Content Refreshing: How to Get More Traffic by Updating Old Content

The kind of content you publish on your website can make or break its performance in global search engines such as Google and Bing.

Based on recent data, 92% of marketers have reported content as a valuable business asset, with 56% planning to spend more on content in 2021. Whether you publish industry news or work in an eCommerce business or a SaaS agency, old posts on your site should be refreshed per SEO trends. 

Additional reports indicate that refreshing content can increase organic traffic by 106%. With 93% of online experiences beginning with search engines, SEO matters considerably. Let’s discuss how to refresh the content on your site, the benefits of doing so, and how you can go about updating old posts in 2021.

Why Refreshing Old Content is Beneficial

Why should you refresh content you published months or years ago instead of solely focusing on original content? Simply put, some content pieces are too good to be forgotten. You may be proud of specific articles, case studies, or tutorials and want to update them without throwing out the work you’ve already done. 

Updating old posts with fresh SEO keywords, links, and multimedia can be extremely helpful since Google’s SERP favors updated links. Given that Google is a de facto trend-setter in terms of SEO, search engines such as Yahoo will follow suit and rank refreshed content better. As such, the benefits of going through the trouble to refresh the content on your site can manifest in several important ways:

  • Improved content visibility and subsequent audience engagement
  • Increased audience retention due to old content being refreshed with new info
  • Improved brand reputation and industry authority due to updates to old content
  • Marginal costs to your time and resources compared to creating completely original content

How to Refresh Content and Make the Most of it

It’s worth noting that while refreshing existing content will improve your website’s SEO and save precious resources, it cannot outright replace original content. You will still need to find time to produce original articles, multimedia, and other content for SEO and marketing purposes beside refreshing existing materials.


Include Content Refresh in your Regular Production Schedule

Once you commit to refreshing your content, you should do so with a schedule in mind. Use your publishing calendar as a reference point and include regular content audits. If refreshing old content in-house becomes overwhelming, you can reach out to SEO agencies and ask for professional assistance to mitigate your content refresh difficulties.

As with any form of content optimization, refreshing old posts manually won’t do much. SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEM Rush, and Ahrefs can be extremely helpful in determining your content’s performance and ways to improve it. Likewise, content editing tools such as Grammarly, Hemingway Editor, and Evernote can be helpful in detecting proofreading or formatting discrepancies throughout your website quickly.

Link building is one of the more important aspects of SEO. Given how often people update websites, you should consider refreshing your links. Both internal and external links should find their place on your agenda as you refresh content based on trending SEO standards. 

Make sure to fix broken links, add new resources. Check the validity of each link manually, especially when internal links are concerned. External links can also lead to dubious destinations over time depending on the resource’s domain authority, so be careful with how you build links.

Go Through your Site’s Multimedia Regularly

Multimedia content in the form of images, videos, animation, and other non-writing pieces of media on your website can be extremely harmful to your SEO. While fresh multimedia will ensure that your content ranks well in SERP, broken multimedia without alt-text can have the opposite effect. 

Instead of leaving things to chance, take time to review your multimedia periodically, the same as you do with writing. Add trending keywords to its alt-text and add new data to infographic or charts which you created previously. 

Optimizing your multimedia for a good balance of small size and high visual quality is also a delicate matter when it comes to appealing to mobile users. Due to the smaller size of smartphone screens and their inherently limited data processing, your content should be lightweight and legible. 

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Consider Creating More Evergreen Content

In terms of updating old posts, you will have a much easier time keeping up with SEO trends if you produce more evergreen content. As its name might suggest, evergreen content is the type of content which will remain “fresh” far longer than news or passing trends would. 

Updating evergreen content is simpler, and you can bring it up to snuff with fresh SEO keywords and links very quickly. Contrary to that, old posts dependent on the time when they were published will be very difficult to retrofit months or years afterward.

Avoid Duplicating Old Posts

When it comes time to refresh the content on your website, you should be careful about how you do it. Updated content should always be marked as such to communicate that yes, this is indeed an old post with new information added. 

Never update content without highlighting that you’ve done so through an editor’s note or a date to make it clear to readers and search engines. Likewise, don’t copy/paste old content into “new” articles or materials and call it “new”. Search algorithms and your more astute followers will see through it. Duplicate content will always be penalized harshly by SEO, so it’s best to be transparent and professional about updating your old posts.

Be Mindful of the Original Content’s Ideas

It’s easy to lose sight of your old posts’ ideas when you refresh them with new keywords, links, and multimedia. The original piece you are updating should still hold value for your readers despite added SEO elements. 

Never update your content for the sake of raising its search ranking without taking its practical value into account. Doing so can cause readers to bounce off of your content and consider it spam in the future even though you’ve refreshed it. Content, both new and old, should be written and published for human readers first and search algorithms second.

Finding Value in Refreshing Old Content (Conclusion)

Even if your traffic is satisfactory now, you can still make good use of old posts by sprucing up your SEO game. Go through your site’s analytics with the aforementioned SEO tools or contact an SEO agency to do it for you. 

Identify which posts are worth refreshing and how you can do add value for the readers beyond writing in trending keywords. Interspersed with original content, your old posts can add to your website’s value and help bring your domain name closer to the number one spot.

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