; make sure to insert renewed keywords into your title based on your current keyword marketing strategies.
Re-marketing Old Content
Finally, you have now updated your old content to be more relevant and more SEO friendly. It’s time to promote it. Republish updated content on your social media pages to promote it, include it in your next email marketing campaign, and feature it on your native website homepage. By increasing your total number of social shares and your visitor traffic, this will increase your refurbished content’s search engine visibility in the process.
If your website has a comments section consider adding new comments and deleting spam comments for increased search engine recognition. Simply, re-market any updated content like you would fresh content and reap the benefits of your content marketing strategy, without the pain of producing an entirely fresh piece of content.