We all know the rule: Every twenty years, what was old is new again and fashion trends repeat themselves. Luckily, we don’t have to wait two decades to come full circle on blog content.
It’s worth having a look at what you created over the past years and how those articles are serving you today. Who knows, you might be sitting on gold, just waiting to be dug up and turned into a beautiful new piece of content, a series of social media posts or infographics. Here are our top tips on reusing, repurposing and recycling content to keep things fresh.
You have hopefully learned a lot about SEO since you first started creating content. Simultaneously, search engine algorithms have changed immensely over the last two decades – yes, Google has recently turned 21 and is officially “coming of age”. Those early articles we first uploaded when company blogs became a necessity in order to stay competitive, focused on sheer bulk and keyword stuffing over quality and entertainment. It is safe to say that they aren’t serving their purpose any longer. On the contrary, they’re probably holding you back.
How Does Old Blog Content Affect You?
- Crawl Efficiency. If Google has to crawl through thousands of articles that have accumulated on your page over the years, just to find one high-quality post that contains relevant information, they’ll unlikely spend much time on your website in the future. Quality should therefore stand before quantity.
- Click Through Rate. Featured Snippets and first page search results are usually dated more recently. Which makes a lot of sense if you think about your own search behaviour. Would you rather click on a post from 2020 or an article dated 2008? Keep that in mind when updating old content.
- Broken Links. Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on a link and finding a dead end where helpful information was promised. Luckily, fixing broken links isn’t too difficult. With the help of free tools such as Broken Link Check, finding broken links is just a matter of seconds. All you have to do then, is to find the original post and replace the link.
- Grammatical Errors and Spelling Mistakes. No one likes going back to re-read what they wrote a while ago. But even worse is re-reading and finding a miss-spelled word in a headline. Google might not prioritise it, but you should still consider how poor grammar affects user experience.
- Google Updates. Google updates its algorithm hundreds of times every year. You need to do your homework continuously to ensure that your content meets the latest requirements and best practice standards.
Does this have you worried? If you’re in a bit of a pickle, not knowing whether to delete or repurpose old content, or don’t know how to get started at all, we’re here to help. At the end of the day, you are the one to decide what has to go and what can stay. We are just here to give you the tools to help you make that decision and get the most out of the content you keep.
So don’t forget about or throw away your favourite pieces, be it that velvet button-up you’ve been hiding in the back of your closet or the blogpost that went viral three years ago and has been collecting dust ever since. It might just take a little time and effort to spruce it up to be as good as new!
We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s dive right into it!
How to Decide Which Content to Keep?
There are two steps you have to take first: Inventory and Assessment. You will need to know how many articles require your immediate attention and then go on to evaluate if it’s worth keeping them or whether it’s best to let go. Since this can be quite an overwhelming task, you should be systematic about this process. It will not only save you nerves, but time and money.
Firstly, gain an overview of the content on your blog. You can easily do this by using Google Analytics or whatever analytics software you are relying on normally. Evaluate by analysing:
This will help you identify the content you should prioritise. Before you start upcycling, you need to also ask yourself:
What is this article doing for you and your users?
Is it still relevant?
Are there any issues with it?
If you can confidently answer these questions, then it’s time for the next step.
Repurposing Content – 5 Easy Tips for Keeping it Fresh
Creating informative, fresh and up to date content serves SEO purposes best, but in reality, it can be a challenge to constantly create inspiring, well thought out articles. If you’re not at a stage where you want to hire a professional copywriter, updating old content means significantly less work for you and can lead to similar results for your content marketing strategy. Over the past years, we have learned that updating old content improves your so-called freshness score with Google, leading to a spike in traffic.
The Anchor Digital team recommends using five main strategies for instant results. How does it work? Simply by turning old posts into fresh content through reusing, repurposing, and recycling. Take action today, see results tomorrow (well, almost).
1. Updating Old Pages
You might already know that Google rewards websites that update content frequently and post fresh content more regularly, by assuming the contained information must be more relevant than that of older posts and consequently ranking them higher in search results. Ok, this is obviously a simplified explanation and there are a range of other factors involved, which we discussed in detail in a series of articles on SEO. But the one, simple thing we marketers often overlook is,
that a simple date change and small updates in WordPress can do the trick.
All it takes is a small amount of work. In a few seconds you can update the time and date an article was originally published to a more recent day and possibly change a headline or add new images. New graphics or multimedia give old web pages a new face, making them appear more modern while engaging the user.
You should reserve a little more time to go over your content and check for errors in spelling and grammar, and update any examples, case studies and outdated research. While you are at it, you should replace broken backlinks, too. Having learned a few things about SEO since you first started putting out content (don’t worry, no one is born a SEO master), you may want to re-optimise your site’s pages to target updated keywords.
Your work doesn’t end when you upload version 2.0 of your content. Encourage visitors to share your content by intelligently placing share buttons to click on and promote your new-ish content on social media.
2. Atomising Content
Atomising content may sound highly scientific, but fear not. We won’t make you change into a lab coat to dissect your every written word or train of thought. We are really thinking bigger picture here: Content atomisation is a term coined by the public relations and social media expert Todd Defren. It simply means to “share content in small bits” in order to reach a wider audience in a number of easy-to-consume ways and drive engagement. This can simply mean taking a longer post and splitting it up into a series of articles. But it can be slightly more complex, too.
Nike, for example, continues to do a great job using content atomisation to customise and personalise content. The documentary ‘Breaking 2’ was produced by the sports clothing brand in cooperation with National Geographic, bringing in a new audience and building brand awareness.
The film portrayed an athlete’s attempt to break the two-hour marathon benchmark and was covered on both companies’ platforms through interviews, social media and blog posts. Nike even went on to produce a documentary spin-off with Kevin Hart attempting his first marathon – a smooth move to reach an even wider audience. The coverage generated hours worth of content and helped to maximise Nike’s return of investment (ROI).
3. Share Your Content (Again)
To make the most out of your existing content, schedule a variety of posts over the next months across multiple formats. This could include Instagram posts and stories, Facebook and Twitter posts or adding to Pinterest boards. You could also consider creating videos or podcasts using the information provided in your blog articles or vice versa.
Sometimes all you need to do is to rework a headline and write in a different tone to match the specific requirements of each platform. You should also utilise the capabilities of each platform by incorporating images, video, games, polls, quizzes, surveys, live chats and Q&A’s.
4. Repurpose Content Into a Video or Podcast
Videos grab people’s attention and engage viewers. According to Hubspot, 80 percent of customers remember the content of a video they viewed in the past 30 days. According to Forbes, Edison Research and Triton Digital has calculated that an average of 62 million Americans are listening to podcasts each week, which means the total number of podcast listeners has tripled over the past eight years.
Yet, HubSpot also revealed that 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from a brand they support. This teaches us that, although people are tuning into podcasts more than ever and they are indeed becoming increasingly popular, the dominance of video is unwavering.
So why not take the time and spice things up a little? Podcasts and Youtube videos might not have been on your radar when you first started creating content, but they are readily available now, just waiting for you to make use of them. A great side-effect: You can link from your page to your profiles on whichever platform you’re using and vice versa, which will make your content look more valuable in Google’s eyes.
5. Write Follow-up Articles
Journalists write follow ups to report more on a story that has already been published. By picking up the most important or interesting parts of the original story and further investigating and elaborating, journalists can extend the life cycle of their content by weeks if not months. And all they need is a lede: A fresh idea, a different perspective or new idea that was uncovered after the original story was first published.
Digital marketing is a fast-paced and ever changing world, yet a lot of the content that is being produced will still be relevant years from now. This leaves us as marketers with great opportunities in regards to evergreen content and follow ups on old articles. By introducing new or more ways of doing things, new technologies or hacks to the system we can get the best out of content we already have, save resources and extend the reach of our website. So if you wrote a post with the headline “Top 5 European Summer Vacation Destinations in 2018” you could follow up with articles like “How to Make Family Travel More Relaxing”.
In a Nutshell
We truly hope that you’re getting the best out of our tips on repurposing content and SEO strategies. You shouldn’t wait until your brand is undertaking a major rebranding to give your blog and website content a makeover. There is an endless sea of content ideas out there, but sometimes you’ve already got the perfect content – it just needs a little dusting-off.