Recycle Old Content for Maximum SEO with Minimum Effort
You’ve probably heard ( this blog and elsewhere) that one of Google’s criteria for giving a website high search engine results page placement is the regular addition of fresh content. What’s more, as everyone follows Google’s dictates and floods the internet with staggering volumes of new content, in-bound links from social media pages become an easier way to drive traffic to a website. So, for both search engines and social media, frequent updates are key.in
This is a problem for many businesses who either don’t have the resources for such an endeavor, or just don’t have news to share that often. How can they keep the content wheels turning in the slow periods between new posts? One way is to rework or repurpose old content.
Decide What Content to Recycle
Look at every page on your website from the perspective of possible spin-offs or updates.
Time-sensitive content (news items, blog posts): Which pages have been performing well, and which less so? Anything that’s no longer pulling its weight should be a candidate for reworking.
Evergreen content (product/service pages, corporate info): How can it be leveraged in multiple formats and channels? The same info bite can keep people coming to your website from many different directions.
If a page is no longer useful at all, like a discontinued product or job listing, take this opportunity to remove it from your site. Remember to set up a 301 redirect so that people landing on the old URL are taken to a new, relevant page.
Transport It: Intra-Site Recycling
Instead of thinking up new topics or writing an article from scratch, do a quick rewrite of assets already in your content bank.
Some of your older blog articles may refer to trends, statistics, regulations, etc. that aren’t current anymore. Create a new article with the same talking points but more recent information. Also, update your evergreen content where necessary. This could be anything from a new manager bio on the “About Us” page to revised product specs.
Divide up a “Ten Tips” type of article and expand each one of the tips into its own article. For example, the section you’re reading now could become a stand-alone article on content recycling techniques.
Rewrite a “How to” article as a “How Not to” discussion; or vice versa. Example: “Best Practices” inverts into “Worst Mistakes.”
Turn a text-only article into one that replaces some of the verbiage with infographics or videos. If that’s not feasible, add subheads, bullet lists and similar devices to break up the text and make it more visually appealing
Add quality and authority to an article with new statistics, quotes from experts and links to their websites.
Spin the information from a product page or user manual into a blog article. You’re probably already doing this with new product introductions, but don’t miss the opportunity to explain every one of your products and services. Google loves useful content like this.
Import/Export It: Extra-Site Recycling
Get more return on your content investment by populating multiple platforms with it. The backlinks will provide a nice boost to your SEO ranking.
Add contributions that you’ve made to discussion groups, forums, other people’s blogs or social media to your own website. Expand, condense or explain as necessary.
Digitize and upload any white papers, catalogs, brochures and other company literature that isn’t already on your site. Extracts from long white papers make excellent blog posts.
In the section above, we suggested taking one talking point from an article and expanding it into its own article. You can also keep the talking point as is and put this quick bite on social media sites like Twitter with a link back to the original article.
Take your content to new audiences, especially those who don’t have time to read long articles. Make an audio recording of yourself reading an article and turn it into a podcast. Add some slides and make a PowerPoint presentation. Produce a video webinar.
SEO Tips for Successful Recycling
Since the whole purpose of recycling content is for search engine optimization, make sure you have it configured to Google’s liking.
You’ve probably done additional keyword research since that old content was published. Apply the new findings to your recycled article
The longer visitors stay on your site, the better Google loves you. Keep them clicking around with links on every page to every other relevant page. In addition to including links in your recycled content, you can also link from the original article to the recycled one, i.e. “See more (or newer) information here.”
Google dislikes duplicate meta data as much as duplicate content. Don’t forget to change up the tags and descriptions on your recycled page.
Retain page seniority.
With this trick, you don’t actually change the content, just its publishing date. Reposting an old, formerly successful article on the same URL will improve traffic to it because it’s re-archived closer to your home page, yet Google won’t perceive it as a duplicate. It won’t equal truly fresh content, but might give your SEO performance a little help.
Sure, recycling content is an easy way to fill the gaps between posts of fresh content: to “fake it ’til you make it.” But it’s more than that. Your content is a valuable asset that can and should be exploited in every way possible to maximize your return on investment.
We’re Ready When You Are
At ACS Creative, we help businesses develop effective content marketing strategies. To learn more, please contact us for a free consultation.