Guide to Refreshing Website Content
You've had a great blog post on your site for a few years now. At first, it brought in tons of traffic and was a great resource for your site visitors. In the last few months, though, you've noticed that traffic is steadily declining. How can you restore that piece of content to how it performed in its prime?
If you've found yourself in this situation, it's time to refresh your website content. All too often, a top-performing blog post starts to tank, and we focus on producing new content rather than returning to the piece and giving it a refresh. Refreshing website content gives it new life by adding updated information, making it more relevant to your audience, and giving you a better shot at connecting with them over a topic they clearly care about.
Don't let your site content sit neglected. Let's go through some simple steps to giving your content the facelift it deserves.
Why is refreshing website content important?
If your website has been around for a while, you likely have plenty of blog posts, gated content, videos, or other outdated content hanging around on your site. And while the content you crafted may have been useful and educational when you first created it, it can quickly become outdated on the internet.
That's where refreshing website content comes in. Going back to old content and reevaluating your strategy can help you connect with your audience, pull in more traffic, identify new search terms to leverage, and provide new, relevant information on a not-so-new topic.
Refreshing website content can be a quick process, but it will go miles in helping you take advantage of new search terms and give life to something you weren't getting results from.
How to refresh website content: 7 easy steps
Hopefully, by now you're sold on the need for refreshing website content and have even mentally identified a few contenders to refresh on your own site. Let's get into how to refresh website content quickly to make sure you're optimizing your time and making valuable improvements to the content.
1. Check on the page's performance
Before you decide to do anything, make sure you've looked into how the content is currently performing on your site. Google Search Console is a good tool to use for this process. Look into the page you're planning on refreshing and compare impressions with page clicks. This should give you a good idea of not only how many people are visiting the page, but how many people are seeing the page and choosing not to click.
From there, you can look into the search queries to determine if the keywords you targeted are no longer relevant, or maybe the content itself, including the title tag and meta description, isn't enticing enough to bring searchers to your piece of content.
Lastly, consider whether or not the topic is one that resonates with your audience. If it's not a topic that your audience cares about, updating it is futile.
Doing this initial round of background research can help you narrow in on specific updates you should make and give you a strong starting place.
2. Conduct fresh keyword research
It's likely that if you published your piece of content a few years ago, you might need to select new keywords to target. Or maybe when you first published the content, you neglected to target any keywords. In either case, keyword research is an important part of the refresh process.
You'll want to select keywords that align with your content strategy and that aren't so competitive that you won't get any traffic from them. Plus, the keywords you choose need to match the intent of the search. Use a keyword research tool, but make sure you're checking your keywords by searching for them on Google to be certain that you're targeting the right intent.
Ready to dive into keyword research? Check out this blog post for tips.
3. Consider what to add to your topic
Is your topic still fully relevant? How can you add to it to make it more fresh?
When updating content, we like to find new examples from current events or case studies that add to the piece, include any new information that's come to light since publishing, add new imagery that helps explain the topic, etc.
It's also valuable to conduct a quick search at this stage to determine the content you're competing with and what it brings to the table. It might inspire you to add something new that you hadn't thought of before, like an infographic or a section that explains something you missed.
This stage is where the bulk of the work will take place, but it's also where you can really add new value that was previously missing. If you decided to select new keywords to optimize for, make sure you add them at this stage too. But don't just add keywords for the sake of SEO value. Make sure they align with the topic, match the search intent, and add value to the piece.
4. Give your content a good read-though
Depending on how long it's been since your content was published, you might need to update the language or terminology that you're using. Outdated terms turn readers off from content as it reads as stale. Liven it up with fresh language, and be sure to read through your content carefully to catch any errors or typos. Plus, make sure to fact-check any statistics you're using and update them to reflect new information. The only thing worse than outdated website content is incorrect website content, so double-check before updating.
5. Optimize your content for search
Maybe you optimized your post once upon a time when it was first published, but with the important updates you're making, you'll want to optimize it again to make sure it's discoverable. The keyword research you conducted is a great start, but don't neglect the following SEO best practices:
- Add a meta description and title tag that includes one of your keywords and communicates the changes you've made to your content.
- Add alternative text to all images on the page.
- Link to relevant existing pages, and put links on those pages back to your new content. As you publish new content, make sure to go back in and continue updating your links when relevant.
As you're refreshing the metadata of your page, you can also update the slug of your URL if needed. If you do that, make sure to set up a redirect. Updating slugs without setting up redirects is one of the main culprits of broken links, so you'll want to avoid that to keep your site clean and easy to navigate.
These tips will help you give your content a boost in rankings, even years after the piece of content was originally published.
Looking for top tips on optimizing blog posts? This blog has you covered.
6. Promote your fresh piece of content
After refreshing website content, it's not the time to sit back on your heels and wait for the traffic to roll in. Instead, do yourself a favor by promoting that content on whatever channels you've got. Blast it out in an email newsletter, share a post on social media, etc. Make sure to highlight the new content and why it's valuable to encourage your audience to engage.
7. Track the success of your updated content
The data doesn't lie, and you'll want to rely on it when you're examining how successful your content refresh was. Did it bring in more traffic? Did your rankings increase in search results? Make sure to pay attention to the progress of your content to evaluate what went well and which parts of your process to change next time around. Use Google Analytics 4 and Google Search Console, or whatever analytics tools you prefer, to track progress.
While this process might seem daunting, it's fairly painless and can really improve the value of the content on your site, which will improve the quality of traffic you get. The benefit of refreshing website content is clear: fresh content on your site plus the added benefit of improved rankings in search. It's a win-win, so set aside some time to audit your content and select some pieces to update.
Content marketing is time-consuming, and putting together a content strategy that's informed by SEO and promoted with email marketing and social media marketing takes even more time. But that's the kind of holistic approach you'll need to make your marketing worthwhile. If you lack the bandwidth to do your marketing justice, reach out. Our team of specialists will help you put together a unified digital approach that will have your marketing efforts working for you in no time.