Do you have an archive filled with years of old blog content? Have you wondered if it’s better to delete it or leave it as it is? The answer is actually – neither. What if I told you that it’s possible to increase traffic to your site using your existing content?
What does this mean? When you breathe new life into old content, that helps increase page views. If you’re focusing only on creating new content, you could be missing out on opportunities.
This post discusses the importance of addressing old blog content, why you should take inventory of what you already have, and the importance of assessing content you’d like to keep.
The Importance of Addressing Old Blog Content
One of the best ways to keep content up-to-date in search engines is not neglecting it after hitting “publish.” As time goes on, older posts decline in rankings, resulting in lost pageviews and opportunities for conversions.
While creating evergreen content is a priority because, as marketers know, there’s a lasting value from having these pieces in the archive. However, what if, after running a performance report, you notice that only a tiny percentage of your content performs well?
That’s where the importance of assessing old blog content comes into play. Think of it this way – no matter what you create or how well it does after publication, it’ll become part of your “old” content archive. While this is obvious, it doesn’t mean your blogging team should stop creating new content.
On the contrary – it means it’s time to change content strategies. Instead of only focusing on pushing out new content, consider the drastic changes you could see if you added optimizing existing content to your plans.
Take Inventory of Old Blog Content
Taking inventory of old blog content, in this case, is similar to performing a content audit. Content audits involve:
- Deciding what content you’d like to review – in this case, we’re examining blogs
- Running a report collecting URLs, metrics, and other data you need to increase performance
- Organizing the report’s data according to the blog’s date, title, word count, and, if applicable, buyer’s journey (this is particularly important for demand-gen content)
After collecting this data, it’s time to dig into what these data points mean, how you can improve them, and why that’s important for your overall content strategy. Here are several questions to ask yourself along the way:
Does it benefit your target audience?
Updating your old blog content is an excellent way for your brand to give your target audience more relevant information about your industry, product, or service. Taking this step means that, in addition to presenting up-to-date information, doing so moves the post higher up on your blog’s home page.
That effort could increase page views and traffic from first-time visitors who would have previously not seen that content. Remember – every piece of content your team produces, including updates to old content, is another opportunity for target audiences to discover what you have to offer.
Does it benefit your brand?
Has your business undergone significant changes since the content’s original publication date? For example, your brand may have added new products or services – or removed some that are no longer performing well.
- If your content isn’t highlighting your current offerings, it doesn’t benefit your brand
- If you’ve highlighted out-of-date products or services, that content no longer benefits your brand.
This thought process also extends to ensuring accuracy. For example, if your brand’s location changes or is under new ownership, you’ll find many of your older blog posts are no longer accurate. Those inaccuracies confuse site visitors and result in lost opportunities.
Does it need to be updated or refreshed?
Many may not realize that, after a post is on your site for a few weeks or months, visitors consider it old. Think of how searchers use Google – what if they sort their results so they only show what brands publish within the last month? The content you posted five weeks ago won’t show up.
However, if your visitors aren’t filtering their results, you still need to figure out if the content needs an update or if a simple “refresh” will do the trick. Here are some tips to help you figure this out:
- The post doesn’t have any traffic – instead of deleting it, figure out how to refresh it and make it more relevant to your target audience
- There are broken links – run a report to determine which posts contain broken links and update them accordingly
- Information is no longer relevant – for example, if the content cites old statistics that are no longer useful in your audience’s research
Assess Content You’re Keeping
Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. Are you more likely to click on a link from 2017 or one from this year? You also have to think like a robot – in this case, Google (or other search engines). Algorithms constantly change – and so should your blog’s content.
As mentioned before, if your blog content is outdated, it won’t rank in a search. By assessing the content you’re keeping, you can identify low-hanging fruit. In other words, you’re determining what’s ranking low on page one or what’s on page two. There’s a much better chance of improving rankings by optimizing existing content than creating something new.
Because you’re not trying to rank keywords from scratch; instead, you’re identifying what content is “low-hanging fruit” and optimizing the keywords to improve ranking. We recommend tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to complete this research.
During your assessment, there are several questions to keep in mind, including the following:
What improvements can you make?
Sometimes, a blog post needs some “finessing” to help bring it back to life, improve its relevancy, or increase its rankings. Those improvements include updating statistics, fixing broken links, and fixing keyword placement. For example, you should use keywords in the following:
- Blog title
- SEO title tag
- The blog’s URL
- Meta description
- First paragraph
- At least one H2 heading
- Natural insertions throughout the piece
- In the last paragraph
- In image alt tags
Other improvements include looking at the anchor links in your texts. If you link to your primary keyword or any variation, that confuses Google and tells it to rank for the page you’re linking to instead of the post you’re improving or creating from scratch.
Can you repurpose it?
Even though you have a ton of content in your archives, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to repurpose or update everything. For example, something that brought in a significant amount of traffic soon after posting doesn’t mean it’ll perform well today.
For instance, if the content’s focus is on a defunct website or product that no longer exists, it doesn’t make sense to repurpose it. Instead, look at content featuring actionable tips and evergreen content. Here are some ideas for how to repurpose it:
- Use it as inspiration for long-form content
- Convert it into a listicle
- Create social media posts
- Design an infographic
- Use it for TikTok or as an Instagram story
- Use it as a source for a video or podcast
- Use it as a source for an ebook or whitepaper
- Add it to your email marketing campaigns
How can you add this to your content marketing strategy?
Before adding this to your content marketing strategy, understand “why” you want to repurpose specific pieces of content. That means identifying the goals you hope to achieve from repurposing, which could include:
- Growing your subscriber list
- Creating new revenue streams
- Improving SEO
- Increasing the content’s value
After defining these goals, it’s time to look at what your content strategy should include for reviving old blog content. Start by targeting new keywords and updating on-page SEO. Then, move on to updating the blog’s body content and internal links. You might also need to optimize the blog’s media, including images and video, or fix their formatting.
Do you need help updating your content strategy to ensure it includes figuring out what to do with old blog content? Contact our sales team to learn more about how our content services can help you achieve that goal.
Should I archive old blog posts?
Instead of archiving old content, re-optimize it to drive new traffic, improve rankings, and increase its value.
What can you do with old content?
- Refresh what’s performing well
- Update the content’s SEO
- Repurpose content into other high-performing assets (infographics, videos, and other content)
Should you delete old content?
If the information is too out-of-date to improve or if the content is poor quality, it might be best to delete it and focus on repurposing and updating higher-quality content.