Create new content > repurpose content > distribute content > rinse and repeat.
This process is a truly fantastic way to increase the ROI of your content…but there’s one more thing you can add to this process to fully maximize your content’s potential…
- Update old content
Updating old content is a proven way to get more eyes on it (keep reading for some mind-blowing statistics!) and the best part is, it’s MUCH quicker to refresh an existing piece of content than it is to create a new piece from scratch.
In this blog post and podcast episode, I share my three-part process to updating old content, and reveal why it’s so worthwhile doing.
Hit play to listen to the podcast episode…
Or keep reading to discover the best way to update your existing content.
Why should I update my old content?
Updating old content is arguably not as exciting as creating new pieces or adding to your content library through repurposing. So if you need a little convincing to go back and revisit those pieces gathering dust, check this out...
- In an experiment designed to combat their stagnating website traffic, SaaS company, Databox, decided to update 24 of their existing blog posts and measure the change after 6 months. They found that just updating those old blogs increased their website traffic by a whopping 75%.
- CRM company, Zapier, did a similar experiment, also measuring the difference in traffic after 6 months. They noticed an overall traffic growth of 52%. That’s already impressive, but one particular blog post blew the rest out of the water with a mind-blowing 362% increase!
- And if those stats still aren’t enough, conversion rate optimization blog, OptinMonster, reports that 34% of bloggers say that updating their blog posts produces incredibly strong results.
So that’s what you have to gain by investing just a little bit more time back into that piece of content. Not just mediocre results – incredibly strong results.
While all these stats are about updating blog posts, there’s no reason why updated content of any kind can’t perform better than ever before. Tweaking and reposting existing social media posts, graphics, even updating podcast episodes and videos (if appropriate) can all make them relevant and useful once more.
How evergreen is your evergreen content?
Another reason why you may want to go back and give your old content a bit of TLC is because the information it contains may actually be out of date.
While you might always do your best to create the most evergreen content possible, things are constantly changing. References to tools or platform functionality, for example, can become outdated fast as technologies change so quickly.
Even if the rest of your content is still evergreen and perfectly useful, a reference to an older or non-existent product may put a question mark over your content’s credibility. In that case, your audience might want to look elsewhere for more recent content.
Which is why updating your content is so vital – it increases its value.
And Google prefers updated content too…
SEO is a big, complicated, and ever-changing process that I won’t get into here, but the high level, need-to-know info is this:
- Google will display the date of the most recent update to your content in the search results
- Even if your blog post is five years old, if you update it today, Google will display the result with today’s date
- Google sees updated pages as new versions of pages – and prioritizes crawling these
- The more often your content is crawled by search engines, the better chance they have at ranking higher on search results pages
So not only are you doing yourself, your website, and your business a huge favor by updating that page, you’re also showing people that your content is fresh and valuable (as Google won’t snitch that your content has been around for years!).
With all these reasons, it’s no wonder updated content performs so well. Now let’s get into how to go about updating it…
Review, Revive, Repurpose
Going through all of your content and choosing where to start updating is a mammoth task. If you’ve got an extensive content library like me, tackling a comprehensive update could take you months. So where do you start?
I’ve broken down the process into three parts: review, revive, and repurpose. With each step, you can work through your content methodically, and ensure you’re maximizing it in the most optimized way possible.
First you need to decide what content you want to update. As I said, updating an entire content library could be a monstrously big project that you might not have capacity for. Here’s how you could break it down:
- Update your high performing content to give it a second wind – adding extra information or personal experiences is a brilliant way to bring people back to something they’ve already seen before
- Update your low performing content by experimenting – think about what changes would make this content relevant or more interesting for your current audience
- Revisit your oldest content – this might need a more comprehensive makeover, posts such as “my top ten video editing apps” date quickly and may need a top-down rewrite
Once you’ve chosen what content you’re going to start with, the next step is to dust it off and give it an overall quality overhaul.
There are some obvious things that you should look out for when reviving your content. The first of which is typos or anything else “wrong” with the content, such as broken links, media, etc. The second is removing references to outdated or non-existent tools, products, content, which I’ve already talked about.
From there, depending on what format your content’s in, you’ll need to use different tactics to update your content. Here are some ideas:
- Social media posts → a tweak for clarity/relevance is often all you need to do
- Graphics → perfect for resharing as they are, just update the accompanying text
- Podcast episodes → add new intros/outros and make any necessary edits (you may want to edit into the audio an update to something said vs. update the whole episode). Update your show trailer if your show format changes
- Videos → consider repurposing the video, rather than updating it, for example, you could edit the existing video content into a brand-new video
- Blog posts → focus on improving your SEO to drive more traffic
With written content, like blog posts, there’s lots you can do. You can add new call to actions, more information, more internal and external links or...
Update the SEO
SEO is a major reason to update your old content. Keywords aren’t a one-and-done thing, your keyword strategy should evolve over time just as your audience does. The terms your audience used to search five years ago might not be the same as the terms they’re using today, and your content should reflect this.
So pay attention to your keywords too. That might mean updating the title of your blog post, adding in new sections, or even doing a bit more editing than you’d originally planned – but the results could be worth it.
Now after you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to distribute your updated content.
Say you’ve updated an old blog post, if you repurposed it in the past, you may be able to reuse some of that old material to promote it once more. If you didn’t repurpose before, well this is the perfect opportunity!
Don’t worry about seeming repetitive to your audience. You don’t have to tell them it’s an updated piece of content, you could promote it as if it’s brand new. And you’ve likely grown your audience drastically since the last time you shared this piece of content so many of them might never have seen it before!
This is also a brilliant exercise to add more content to your treasure trove. In episode 178 of The Content 10x Podcast, I shared how your high-performing graphics, social media posts, and other short-form content is fantastic for resharing time and time again. Learn how to create your own content treasure trove here.
So the full, end-to-end, totally comprehensive way to maximize your content (in the most time-efficient way) looks something like this…
Create new content > repurpose > distribute > update > repurpose > rinse and repeat!
Hopefully this post inspires you to go and update some of your old content and reap the fantastic rewards waiting!
There is an even better way to maximize your ROI and save time with your content repurposing, and that’s by investing in specialist help. At Content 10x, we provide expert content repurposing services that can help your content reach more people and get maximum results. Check out our services to learn more.
Or check out our YouTube channel for more content repurposing tips and advice.