How To Identify And Refresh Outdated Content?

How to Identify and Refresh Outdated Content?

Table of Contents

The content aging on your site for long will do your website no good…unless

it is refreshed and updated.

Let’s be honest, you have invested a lot in creating organic content for your website, and you can’t just leave it to waste away.

Revision of your previous content is important for lot many reasons. We’ll talk about those reasons as well as how to identify outdated content on your website.

But let’s first begin with the need to update content.

Why do you need to refresh outdated content?

1. Refreshing outdated content helps SEO 

The basic aim of continuous changes in Google’s algorithms, like any other search engine, is to produce the most relevant and unique results for its users. 

To make the user experience smooth and better, search engines constantly update their algorithms, and Google owns a massive 38% of the global search market. 

If you think about what it does to the content on your website, well, it can make your page rankings drop, and old content might even lose its value in the current scenario. 

Moreover, your customer doesn’t need the four-year-old information, and the set of keywords you chose to target your audience might not even be relevant today.

Updating the outdated content on your website greatly helps in your search engine optimization efforts by refreshing the keywords. Doing this increases the chances of your page getting better rankings. 

But does it mean improving only your on-page SEO? 

It shouldn’t, as you can consider refreshing the off-page SEO and technical SEO as well.

Updating all the search engine optimization for your old content pieces will make your web pages rank easier. 

2. Update information

One of the easiest things you can do to make your content credible is to add relevant facts and new developments from expert sources. 

The trouble is that technologies keep evolving, and new facts come to light. Either the fundamental facts evolve, or newer, more accurate research becomes available.

Whatever the reason, if your rivals are quoting recent research while you’re fixated on old figures, the information on your website is immediately out of date.

3. Save time and investment

Chances are, you’re paying for creating good content on your website, and it also takes up your time no matter what.

Instead of creating new pieces every time, consider updating those pieces that did well in the past. 

Regenerating old content and giving it a fresh touch should also be part of the content plan. It can save you precious time while still producing results.

How do you know which piece to update? 

For this, you can conduct a content audit to assess the performance of your articles and identify areas for improvement. Most content audits simply look at SEO success, but you should also look at business performance and utility at least once a year.

4. Adapt to changing search patterns

Search behavior changes over time, meaning, users aren’t looking for the information the same way they used to 5 years back. 

Writing good content is not only about writing a good piece, but it also accounts for what your audience wants when they search.

If someone wants to know the cost of garage door installation, your article has to quickly cover ‘cost-related information to keep them interested to know further about your garage door services.

User intent and search patterns evolve. 

If you want your content to respond perfectly to the search intent, you have to refresh and update your content. 

5. Your competitors are already doing it

Every business understands the importance of creating good content, and no one wants to remain in the back when search engines provide a great many opportunities.

Your competitors are publishing quality content constantly, and emerging players in the market also mean that they will bring the most recent technology and information with them.

To stay in the competition, you have to provide more value to the users. 

And one way of doing it is updating the pages on your website to fit the current user intent and new information.

How to update old content?

Now that you’re aware of the importance of updating information on your website, let’s move to the most awaited part of the story- how to refresh content?

1. Identify the content that needs to be updated

Truth is, not all of your past content pieces will fit the current user demands even if they are outdated. 

For example, there’s no need to talk about a technology that went out of use 2 years back, or is replaced by a different thing. So you should know that some of the pieces like those have to remain in the archives or be removed from the web. 

The first step to updating old content begins with selecting the content that deserves to be refreshed. 

What you need to do is to conduct a site audit and look out for the most favorable pieces. 

  • Popular content– 

High-performing and popular materials are the best fits to be updated. 

Do you have any work that has gone viral or received a lot of shares in the past? That’s because your people found it useful, so with a little tweaking, you can re-capture their attention while providing higher value.

  • Relevant content– 

These are time-sensitive stats, technological updates, industry data, new user manuals, market trends, and more. These content pieces need to be refreshed to provide the latest information as the relevance keeps changing. 

You need to refresh this content for each period. 

  • Value-based content– 

And finally, there are evergreen content pieces that are always relevant and readers find those valuable. 

The FAQs, checklists, DIY guides, beginners guides, Do-not to do articles, etc. form the evergreen content pieces. 

2. Launch an email series from your previous content

Few pieces never truly die, and they need to come before your audience. 

As your mailing subscriber number increases, you will get to know new people who are unlikely to be familiar with your past site content. 

So, why not polish your old but high-performing content before serving it to your email subscribers? It will be more useful and consumable this time. You will also receive email content suggestions and user attention to an old blog article.

3. Don’t republish the same content to a new date

This shortcut is highly advised against by Google.

People often want to take the shortest way to keep the snippet alive, and they upload the same old piece on a fresh date.

Even if your competitors take this quick method to favor their blog positions, it’s not recommended to go against Google’s suggestions. 

And the suggestions make it clear that without adding significant information to content, old content pieces shouldn’t be inorganically recycled. 

4. Add updated information

You can start by talking about the fresh numbers and reports.  You should check for broken links, which badly affect your website, and update the sources. It’s not a good idea to link with articles that are too old to be of any use.

Try refreshing the images, and you can link to newer videos as well. 

What you need to do is to optimize your page for the newest updates in a natural way.

5. Add long-tail keywords

Changing search behaviors also means that users are looking for information in a different way.

While we don’t recommend changing your primary keyword, you can definitely add long-tail keywords to fit the user intent. 

Adding more secondary and filler keywords will help in your on-page SEO and get your page more hits.

6. Update your metadata

The click-through rate of your post has an impact on how the site ranks on Google. Enter your search term into Google and compare your page title and meta description (metadata) to that of your rivals.

Compare your content to theirs, and consider which of the two meta titles and descriptions gives more context for the phrase searched for.

Try to quantify the information from the meta, and keep it short, crisp, and within the character limit prescribed by Google.

7. Change format and repurpose content

How about making a video on an old blog article that did well? This not only refreshes your material but also generates a new source of visitors. Not only can you convert your information to videos, but there are many more creative methods to freshen it up for your audience.

Here are some ideas for repurposing outdated content:

  • Create a blog post series out of an ebook.
  • Design an infographic for social media based on one of your blog entries.
  • Make slideshows out of your material and share them on SlideShare.
  • Create a blog post from a series of connected blog articles.

8. Mobile indexing

Double-check how the revised content performs on mobile.

Domain level change is key to ranking your pages as search engines recommended optimizing pages for mobile users.

So you have to check whether your old content works as well on mobile as it does on desktop browsers if you’ve already made domain-level changes to your site. 

Over to you

Finally, you have a checklist of things you need to do to refresh the outdated content on your website.

Do you want to know more ways to update your old content on your website?

We are here to help, whether you want more information or need help with your digital success.

Tell us in the comments. 

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