How to Keep Your Old Content Working for You

By Ashley Orndorff, aka Marketing Geek person writing on notebook next to a laptop

Search engines love fresh, relevant content that answers searchers’ questions and solves their problems. But, this doesn’t mean that you should only focus on writing new content and ignore your old content. If you’re doing it right, your older content should still be relevant and still getting traffic. Here’s how to keep your old content working for you:

1. Update and Refresh Your Old Content

One of the best ways to keep your old content working for you is to periodically update and refresh it to make sure it stays relevant. Depending on how old it is and the topic it’s covering, updating may require an entire rewrite or overhaul. It may take some time to update an out-of-date piece, but it’s time well-spent if it results in higher quality content that better addresses what people are looking for.

Do Some Keyword Research

It’s also a good idea to do some more keyword research on the topic. People may have new questions for you to answer, their intent could have changed, or they may be using new phrases to find related content.
All of this information helps you identify new sections to add to your existing content piece, tweak your content to better match current searcher intent, and also add in new related phrases that your content needs to address.

Review On-Page SEO

After gaining some insights from current keyword research, it’s a great time to review the on-page SEO elements of your content and update them as needed. One of the biggest on-page SEO tips is to use headings in your content.

So, if your old content is not using any headings, now is a good time to add them. If your post already has headings, this is a good opportunity to review them to see if they should be tweaked and to make sure they’re using the right structure.

You can also use this time to review your title tag and meta description to see what updates you can make there. Updating your old content is also a great time to add any relevant internal links to newer pieces or relevant service or product pages.

2. Combine Similar Posts Into a Single Comprehensive Piece

The content landscape is too competitive for your content pieces to compete with each other. If you have similar posts that are talking about the same broad topic, you may want to consider combining them into one comprehensive content piece that covers the main topic completely in one piece.

This is particularly true if you have the same topic broken up into a multi-part series of blog posts. It’s usually more effective to have a single long post that completely answers the question, solves the problem, meets searcher intent, etc. than to break the same thing up into multiple posts.

In this case, each part in the series is competing with the other parts in the search engines and may be causing frustration with your readers. After all, if they’re expecting to find an answer in part 1 and then find out the answer is actually addressed in part 3 of a series, they’ll probably just leave your site and try to find a better resource. Instead of frustrating your readers, be the better resource by combining the parts into a comprehensive whole.

3. Repurpose Your Content Into Other Formats

Another way to keep your old content working for you is to repurpose it into other formats. Your content should be updated, relevant, and high-quality, which means it should have a lot of information to work with.

One comprehensive blog post can easily become a bunch of other formats you can use in a variety of ways. You can pull out quotes to use in social media updates, create slides for a more interactive piece of content, create a series of videos digging deeper into subtopics of the post, make an infographic related to the topic, and more.

Plus, you can then add some of these into the original blog post to make it more interactive and engaging. If the topic is a good fit, you can even use a blog post as a starting point for a webinar. Just make sure it’s a topic that will resonate with your audience. Choosing the wrong topic is one of the biggest webinar mistakes to avoid.

4. Keep Sharing on Social Media and Promoting it

Your old content should get more than one share on social media. It’s common to share a new blog post across social media channels once it’s published, but you also don’t want to ignore or forget everything you’ve written so far. As long as it’s updated and relevant, you can keep sharing it periodically on social media and continuing to promote it through other methods.

Each piece of content you spend time creating can be used in different ways that allow you to reach more people, diversify the types of content you provide, and also keep your old content working for you.

These are just a few tips on how to keep your old content working for you. As long as it’s kept updated and it remains relevant to your audience, your old content should keep attracting visitors to your site and working for your business.

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