Refreshed Content Significantly Raises Leads
Have you gone through your fridge and kitchen cupboards and rediscovered items that have long since expired? How about the mold on that bread and that bottle of salad dressing?
And your response is typical:, “holy, this 2 years old!” Not only is it stale, it might even ruin your meal if you happened to include it somehow in your lunch or dinner.
The thing about refreshing content is that it actually will outperform your new content. Research has shown that older blog posts create the most leads. But old content still needs to be refreshed. This is a positive signal to Google that your content is up to date and relevant. And your users enjoy a good content experience too.
Here’s a good example. This is a blog post that which I believed could perform much better. It wasn’t written to be a pillar post or top performer. But I couldn’t help but think I could rework it to generate new readers. I researched potential topics and keywords and completely rewrote it. Here’s what happened: it generated 20 times the visits within 2 months.
This refreshed content actually build up ranking power and its ability to convert leads. If all your pages are kept fresh, you can see how effective this might be as part of your advanced SEO and advanced content strategy.
Brilliant Content Strategy
Brilliant Content Strategy: should you have any other kind?
With outdated content, your visitors might get a sour look on their face when they find content that’s long outdated. No one likes their time wasted. And Googlebot frowns on outdated material too. Advanced content strategy isn’t a one and done deal. Instead, old decaying content that’s lost it’s value/relevance should be updated and refreshed. A new keyword and topic strategy might into play too. This can grow your rankings, visitors and leads considerably.
Hubspot experimented by rewriting and re-optimizing 12 aging blog posts and they:
- increased the number of leads we generated from them by 99%.
- increased the average conversion rate of the posts by 87%.
This graphic below shows how content views decay over time. This happens for a number of reasons, and the age of the content isn’t always the culprit. Changing searcher interests, better new content on other sites can also cause views to drop. Once visitors have seen content, they stop clicking and engagement levels for that page drop. These send signals to Google and Bing that your content is no longer significant. Even Facebook will reduce exposure of posts of content that is outdated and not refreshed.
The point is that decaying content isn’t performing and a strategic refresh might provide some nice benefits which we’ll discuss below.
How Does Old Content Hurt You?
- Google’s content freshness algo factor lowers your page rankings
- visitors believe the content isn’t relevant anymore
- visitors assume your whole site isn’t significant to them anymore
- the decaying page actually wastes Pagerank within your site
- old content might have broken links which makes Google downgrade your site experience rating
- stale content isn’t supporting your current keyword strategy well anymore
The Content Refresh
In past years, content lasted a long time on Google because there wasn’t much content. Now of course there’s billions of videos, blogs, product pages, and company pages created every day.
The way Google sees it then, your content is aging fast. And if your content pieces weren’t significant to the audience before, then it’s hardly relevant now. Fortunately, you can see the age of your pages in your WordPress dashboard and via SEO software which can keep track of content decay and alert you.
Okay, regardless of the SEO software or content management system we use, we’re ready to start refreshing those pages.
What Elements to Refresh?
- review the keyword phrases the content ranked for and adjust according to new possibilities
- change anchor text and links going out to assist with your new content and ranking strategy
- adjust the html title tags and headings to better support your keyword strategy
- rewrite the content just to modernize it
- rewrite it to repurpose it for new keyword phrases and cover a new topic angle
- rewrite it to expand on points and improve its persuasiveness and authority
- rewrite to clean it up and eliminate flaws and weaknesses
- edit it to make it more coherent and easier to read
- rewrite to make it different to another post that has very similar material and topic
- update the published date
- add some new charts, data, photos or even a video
- make the first 3 paragraphs more interesting to keep the engaged with it
- change the page name (url) only if it is necessary
- check the page speed to see if there are any technical issues that need to be addressed
- change the title graphic to help you promote it
This graphic shows a post that’s staying productive through the years with more than 220,000 pageviews. Keeping content alive isn’t so simple.
One way to avoid the issue of content decay is to create what’s called evergreen content. This is designed/written to make it continuously relevant by focusing on benefits and topics that last beyond the current year. However, such content can be edited and updated constantly to appeal to current years, seasons and events.
Evergreen content is difficult because in order for content to be relevant and significant to readers/viewers, it must be current. Visitors are interested in what’s happening now or in the current year.
Pillar or epic content is content that is evergreen. I often keep key blog posts alive forever. As long as visitors feel the content is relevant, these old pages can produce big traffic.
And studies have shown that older blog posts actually generate the most leads. There’s something more credible about an old post. It’s written in the past and if accurate, readers feel it is more credible, especially if it predicted something that came true.
Yes, your old content likely is worth fixing up. When editing and rewriting against keyword strategy and user impact become too tough, it’s nice to have an SEO/copywriter that’s experienced in content refreshes. And it can generate big impact in visitor growth and leads.
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