Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Recycle Old Content

Inge van Rensburg / April 20, 2017
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As a web design & branding agency we are faced with projects that require us to create a fresh new look for outdated websites and brand identities. While that is our pride and passion, redesigning a brand with relevant and fresh content helps to create a stronger visual identity.

Our job is to captivate website visitors with a striking and engaging website experience. Once we have their attention, it’s up to the content to close the deal. From CTAs to sharing industry knowledge on a blog or insights section, content is a powerful player in website experience for site visitors, for a website’s performance on search engines and finally, in the credibility of a company’s product or service.

In this article we’ll discuss why you should keep your website up-to-date and we provide clever ways to recycle old content.

WHY FRESH CONTENT IS CRUCIAL

1. Industry leadership

In an effort to establish trust and credibility, every business should aim to share new knowledge or insights about their industry. If a website’s content is outdated and not reflective of the current industry standings, companies run the risk of losing credibility and customers. Fresh content helps to establish authority and value.

2. Inbound Marketing and User-Expectations

As industry environments and technologies evolve, user expectations change and businesses should aim to keep up with these changes. Regularly reviewing your offerings and audience will allow you to communicate more efficiently. In addition, providing regular and valuable information will help to build loyal, long-term customer relationships. Take a multi-channel approach by sharing content across different channels to reach different audiences and in the process, drive traffic to your website.

3. Search engines

Search engines use web crawlers and they like new content and activity. Based on several algorithmic factors, their goal is to present the latest, most relevant information to a search query. If your website is up to date, it will be indexed more often, your bounce rate will be lower and your search engine rankings will benefit from it.

According to Townsquare Interactive, when Google rolls out an algorithm update or creates new ranking signals, it’s not to prevent sites or businesses from ranking. It’s to improve the quality of search results. Google evolves when it sees a need for improvement or when it recognises an opportunity for enhanced UX. General rule of thumb to avoid Google penalties: Provide your audience with unique, useful, informative and relevant content that serves a purpose.

HOW TO UPDATE YOUR CONTENT

1. Basic periodic review

Has anything in your product, service or information changed that should be communicated? Do you have new cases, awards, newsworthy events, portfolio work or testimonials to add to your website? Can you update your contact details or FAQ section with more relevant or detailed information?

2. Data talks

Look into your analytics to identify exit pages or best-performing pages, articles, videos or content. This gives you insights on what direction to go in with new content or which parts of your website need some TLC.

3. Software check

Outdated plugins can be security threats. Regularly update your software or plugins to ensure everything is working as it should. Ensure that all your buttons are clickable and that links direct to the correct pages or external sites.

4. Recycle old content

Certain industries evolve faster than others. Keep your content updated to reflect the most relevant and latest findings to build industry leadership.

5. Strategic design

Present your content in user-friendly and easy-to-read ways to keep your website visitors engaged. Restructure or redesign the layout and navigation of your content.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR INDUSTRY UPDATE ITS CONTENT

News or informational websites

For websites that deal with trending topics like news, sports, finance or fashion it is essential to update daily (if not more), as they are a source of immediate information and should be up to date. As content can be more condensed and to the point, daily updates are not excessive.

Content or service websites and blogs

These websites produce topics that are known as evergreen – information that, in context, will always be relevant, such as industry concepts, how-to articles and tips or FAQs. A safe guideline to aim for is 2-3 times per week, depending on the quality or relevancy of the content. Although the topics might be relevant long-term, the content should be reviewed regularly.

Corporate websites

Businesses like law firms, investment companies, health insurance or window repair companies that showcase their products or services can be very subjective and difficult to produce content for. However, these companies offer solutions to problems. Setting up a corporate blog and sharing relevant, industry specific information in a contextual way along with a service/product offering could be very beneficial. As a rule of thumb, updating 2-3 times per week should be enough.

eCommerce websites

For online stores valuable content can take many forms: product descriptions and reviews, announcements for new or sale products, special offers and upcoming events. eCommerce blogs contain content related broader industry news, e.g. a furniture store might publish content on home decoration inspiration and lifestyle trends. Depending on your product or service, consider daily inspiration posts, weekly features and monthly or seasonal updates.

QUICK TIPS TO RECYCLE OLD CONTENT

  • Update existing articles with new information or corrections
  • Turn articles into a downloadable infographic or whitepaper
  • Updates images, add more information or rewrite a paragraph
  • Evaluate your keywords and add relevant ones
  • Refresh the time stamp to reflect the current date
  • Use existing URL to keep hold of its SEO value

Need help with a content strategy? Get in touch, we’d love to help!

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Inge van Rensburg
About the author
Inge van Rensburg is a Strategy & Optimisation Consultant at Designcorp, a multi-channel marketer with a visual approach to brand development and communication. With strong technical skills in marketing and performance analysis, she has experience in communication research, strategy and data-driven optimisation.