When you start your business, you’re brimming with ideas. You have so many thoughts not only about your company, but for content pieces demonstrating your expertise that you can’t fathom how you’ll be able to cover them all. But, flash forward a few years, and you start to run out of steam on the content front. Even the most exciting industry can start to seem bereft of topics after you’ve been in it for awhile.
Does that mean you should take a sabbatical from content creation? Certainly not!
If you’re struggling to come up with new ideas, the best step you can take is to identify your greatest “old” or evergreen ideas and make them new again.
The 4 Rs for updating and improving your best website content:
If you’ve been blogging and creating content on your website for years, it pays to take a step back and look at the big picture of what this body of work is really doing for you. That blog post on the latest Google algorithm update in 2008 probably seemed like a good idea 10 years ago, but it has likely been overshadowed in the last decade.
So, if your website seems bloated, your first step is to run a content audit. Using Google Analytics, identify the blog posts and articles that get the most traffic year-over-year. Also pay attention to metrics like average time on page and bounce rate, as these signal how long users stay on your site when they visit a particular page, as well as whether or not they access other areas of your website.
Once you’ve separated your traffic-generating content from underperforming items, you can start to reduce the sprawl of your website by removing excess blog posts and articles. Don’t simply delete them: Make sure you use 301 redirects so the URLs lead to another relevant area of your website (probably the blog landing page). This will preserve the internal architecture of your website, which is crucial for both the user experience and SEO.
Now that you know which pieces of content have staying power, look closely at each topic. Some subject matter stands the test of time, even if the content itself covers a time-sensitive development in your industry that has come and gone.
If your best blog content has a solid core but currently lacks relevance, this is a perfect starting point for new ideas. You likely know why the content has performed so well, and you know why it continues to be popular amid changes in your industry; with these factors in mind, think about how to update the content, instead of starting from scratch.
As the saying goes, “Everything old is new again.” This aphorism is the perfect starting point for a content strategy that doesn’t require you to think of new ideas all the time.
The best part of recycling content is that your creativity isn’t primarily occupied with thinking of topics. You already know what you’re writing about; instead, consider new and exciting ways to present the material.
If users are flocking to an article or blog post with outdated information, a video embedded at the top of the page is an excellent way to restore urgency to the content.
What’s more, an original video gives visitors an opportunity to see and hear you in a dynamic format, rather than just reading what you have to say through static text.
Free, easy-to-use tools like Canva, Pablo and more provide limitless opportunities for taking nuggets of information from your best content and repurposing them as outstanding visual pieces.
An infographic provides a colorful splash panel that presents quick-hit facts in a compelling format. Slideshow presentations on platforms like LinkedIn’s Slideshare are a digestible way to communicate the key points of a topic while boosting your credibility on a premier professional networking platform. Quizzes are an interactive tool that make potential customers think about their needs and goals, educating them and increasing the likelihood of conversions when it’s time to buy.
Each of the above can be embedded in the original article or blog post, shared on another website with a link back to your original post or used as the basis for an entirely new and updated post on the same topic.
Getting the most from your content doesn’t end with updates to your website. For both new and repurposed content, you want to drive as much traffic to your website as possible. You’ve invested time to remake your top-performing content, so go beyond publishing with your promotional efforts.
Promoting your recycled content to your followers on social media is crucial. You could even do a couple of rounds of promotion; you already know that the topic resonates with your audience, so putting it at the top of your feed more than once can be beneficial.
During the Revisit phase, you might have looked at Google Search Console or another platform to see how blog posts and articles perform in search results. Well-established content can provide excellent answers to questions your customers want to know, so be sure to optimize all aspects of the new and improved material — the web page, visuals and video — to capitalize on the queries that users search.
Finally, you can make the most out of interest in your revitalized content by providing visitors with a decisive next step or call to action. Use a clickable image to drive users to your contact page or a designated form. By facilitating access to conversion elements through your most popular blog and article content (contacting your business, making a purchase or submitting an email address in exchange for downloadable content), you make it possible to turn your content marketing into direct opportunities to drive revenue.
Successfully repurposing content to drive website traffic, engagement and, ultimately, conversions, begins with an understanding of your content library. Focus on your most popular pieces, expand their lifespan with visual and video formats and drive results through social media, search and CTAs.
This strategy of revisiting, recycling and renewing your best “old” content makes it possible for you to take a deserved break from brainstorming new ideas, while growing the awareness of your business at the same time.