Reuse and Revamp Old Content for New Traffic
By Molly Moriarity
About Inbound Marketing
The Case for Reusable Content
Coming up with compelling content on a daily basis can be a major time suck. Sometimes it can feel like you have nothing left to write. The key is creating content without having to do tons of extra work. That great piece you slaved over but has a host of dated statistics? Or that lucrative list of ideas you’ve shared, but wish you could keep sharing constantly? Repurpose your best work for new marketing traffic and potential leads. Don’t feel limited in your revamping; it may surprise you what can be spun together from older works into new material that is useful to your audience and still has meaning to your brand.
Reused content allows you to engage with your audience on great subjects without a ton of heavy lifting. Compelling content drives social media campaigns and 3 out of 4 marketers agree it’s a key factor in closing sales. Take that evergreen content (timeless and continually searchable) and find ways to keep your audience engaged in those similar topics. This content is great for SEO, and topics that were once useful in the past will be useful again when you reintroduce them to your audience.
The Two Main Breeds of Reusable Content
Amended content is a piece where you shift the language of an existing post, update the statistics, or switch out the imagery. It retains the same title and URL, and keeps the same backlinks. You want to keep the metadata and keywords the same or very similar to the original post. This content retains important analytics channels, but still drives new traffic from redistribution.
Overhauled content is a new piece that is derived from another piece, but has completely new structure, language and ideas. This content requires a new URL. You still draw inspiration from older creations, but present it in entirely new ways with updated information. If you plan to do this kind of update, avoid too much repetition. This will create entirely new traffic within the same content spectrum, and creates a larger body of work for your business.
Amended vs. Overhauled Content
- URL is already optimized and may rank highly
- Post carries backlink trail
- Requires same or very similar keywords
- Meta descriptions can be changed, but should remain similar
- Content follows a structure, but you’re able to make fairly simple updates
- You don’t need to overhaul everything, if editor’s note is included
With old URL, frequent readers may disregard the work as previously read
Leaves less room for growth and diversion from former topic
Should try to keep similar meta descriptions as not to lose current SEO success
Using same keywords means potentially missing out on new ones
Won’t offer a new post new post to link to, therefore less internal site linking
Must note shifts within piece of evergreen content with editor’s note
Creating a new URL can draw fresh traffic
Using new links creates a new link trail to your content
Content can be adjusted entirely
Produces greater volume of content
Able to completely revamp message, change the direction of conversation on a topic
Keywords should be adjusted to avoid search duplication
Metadata should be adjusted to avoid search duplication
Content might not have the same success in search engines (at first)
Requires new language and structure
“Remarkable content levels the playing field.”
— Dharmesh Shah
Picking the Right Content to Resuse
When going back over your past work, trust your gut. If you didn’t receive a positive or strong response to the post the first time around, you may want to consider if and how you would make it better for reuse. If it was a strong piece, you may consider how you can make it digestible in new ways that keep it fresh for your audience. Pick pieces that you loved to write about, and things you have a depth of personal knowledge to speak on. These pieces are far easier to create (which saves you time).
For amended content: Pull a successful list and update it for the new year (maybe using GIFs) or make a series of posts on an complex topic. Some work may not need a great deal of adjustment. This is where a small editor’s note to communicate the updates and changes may be helpful.
For overhauled content: Use this as an opportunity to research a topic again. If a piece has a great deal of information to offer your readers, pull it to create a long piece like an infographic or extensive post. Do not simply duplicate the same information. Find a more interesting way of introducing that information to your audience.
Analytics Hold the Answers
Amended: Check out your traffic statistics on your posts. Find which pieces had the greatest long-term viewing (over 4 minutes). These are the pieces that deserve a rejuvenation. Use the keyword and metadata as guidelines to stay within when editing the piece. Remember, you want the success of the backlinks to continue, so try to make appropriate changes that still stay true to the original topic. Also, a lower bounce rate (around 50-70%) is another strong indicator that this is a good piece to reuse.
Overhauled: Research which keywords offer the greatest amount of hits on your website. This helps you focus your topic and content to make the piece more searchable. The easier to find your work, the better your readership. Page activity will also provide clues of what people who visit your site like to look at. In short, center your topic choice around terms that will drive successful traffic.
Amended: It’s important not to change your URL or all your valuable backlinks will be lost. You can slightly edit the meta description to match the updated content, but this is optional. It’s important not to do much editing (if at all) to successful keywords — they’re doing you a service with some great traction. Make small adjustments and update tags accordingly.
Overhauled: Here you can make the URL in-line with your content. The same goes for meta descriptions and focus keywords: These should be changed to more accurately reflect the topic and presentation of information. Use the popular keyword hints as a guide.
Great Types of Reusable Content and Their Revamp Types
Lists to Slideshares
Lists are digestible pieces of data for a reader, but information that comes to the brain is 90% visual. Using visuals helps promote expertise while engaging readers in strong ways. Turn those lists into slides for better viewing.
Blog Posts to Infographics
The search results for visual content over written text are continually higher. Images can introduce densely informative content in an appealing way. Use positively ranked blog post information for a beautiful infographic.
Don’t let those yearly posts get away from you. There could be potential business out there, hoping for your next list of Best Homes in 2014. These posts are simple because your structure can remain almost identical.
Appraising Past Work
If you’re going back to work you’ve created, there could be a piece where the story has radically changed over the last year or even six months. Try to take this work and critique it: Explain the changes that have occurred since its posting and what those differences mean for your business. Use past work and inspiration to bring new content for guest posting as well.
“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts.”
— Gary Vaynerchuk
Whichever route you choose, make sure you are promoting your content heavily. Make sure that you’re letting your followers know when necessary that this is new (overhauled posts) or updated (amended posts) information. Don’t let great content fade into non-existence.
Sometimes when content is time-stamped, it kills the likelihood for it to become evergreen content. It can follow you as a marketing jewel for years to come and rank highly in search. So when posting content, you may opt to eliminate the display of dates in your settings. But beware, as this can also leave readers wondering if it’s recent or not, so use discretion.
Where do you reach for old work to refurbish into something you love? Share your source ideas with us below!
Published on April 10, 2014
Written by Molly Moriarity
Content is why I get up in the morning. I’m one of the content creators here at Placester, so I advocate daily for new and improved ways to make any real estate player reach their ultimate marketing potential. When I'm not writing, I like to travel as much as I possibly can (afford).