When to revisit your old content and how to update it.
The longer you make content, the larger your back catalog will become. Eventually, you’ll have hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of content on your site. Having a large backlog of content is a powerful tool to have, as it helps your site’s SEO, can bring in tons of visitors to your site by answering a large variety of search queries, and shows you are an expert in your field.
In order to get the most out of your backlog of content, they will need some updating. Even the most evergreen content needs to be revisited from time to time, as the world changes. Industries are constantly evolving and if your old content is covering something outdated, leads might lose trust in you. Know when to revisit your old content and how to update it to get the most out of it.
Identify the High Performers
Not every single piece of old content needs to be updated. That would be a massive job to undertake, especially if you have hundreds of articles from years past. Don’t just start from the first article and update chronologically, be strategic with which ones to start with.
By utilizing your analytics, identify which articles are or were top performers for your site. This can include which articles bring in large amounts of traffic from search engines, get lots of social shares, or do well in converting visitors to go to another page or click on a call to action.
Try to look at a wide spectrum of performance analytics to find your site’s best content. Don’t just look at this year, look at the lifetime of your site. Maybe a piece of old content did really well during the year it was published, but since then has dropped off because the content became out of date. That doesn’t mean the content is no longer useful, it might just need a little cleaning up or revision.
Evergreen Content Versus Timely Content
Two useful styles of content you likely utilize in your marketing are evergreen content and timely content. Both can benefit from updating, but in different ways.
Evergreen content is designed so that no matter what time of year, or even what year it is, it’s content that people can utilize. It’s not centered around a specific event or time, but advice that’s useful year after year. The problem is, industries change and sometimes good advice can become bad advice. As you crawl through good performing evergreen content, there might be some areas that need updating because of this situation. It might require extra clarification, or need an extra section that makes the content applicable to today’s world.
Timely content is the opposite of evergreen. This style of content focuses on a specific event or short term trend that isn’t applicable year round. Typically, this content is a quick flash of traffic and attention, but then quickly loses steam as people move on from the topic. Sometimes, though, an event can be big enough that people will research it again in the future, meaning you could get more traffic. If you’ve noticed a piece of timely content gets surges of attention, consider updating it to tell a more complete narrative. That could include a look at what effects the timely event had on the world or provide a fitting conclusion.
Updating for Marketing Changes
If you’re smart, your marketing strategies will update on a regular basis. You can’t do the same old thing year after year and expect to constantly get results. New tools and tactics are created yearly, and you need to incorporate them consistently.
A big, but pretty regular, change many businesses go through is updating or changing their website. Whether it’s just a UI overhaul or an entirely new site, make sure your old content can still be seen and isn’t broken. A new layout may make older pages look trashy, meaning you need to get in there and update them to look good.
As new trends change the world of marketing, adapt high performing older content for it. When looking to automate marketing processes, like posting to social media or emails to leads, make sure older content can fit well with newer pieces. Other trends, like mobile optimization, can impact how your content appears and might require slight tweaking to best fit on mobile devices.
It’s not just current trends that need to be taken into consideration, but future marketing trends. AI is going to play a major role in the future of marketing, including things like chatbots and predictive search. By understanding how these new trends could impact your future, you can be find success going forward.
Focus on Important Pieces, Leave the Rest Alone
When delving back into your old content, it’s important to prioritize your time. It’s easy to get sucked into personal vendettas with articles or want to update every single one, but don’t. Be strategic with which ones to update and leave the rest as they are. If an article was a poor performer at the time it was published, there’s likely a reason behind it. Maybe it didn’t line up with your target market, or just didn’t have the right keywords in it. If you take a dirt clump and put all the polish in the world on it, at the end of the day, it’s still a dirt clump.
Take the time to identify important pieces that need updating and then jump in. Get it done quickly so you can return to producing new content that looks to the future. Don’t allow this work to slow down your regular production cycle, especially if it’s working for your website.