Principles might be eternal, but how you implement those principles needs to change to keep up with today’s technology and trends. Nowhere is that precept more critical than in content marketing. A content refresh can give a valuable piece of content a fresh coat of paint, ready to reach emerging markets with its wisdom.
Having a system in place to “nurtu[re] your evergreen content,” as Search Engine Journal’s Brittany Berger advises, can help streamline the process of identifying which content you need to refresh. The more often you can refresh your older content, the longer its life.
Using your content analytics platform to identify formerly well-performing content whose traffic, rankings, and conversions have dropped off is a great place to start. From there, use a step-by-step process to prioritize which pieces to refresh first.
First, Align Your Key Metrics with Your Corporate Goals
A company’s objectives usually change over time as the brand expands into new markets, introduces new products, and adjusts to new regulations. Meet with your corporate leadership often so that you can tweak your content to meet their current and future goals.
Then, align your key metrics with those goals. For example, if one of your company’s goals is to build a solid customer base in the UK, you’d make localized conversions one of your top KPIs.
Next, Use an Audit to Find Which Content to Prioritize
Now, use your top-priority KPIs as the benchmark to identify content that underperforms in those areas. A content audit can help you single out that content quickly.
For example, let’s say you discover that several posts that you labeled “evergreen” at the beginning of their content lifecycle aren’t performing up to their early potential. Then, go through those pieces to track down dated statistics or references and update them with current ones.
And, as a bonus, an audit can reveal any gaps that stand in the way of achieving your objectives, especially if your content platform has the capability to sift through content metadata.
For instance, if you notice an overabundance of top-of-the-funnel content in your UK-focused blog posts, you might consider refreshing some of that content as long-form pieces that will help build middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel conversions in that demographic.
Or, if you manufacture tools, your content might be heavy on DIY tips but light on highly technical articles for construction professionals — you might want to beef up some of these articles in your refresh to reach your B2B segment.
Don’t forget to include imagery in your audit, especially for older content. Replace photos with outdated décor, hairstyles, and fashions with newer ones. Update infographics with more current statistics and data.
If you don’t have time to refresh all your content, concentrate on those pieces with more than 20 monthly visitors. As Ahrefs’ Megan Mahoney points out, statistics show that refreshed blog posts with more than 20 visitors per month have a much greater impact on your total traffic increase than those without such a following.
Image via Ahrefs
Refresh Your Content’s SEO
After you’ve identified your poorest performers and revised them to better achieve your goals, take a good look at improving the reach of your best-performing pieces. Evergreen content that has been performing well but hasn’t had an update lately might benefit from an SEO refresh.
With Google and other search engines’ frequent algorithmic updates, it pays to keep your content’s on-page and technical SEO up to date. If you’ve searched for your brand’s target keywords lately, you’ve probably found that some up-and-comers have eclipsed you and your biggest competitors in the results.
That’s usually because these emergent brands have less content to refresh and work hard on updating their content’s SEO clout, especially on the technical end of things, as Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz explains.
But even if you have a large volume of content, as most larger companies do, frequent content audits and refreshes can keep your content at the head of the pack.
After your creative teams have worked their verbal magic, enriching your content with more targeted keywords and more relevance, engage in content collaboration with your technical SEO teams to make sure that your content ticks off all the backend boxes as well.
Add More Audience Value to Your Content
Back in the day, audience value often took a back seat to brand promotion. Today’s audience, as Mahoney indicates, demands “actionable advice.”
For that reason, look at your content from your audience’s perspective while doing a content refresh. If your content can’t answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” you need to add some problem-solving advice and tips to ensure that your audience will stick it out until the end.
And, with search engines giving heavier weight to natural language searches for answers to your audience’s questions, revising your blog posts, videos, and podcasts to answer those queries can help you rank higher in searches.
Cut Out the Fluff
If you’ve ever searched for a recipe for your favorite dish and found a long-winded, keyword-stuffed story about how the author’s grandma used to make it from scratch back in the old country, packing it carefully in her suitcase as she journeyed to the US and teaching her grandkids to make it before she died, you know the frustration.
At the end of that 1,500-word essay (you know, because the author read somewhere that 1,500 words was the ideal length for a blog post), you finally find the recipe. You feel like you’ve walked all the way from Granny’s native land. Barefoot.
If you preface your “actionable advice” with such a story, you need to “kill your darlings.” Even if it’s Granny’s life story.
Instead, weave your advice throughout the story, putting your audience — not Granny or your company — on center stage as the story’s hero, conquering their challenges with your advice. Make sure you pack your content with valuable tips from beginning to end.
If you only have one thing of value in your post — like a recipe or a set of directions — don’t inflate it with filler text. Cut to the chase.
Make It More Readable
Written content, such as blog posts, ebooks, webpages, and white papers, can strain your audience’s eyes and patience unless you make it easy for them to digest. Use these tips to make your written content easy to read.
- Break up long blocks of text with subheadings and bullet points.
- Use a readability calculator to check that your text is well within your audience’s reading capability.
- Insert images and infographics to create visual interest and maintain audience attention.
Give It a New Face
After you refresh a piece of content in its current form, consider repurposing it in another form to reach new audiences. Some people prefer to digest information visually, while others’ learning styles lean more toward reading or listening.
The more ways you can communicate the same useful information to your audience, the more people you’ll attract to your brand.
Refreshing and repurposing your content gets a lot easier when you have a content marketing platform where you can handle all your content production tasks, from ideation to publication to everything in between.
With DivvyHQ, you’ll get all that and much more — including a robust metadata management tool, allowing you to categorize your content by a broad range of variables, making it easier to find and track. And, you can customize your analytics to immediately identify content you need to refresh.
Discover what DivvyHQ can do to streamline your work as a content marketer. Try it free for 14 days starting today!