Today, every blog or website competes for attention from consumers and businesses. Content marketing is a strategy that many companies and bloggers have embraced to attract and retain readers, members and customers. By publishing high-quality information that’s relevant and helpful to people interested in the topic, content marketing can grow the traffic to your site, build trust with readers, and turn them into customers.
However, if you have a website that’s been up for a few years, and you’re still spending all of your time developing new content, it might be time to update your content marketing strategy and refresh your old content. A refresh strategy helps ensure your content is up-to-date and relevant and has all the components you need for search engine optimization. It’s also an opportunity to create even more new content by using new media and language. Make sure you measure the difference in traffic and sales before and after you refresh your strategy to assess the impact on your site.
New, high-quality content that’s helpful and relevant to your readers is a great way to attract visitors to your blog or website. People are more likely to share a top-quality piece with others on social media, which helps you increase your exposure and provides the potential for one of your masterpieces to go viral. New content is also a great way to one-up your competition and gain precious backlinks that help drive even more traffic to your website. However, while a new featured post might get you some instant coverage and attract new visitors, those visitors will stay and return to your website because of the existing content. The percentage of traffic that you get from the content that already exists on your website probably exceeds the new traffic you attract. Both types of content are important, and your content marketing strategy should reflect this.
Creating new content is hard and time consuming. It’s easy to spend a majority of your time focusing on new articles. However, your audience understands you can’t post something that’s comprehensive and high-quality every day or even every other day. One valuable post once a week should keep your readers interested and engaged. If you post on the same day every week, you can even give the day a nickname, for example, “Five-Star Fridays,” and you might find that your most avid readers anticipate the day when you will publish your featured content each week.
After only an hour, new content on your website becomes dated because it can be excluded automatically from search results using the standard filters that Google provides. If you’ve been publishing your blog or website for five years and you haven’t been updating the content, that means 60 percent of your website content is more than two years old! Imagine you’re an Internet user running a search that returns your two-year old website content. Regardless of how evergreen your topic and information might be, when you’re looking at search results that are more than two years old, you just can’t help feeling like something is missing. You suspect that perhaps something very important has been published about the topic in the past two years that you’re not considering because you’re looking at old content. Even if this is entirely untrue, that’s what many of your potential visitors might think.
By committing to a once-a-week high-quality featured post, you can divert the other time you spend creating new content to your refresh project. Updating your existing content is a great way to ensure your website stays relevant and up-to-date. You can assess whether the current content is written to address the right user intents and either adjust it or create another article that addresses the topic from a different angle. It’s also a chance for you to apply everything you’ve learned over the years about SEO to ensure that your on-page SEO is complete. This includes adding the coding and information for links, rich snippets, schemes and microdata in every post where it makes sense.
Refreshing your content isn’t just about updating it. It’s also an opportunity to recreate the content in new media. If you don’t have a video version, create one that leverages the advantages of video. If you don’t have an audio version, create one of those, too. If your post is only in English and you want to attract people who don’t speak English, have your post translated into other languages. By addressing user intents, new media channels and potentially new countries, you will reach new audiences that aren’t seeing your content today.
Create a calendar and select a certain number of posts to update each week or month. Either create your weekly featured post first or ensure you leave enough time to research and create it in several media formats. Be sure to note the date when you start your new content strategy so you can track the differences in traffic, leads and sales using your analytical tools. Tag each post so you can differentiate between versions, media types and languages. After a few months, sit down and analyze to data to determine if the strategy is growing your business.
Think of your website content as the primary machine in a factory. If you don’t maintain the machine, it becomes outdated and breaks down. However, if the right care, maintenance and updates, it will continue to produce for many years to come.