Content marketing is one of the most important and prominent forms of marketing in the digital age. The inbound method focuses on creating great content that will appear in search results and appeal to leads who are already looking for what you have to offer. However, appearing in search results is trickier than just writing great content. Google is not only constantly changing what qualifies as top-result content, but the older your content gets, the less “relevant” it is assumed to be. Even if the facts are still good, older content needs to be revamped to maintain its SEO potency.
If you’ve been working on your content marketing for over three years, then your oldest content is already fully cycled out of online relevance. But that doesn’t mean that the content has lost its value. For most knowledge and guides, information stays relevant and interesting even as years pass. This means that you can revive your older content surprisingly easily. All you need is to choose a few ways that will refresh the pages and add new value to the old content.
Benefits of Revamping Old Content
Of course, refreshing the relevance of your pages isn’t the only benefit of revamping your old content. This is your chance to reconfigure your pages and content to best complement Google’s most recent ranking criteria. Consider keywords and keyword strategies that have become relevant since the content was originally written. Apply what you’ve learned in the intervening years about search engine optimization. Embed more media, bullet-point lists, and helpful links as you go through and rebuild each content page.
These acts will not only bring your page back to the top of relevancy, they’ll improve your overall Google ranking as well.
1. Lengthen the Content
For many companies, your earliest content is also among the shortest. It takes time to warm up the content-writing engine, so early content in an inbound marketing campaign tends to be brief. Whether you were writing short evergreen pieces or tip lists, there’s always room for improvement. Look for ways to flesh out your older content by making each article longer. Look at each point and think about how you can add value considering the latest information and your ability to dive into detail on the sub-topics that already exist.
There are some great ways to lengthen your older content to improve its SEO value and the value you offer to readers. Consider adding examples, detailing more recent technological options, or explaining a concept in greater depth. Each of these options can add hundreds of words to a once-short article and bring you back to relevance. Not to mention, a lot of great opportunities for organic SEO integration.
2. Embed New Images and Videos
Media is one of the best ways to make old content come to life. As your content marketing campaign expands, no doubt you have honed your abilities to find great images and create compelling videos to pair with your content. But you don’t have to limit these media integrations to new content only. Look back at some of your best articles and pages from earlier in your content marketing campaign.
Image headers and thumbnails are excellent for making your content pop visually, and for pairing it with social media posts if you want to draw in new attention. Videos are even more powerful when embedded into your content in just the right way. Make new videos to emphasize old content, using your old content as inspiration for new media, or pair your content with relevant videos you already have.
3. Infuse Content with Internal Links
Internal links are a wonderful thing. They turn your content into a network of useful connections. When you wrote your earlier content, chances are that there weren’t as many internal links to make. Your website may have gotten bigger and there are certainly more articles and guides that might be relevant to the older content.
Take the time to read through your old content with a list of current service and blog pages you might link to. Any time you see a concept that has been written more about, create an embedded internal link to it. Any time you reference a product or service, link to your website’s page for that. In fact, it’s a good idea to do this for your entire blog and even a few service pages. It turns your website into a spiderweb of helpful links that readers can follow if they want to learn more about any particular concept.
4. Update Old Information and Sources
Statistics and relevant references are the spice of a great informational article, but this information becomes stale over time. Stats from three years ago are not going to pack the same punch as the most recent available stats on the same subject. In articles where stats are used as flavor and demonstration rather than drawing conclusions, it’s easy to upgrade the content by updating your information.
Go through all your old content and look for things like percentages, study results, and relevant references. Then make sure that these numbers accurately reflect the stats of today. Pull up new data and survey results to replace old stats with new stats. Double-check your sources to ensure that all the links still work and your references are still the most relevant available sources for the information being conveyed.
5. Write a New Iteration of a Popular Previous Blog
What about articles that draw conclusions from the stats or relate directly to relevant events? Instead of rebuilding your old content, build new content based on your most popular articles. Use your old article as a template and a launching point to write a new iteration. For example, if you wrote a trends article for new years that was a big hit with your readers, use the same format with fresh information to create a new iteration of the same article.
You don’t need to go through the work of thinking of a new prompt. Use the inspiration and already successful format of the old content to write something new along the same lines. If that article is also a hit, you can make it a series or a brand tradition to write a similar article every year using the latest information.
6. Add Localized Content
Localization is a big part of modern SEO content writing, especially if you are a business that focuses on local clients. However, localization was not as well-known (or as smoothly executed) a few years ago when your first blog articles were being created. If you’re looking to expand on older articles to add more text and interesting relevance to your readers, go local.
List all the cities and neighborhoods that your business serves, then look for ways to incorporate them into the body of your older content. You can, for example, write examples that use locations as part of the scenario detail. You can reference local jobs that were done recently, mentioning the general locations by name. Or you can add a few mentions of how your local area might influence what readers care about or experience, like seasonal storms or festival seasons.
7. Build and Embed an Infographic
Infographics are one of the most powerful forms of content media. They are the nexus between a factual or instructional blog and a compelling picture that draws the eye. The right infographic can add a great deal of depth to your older content while essentially summarizing the points that you make. Take your best points or most compelling facts and then concatenate them into an infographic that catches the eye and demonstrates visually why your content is important. Show your readers what matters and the information they should take away visually. For many readers, this is a better way to absorb information than simply reading it in a paragraph or bullet-point list.
8. Checklists and Tip Sheets
That said, bullet-point lists and quick tip sheets are another good way to enhance your older content. Original content from an inbound marketing campaign often lacks the structural detail that makes a text-only article visually compelling. This may seem like a contradiction in terms, but if you think about it, articles that have bullet-lists and numbered tips are easier to skim and are somehow more visually attractive than articles that are a simple sequence of paragraphs.
When revamping your old content, consider ways to add bulleted lists and more article structure to each page. You can make summary lists at the top of the page or add helpful tip-sheets to the bottom of each page. You can also translate your older content into new point-only printables that serve as checklists or cheat sheets.
9. Hub and Spoke Expansion
Hub and Spoke is a particular way that clusters of articles are written. In other words, one article serves as the hub of inspiration while the spoke-articles expand on each of the points contained in the central article. Hub and spoke is the original idea that grew into pillar and cluster articles. However, hub and spoke articles don’t’ require an in-depth pillar article, merely a list of points that you later expand on.
With older content, hub and spoke expansion is best with articles that have numbered points that are briefly visited in the original content. For example, “10 Ways to Improve Revenue” can be used as a hub that branches into ten new spoke articles. The original article can then be updated to include internal links to the new articles and possibly expanded and updated to include some of the new information you wrote about in the spoke articles.
Any business that has been content marketing for over three years has more than a few articles that are ready to be overhauled into new SEO-rich pages. All you need are the right tactics to upgrade and expand your original content to bring it back to the top of the search results for each topic. Contact BWS Internet Marketing Services for more helpful insights and methods to boost your SEO from top to bottom.