10 Easy Ways to Immediately Improve Your Old Content
You’ve written an excellent blog post on a topic, and after publishing, you see an enormous amount of traffic to it. People simply love it and are deriving a lot of value from it as could be seen from the comments they put at the end of the article. But with time, the traffic dwindles as the initial euphoria sizzles down. What happened?
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Nothing much, except that many other people wrote newer posts on the same topic. Somebody even created an infographic on that same topic, and people would rather see that infographic than read your blog post. Even if you write evergreen content that resonates with readers and provides value months or years after its first publishing date; with time, it will age and start losing its sheen.
Research has indicated that fresh, new content has better SERPs and clicks than old content. Of course, it’s a whole lot work to write a new post from scratch, but when you already have good, valuable content, it makes more sense to update and republish it. Updating will help you gain new audience and enhance ranking. Follow these 10 tips to breathe new life into old content.
Before you start digging for old posts that you would like to update, you need to identify your top performers and then go about updating them. To do that, you need to be guided by your analytics on metrics like inbound links, traffic, social shares, and keywords.
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1. Refreshing Links
Links are the first thing you should look at when updating old content. While writing a post, you write in good faith. But does your article keep pace with the times? You never know when some content has lost relevance, or you need to update some facts. For instance, for this article, we kept adding new facts and updating content over time, which made it necessary to update the link too.
When you are updating old page addresses make sure you redirect the old URLs to new ones with a 301 redirect. If you don’t, you will lose the link value of the old page.
2. Use New Keywords and Update Meta Description
What were rock star keywords a year ago might be damp squibs today. People are entering different keywords in their searches leading to lower page rankings for your content. Use keyword optimization techniques to add relevant keywords and boost the SEO of your content.
Visit your blog’s meta description. See if it still sounds catchy or if you can make it more accurate. Although meta tags don’t directly affect the rankings, they certainly affect the clickthrough rate. Meta descriptions present a preview of what the reader will find in the post and tempt them to click.
At the beginning of 2018 Google updated the length of the description tag from 160 to 320. Longer description will give you more space to work with.
3. Create Newer Formats Out of Old Posts
Today, people love content that has been broken down into easily readable and understandable segments peppered with illustrations. I am talking about infographics. These simple, yet powerful, tools are invaluable in your quest to repurpose old content. They provide an attractive visual representation of the key concepts in your content.
An UnBounce survey shows that the demand for infographics has increased 800% in the past year and last year, infographics usage grew from 9% to 52%. We used Gifographic in one of our articles to present the most important Google algorithm changes and had a winner in our hands.
Unless you want a gifographic or animated infographic, you don’t need a designer to create infographics. There are many free templates available on the web. Just choose the one that fits your purpose, fill out the text boxes and voila! Here is a great post that explains the future of infographics.
Another powerful way to present content is in the form of presentation and slideshows. It is dynamic since it incorporates movement and can hold the reader’s attention for a longer period than an article.
4. Audio-visual Content
Videos and podcasts are other ways to target new audiences who love content that moves and one they can listen to.
Podcasts are an excellent way to add variety to a post, by adding recorded interviews as they happened, rather than transcribing them from a recording. Podcasts can be accessed by people while they are on the move and are an effective way to get your message through.
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5. Add New Information
“Evergreen content” isn’t evergreen anymore. The world is in a state of constant flux. New things happen, and new information comes out every single day. Your “evergreen” content can remain evergreen only if you update it regularly with new findings and insights. Read your posts thoroughly and cross-check key points for relevance. Checking the facts helps your content to stay valuable, and readers will find the latest information.
6. Turn a Numbered List into Individual Posts
We love reading posts like “7 Awesome Tips to…..” or “97 Great Ideas to….” These are click-bait titles that never fail to attract readers. We love concise, bite-sized information or working tips.
Almost 60% marketers reused content 5 to 6 times and generated “snackable” content based on assets.
A good way to repurpose such posts is to elaborate on the best points and give more detailed information on it. Add a few helpful examples, a couple of images, and you have a brand new post. You can also do this the other way round. Take a few related posts and create a concise summary post.
7. Use the “Hub and Spoke” Method
This is a method where you write a major story or blog or article on your site and then create follow-ups and related pieces of content on other sites, always linking it to the main story on your site.
Through this method, you’ll be able to extend your main article’s life because each time you link subsequent pieces to it, you’ll keep on directing traffic to it. New content creation will be easy because you already have the main piece ready, you just have to offer supporting information. This type of method helps you get highly motivated and targeted traffic that converts better. It is also a great SEO booster as it will have a lot of high-quality links back to your site.
A study by Curata concluded that 29% of leading marketers reuse and repurpose content.
8. Create Twitter Posts Out of Your Post Stats
If you have written a post that is heavy on statistics, you can use individual stats as tweets and post them on to your Twitter feed, adding a link back to the original article. Add a click-to-tweet link at the end of a few quotes, stats, and facts so that readers may use them to post on their own Twitter feeds. And for the most important stats, you can use them as your tweets and status updates. You can also add a few social media friendly images of your stats. Images make your content more shareable and increase its reach.
9. Create a Newsletter Out of Your Blog Posts
This is an awesome strategy if you have a solid email list. This dual strategy helps you to add freshness to your old posts and also give ideas for your weekly/fortnightly newsletter. This will also help you direct traffic to your website and attract readers to read your best posts.
This amazing blog from Tintup goes into the details of creating the perfect newsletter.
10. Re-post and Re-promote
Now, this method might not look exciting, but research has shown that this simple technique of re-posting can bring in as much as 75% of the share of the initial engagement. Even Guy Kawasaki does this because according to him, he can hit people in different time zones and the chances of the post being seen rise dramatically. Here is a great post from Content Marketing Institute that explains how to get more from repurposing.
You created sensational content? You need to promote it! Find out how to skyrocket your content 11 Most Effective Content Promotion Hacks to Skyrocket Your Traffic.
Keep on adding value to your original piece of content
Repurposing content goes a long way in ensuring your evergreen content has a long and healthy life (and afterlife!). With these tips, you could benefit in SEO and reach; it could save time for content creators, and you can draft a repurposing strategy before you have written the post. Keep on adding value to your original piece of content, and it will continue serving you faithfully.
BIO: Avinash Nair is a Digital Marketer at E2M, one of India’s fastest growing Digital Marketing Agency committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing strategies and drive sustainable business growth. He is responsible for SEO and Content Marketing Services. You can find him on Twitter: @AviNair52
Photo credit: Unsplash
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