The case for content refreshing

New research highlights missed opportunity in content marketing: Make the most of your (old) content

Revmade regularly scours the internet for new studies that offer important insights for marketers. Then we write them up for you in as few words as possible. (Want to get them emailed to you? Sign up here.)

So you’ve dedicated time and resources to creating new content for your organization. But how much are you dedicating to updating your existing content? A couple of survey questions tucked into the deep-dive State of Content Marketing report published by SEMrush suggests that content marketers should think about what more their existing content could do with some smart tweaks.

The Data, In Brief:

SEMrush asked marketers when they usually update existing content, with the following options available:

  • We rarely update our existing content (ideally because they are creating new content)
  • When we see that the rankings and traffic are down (a commonplace scenario in the age of the Google algorithm)
  • Every time we see that the content has become outdated (imagine seeing a blog post about travel abroad that included no notices about COVID mandates)
  • We usually update high-performing content as a preventative measure (kudos to these overachievers)

Overall, less than 50% of respondents regularly update out-of-date content or are otherwise proactively updating content to be relevant to audiences (and algorithms). But by a net 38% margin, these marketers experienced more positive results in higher engagement, increased search rankings and traffic, or both. 

If updates are so likely to have a positive impact, why don’t marketers update their content more often? Many organizations are getting used to what it means to develop new content (whether in-house or from an outside source), but tackling archives is another project entirely. And it’s a daunting one for marketers and publishers who may have years upon years of content to sift through.

Here are a few thoughts about how you can start to get results from existing content:

  • “Roadblock” out-of-date pages: Frustrated that Google is still routing visitors to a 10-year-old blog post that is no longer optimal for your marketing or messaging? As a stop-gap, insert disclaimers into these posts that invite audiences to click through to more recent (and relevant) content. This can have an immediate impact while you work on making the post current.
  • Look for optimization opportunities: Maybe you have an article that resonates well with audiences through social and email channels, but not search. Some tweaks to your article packaging could help improve CTR on important keywords, in headlines and associated copy.
  • Create something “new” with existing content: Got a bunch of PDFs or old blog posts that are gathering dust on your website? Extract the most useful insights or narratives and republish in a new format to give them new life – especially if your audience research finds underemphasized elements that would resonate with added visibility.

Unsure whether your old (or new) content is having an impact? Reach out to us for more info.


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