Republishing content keeps evergreen topics related to your core messaging up to date. This will drive new users searching for relevant information—but who haven’t seen your content—to your site. Anything more than two years old is prime content to be updated.
Overview: How to determine which content to update?
Keep a content inventory that lists all of your site’s content (yes, every single piece) including PDFs, videos, landing pages, images, articles, etc., with creation dates. This will make it easier to determine what needs an update. Airtable is a great solution that can be used to manage a content inventory, or you can use a spreadsheet.
An easy way to do this is to sort your inventory by date and then review the older content. If the content is important for your brand messaging and more than a couple of years old, that’s generally a good enough reason to update and republish.
If you want to take a more data-driven approach, find out how much organic traffic a landing page brings to your site. Grab about a year’s worth of data so it will be statistically relevant:
You can filter out campaigns or other types of landing pages that aren’t necessary for your team to analyze.
Look at the top 100 or so landing pages from the past year and see what jumps out at you from a traffic/sessions standpoint. If a piece of content is getting a lot of traffic, it’s probably a good idea to keep that content fresh.
For example, in the top 10 landing pages below, you can see two articles receiving a lot of traffic. But the content is from 2013 and 2019, respectively.
These two articles should be on top of the list to get into production to update!
Continue reviewing the data to see what else can go into the update queue.
The articles above also have a high bounce rate. This is another metric to consider when auditing for updates because if people are bouncing from the page, they aren’t finding what they expected from their search. Think about what you can add to make it more relevant for your audience.
What To Analyze Once You Have Your List
If the content is receiving a lot of traffic, chances are it is SEO-optimized. Check to see what the keyword is for the post in your content management system or content inventory.
Google the exact keyword and analyze the first page of organic results.
Check Word Count and Backlinks of Competitor Content
Take note of how many words the competing content has, what types of dynamic content are included—videos, infographics etc.—if any, and it’s also a good idea to check how many backlinks the content has so you know how realistic it would be to rank above them based on this off-page SEO factor. A good free tool to use to check backlinks is https://majestic.com/backlink-checker, or you can ask your SEO specialist to analyze backlinks and report on the data for you.
How To Bring Your Content Up To Date
When republishing content and bringing content up to date, you should aim to provide the best current available advice. Read some of the top-ranking articles for your keyword and make sure your article covers these areas and consider adding even more insights or dynamic content such as videos, graphics, etc., to make your content the most comprehensive along the lines of the 10x content model. It’s a content model for “creating content that is at least ten times better than the next best piece of content available online on that same topic” and in general a marketing strategy for building links and ranking number one for a given keyword. Of course, this model might not be practical for every update, but it’s an aspirational example.
Make sure your research and data are as up-to-date as possible and add new data as it becomes available. You want to be the most comprehensive and accurate search result for your important topics in order to improve your SEO visibility for the topic!
Replace Broken or Outdated Links
Links break all the time. Running a quick audit of the links on the landing page you are updating ensures that you are pointing to available resources that are up to date and provide a good user experience. It’s also a best SEO practice that whenever you publish a new blog post, you should go back to 2-3 other relevant blog posts and include an internal link to this “new” one with keyword anchor text. This distributes page authority across your website, boosting overall domain authority.
When republishing content, don’t forget to update visuals like images, videos, infographics, as these can become outdated too. Create fresh graphics to go along with your updated copy.
Check On-Page SEO
Before you go live with your refreshed content, let your SEO Specialist determine if the keywords need to be updated to be more relevant. A keyword or phrase that was popular twelve months ago might not receive the same amount of search volume today. Therefore, it’s important to re-optimize your content for new keywords every now and then. This will improve search rankings for focus keywords.
Consider Adding a New Call To Action (CTA)
Analyze whether this content is performing against the CTA you assigned it. Are people dropping off after they read it or are they staying on the page for a good amount of time, subscribing to the newsletter, viewing other pages? If they are, you probably don’t want to mess with a good thing. If they aren’t, then it may be time to try another CTA.
Update the Post Date and Republish
Update the post date to today and republish the post on the same URL, so the post is at the top of the article feed again.
Don’t just republish it, promote it across social channels and in email again to get it in front of new subscribers and social media followers.
- Fills your editorial calendar during busy seasons
- Brings in new users who have not seen the content before
- Improves bounce rates and overall SEO site metrics
- Helps you build internal/external links
Looking for help with content marketing strategy? Ask us!