Why Refreshing Existing Content is Still Necessary

The battle for high search rankings is increasingly competitive. With a growing number of websites in every niche, businesses need smart strategies to stay ahead of their peers.

Refreshing old content is a commonly-overlooked tactic that can boost SEO. For example, HubSpot doubled its average monthly leads from the old posts it updated, highlighting just how much extra business you can bring in.

But why, other than attracting new business, is updating what you already have so important? How can you successfully refresh your existing posts? Let’s have a look.

Ensuring Factual Accuracy

Fake news and misinformation are more common than ever. According to Deloitte, 44% of U.S. consumers strongly agree that fake news is a problem. In a rapidly changing world, this means businesses must verify everything before publishing any piece of content.

For companies, trust is critical. According to Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer Special Report, 88% of consumers said trust is an essential factor in determining whether they buy from a brand or not.

Even when articles were fact-checked at the time of publication, things change fast — and your recently published post may now be outdated. Statistics and figures must be reviewed and updated regularly. By refreshing old content and ensuring its factual accuracy, businesses will help to grow faith amongst their audience. As a result, they’ll attract more customers and improve retention rates.

Keeping Up With New SEO Practices

Google’s algorithms change regularly, and the company introduces numerous improvements every year. Some of these are more significant than others. One, for example, is the 2021 product reviews update, which sought to clamp down on websites using vague list summaries to generate traffic.

Your blog posts might have complied with Google’s rules a few years ago, but that may no longer be the case. When you refresh your old content, you’ll ensure that you remain compliant with search engines’ demands. As a result, more users will discover your site — and your traffic will increase.

Saving Time on Content Generation

Coming up with new content ideas is difficult. It requires a lot of time and energy, and you’ll often need more than one person to generate everything. Often, the reason businesses stop blogging is that they run out of things to say.

To refresh your old content means taking what you’ve already got and making it better. One clear example of this in action is how HubSpot annually refreshes its ultimate list of content marketing statistics. Since the idea is already there, you can move straight onto the research phase and save time.

Another benefit of refreshing old content is that it can inspire new ideas. Instead of writing generic posts, you can use one anchor piece and create two or more pieces of content that expand on key points mentioned. Using this strategy, you’re a lot less likely to run out of engaging content.

How to Refresh Existing Content Properly

1. Correct All Errors

Even if you do nothing else, correcting any errors should be a priority for refreshing old blog content. Spelling mistakes need to go, and you must either remove or update broken links.

Producing content without errors will help maintain trust with your audience, which will make them more likely to continue reading your content, buy from you and recommend you to others. 

2. Look for a Slightly Different Angle

A lot of topics are great for short-term blog posts but lose their relevance over time. Other topics may be copied or covered by several other websites. When you look back on your blog content, you may notice that some of your topics are too general or mainstream. And you may be able to surface a different or more relevant perspective. Updating your content’s existing angle can help you stand out in search engine rankings and provide unique value to your audience.

Don’t overlook the title. Think about what has changed since the article was first posted and address new pain points your customers might be experiencing.

3. Tap third-party content creators

Although updating old content is often less time-consuming than starting from scratch, you’ll still need to dedicate considerable resources to it. If you feel like you should focus your efforts elsewhere, consider outsourcing your work.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 71% of large companies and 56% of medium-sized ones outsource at least some of their content marketing. Considering that larger businesses are more open to doing this, it shows they understand that they can’t do everything themselves.

Outsourcing your content refreshes will let you focus on developing your products and improving your customer experience. And since you’ll also get more eyeballs on your website from the updated posts, you can diversify your revenue streams and increase return on investment (ROI).

4. Switch Up Your Media Mix

With attention spans dropping and more users accessing content on their smartphones, blogging is about more than words alone. Eighty-six percent of businesses already use video as a marketing tool. Adding visuals can break up large word blocks and add extra insights to your posts.

There are endless different media types you can add to your refreshed content. Infographics can help make facts and figures more digestible, while photos can illustrate your message and make it stick. Adding different media will engage more users for longer, making them more likely to revisit your page later. 

Final Thoughts

Refreshing your old content might seem like a lot of work, but it’s surprisingly straightforward.

When you’re ready to freshen up your content, look at what has performed well and what you believe has the potential to do so. Then, think about how you can make your post stand out from your competitors’ posts.

Keeping your old posts fresh will inspire ideas for new ones and ensure that everything you include is factually accurate. Consequently, your content will continue attracting new leads and traffic to your site.

Source: Prafull Sharma, Dec 20, 2021

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