Content marketing is a common staple in many marketing plans. Not only is it a great way to establish your business as a thought leader, it also can greatly help your site’s SEO. After all, a lot of the things SEO requires can be accomplished through your content.
So content is important. However, many business owners get so caught up in churning out new content, they neglect a valuable resource: old content.
Why You Should Update Your Content
Updating your content can give you access to an untapped content resource. You’ve already put in the work to create it, so now you’re just working on making it better.
Updating content is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, updating old content can benefit your site’s SEO. Google likes new content and often bumps it up in the search rankings. By updating and republishing your content, you can get that extra boost once more.
Not only that, but updating your content keeps it relevant. It’s easy to write something and forget about it, but as time passes, the information within the content may change. Before long, the content could become completely outdated. By regularly updating your older content, you can bring some of this content back to life and keep it relevant in a constantly changing world.
These are both great benefits, but one of the best ones is that updating your content makes you and your business look good. When someone lands on an article, they normally want up-to-date information. If you routinely update your popular old content, you’ll look like you’re on top of your game and the reader will leave with the information they need.
On the other hand, if you’re not keeping your old content up-to-date, your business will date itself and look like you’re “behind the times.” It doesn’t matter if you have information somewhere else that’s updated and addressing the same thing; if the visitor has only interacted with that one piece of content, they’ll form an opinion on your business based on that.
Lastly, one of the biggest reasons you should consider updating your old content on a regular basis is because it’s an untapped resource and it’s much easier than generating all new content. But even though it’s easier, it still has just as much reward as generating new content.
Updating Your Content: Best Practices
We put together some tips to help you update your content in the best way possible. There are some best practices you can follow to make the most of the content you revitalize.
Tip 1: Fix Small Errors Immediately
When you make a habit of updating your content regularly, it can be tempting to hold off on correcting small things like typos. However, we recommend you don’t wait. Instead, correct them as soon as you see them. While typos and small grammatical errors won’t affect your SEO, it will reflect badly on you if the reader notices. Better to nip it in the bud and fix the small things immediately.
Tip 2: Make Your Changes Meaningful
The best way to update your content is by making changes that benefit the piece. Don’t just tweak the wording here or there, but actually add substance to your content with each update.
If you’re at a loss for how to do this, ask yourself these questions:
- Have new methods come out that you can add?
- Is there now more information on the subject?
- Can you add any new case studies/reports/examples, etc.?
- Are there any new quotes that you can add?
- Are there any images you can swap out for updated ones?
It’s also worth looking over the piece with a critical eye. Are there places that could be improved? Could the content be restructured? Does it match your business’s current voice? Many times, coming back after an extended period of time and reading over a piece gives us new insights into its shortcomings. So be sure to note those when reading through content you might want to update. By fixing shortcomings, you can make your piece stronger!
However, make sure you’re not needlessly fluffing your piece. That won’t do you much good, since a reader will likely bounce off at the first scent of meaningless padding.
If you add changes that have meaning and actually add depth to your piece, you can recycle your old content into new content.
Tip 3: Choose Evergreen Content to Update
What is evergreen content? It’s a term that refers to content that receives an increasing amount of traffic over time. If you have analytics set up on your site, you’ll be able to check how the content is performing.
Evergreen content still attracts decent traffic, even as time goes on. So keeping it up to date only increases it’s traffic potential.
Since people are already landing on the page, you can ensure they see top quality content that’s up-to-date.
Tip 4: Don’t Forget to Update Images
Having outdated images is almost as bad as outdated information. It dates the article and, in some cases, can be misleading if the image shows a UI that has changed.
Swapping out images can also help add new depth to your piece. Perhaps a screenshot isn’t quite clear or is a little pixelated. You can fix these to make your content even stronger.
Tip 5: Change the Publication Date
After you have made meaningful changes to the content, you should republish it. If you’re using a CMS that keeps track of your publication date, change it so that it reflects it’s new publication date. If you don’t, the search engines may not acknowledge your new changes.
Update Your Old Content
Recycling your old content not only gives it new life, but it can be a rewarding endeavor that can bring new traffic to your site.
If used correctly, updating old content can become a very strong tool in your marketing toolbox. Just remember: make your changes meaningful, focus on evergreen content, and be sure to change the publication date.