How your old content can help with SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | April 10, 2017

Content on the internet is expanding at an eye-popping rate. The Washington Post publishes 1,200 new pieces of content a day. Content is king. However, your website can benefit from old content as well as new content. Here’s how your old content can help with SEO.

The number one key is to analyze all your old content. Do you have a piece of content that didn’t perform up to your expectations? Pages like these need your attention. It’s time to upgrade and update them. First off, take a look at the visuals on the page. Images and infographics can really boost up a page, but they weren’t nearly as common in the past as they are now. If you add them in, you’ll increase the quality of the page. Another trick is to add sub-headers to your old content. People don’t like reading content that is smashed together. Give your work sub-headers, so the content has a chance to breathe.

Another way to update your old content is to add in long tail keywords. You can use Google Keyword Planner to find the phrases people are searching for. Once you find them, add them into your page, so you’ll show up higher in organic search. Make sure not to overdo it though, or you could be looking at a Google penalty.

It’s also vital to analyze your top performers, pages that are sometimes known as evergreen content. This is the best of your blog posts, articles, white papers, etc. Yet, that’s not the only characteristic evergreen content has. Evergreen content also has a long lifespan. It’s still as useful today as it was last year. Do you have new subscribers to your email list? Send them a link to your evergreen pages.

It’s also vital to understand the technical details behind the duplicate content penalty. Yes, publishing the same article twice on your website will get you a penalty. However, let’s say you have a piece of evergreen content on your site. After the original content is indexed by Google (and you can use Google Authorship to speed up the process), you’re not in danger of an SEO penalty. That means you can take that great article and look for a site that is interested in syndicating it. This will give you exposure to a whole new audience, and it doesn’t pose any SEO danger.

Realize the value of a great piece of content. Content marketing is a process that takes research and writing. If you re-purpose a piece of old content into a new form, all your research work is done for you. For instance, you can turn a blog post into a series of videos on YouTube. You can turn a long-form article into a stylish infographic. You can discuss the contents of a white paper on a podcast. One of the major benefits of old content, particularly well-written old content, is that it can be re-purposed into other forms. And form matters. For instance, infographics do better on Pinterest, videos do better on Facebook, and articles with lists do better on Twitter. Content marketing and SEO is about more than blogging, it’s about creating content that people love, ideally in forms they love to consume.

Another tip is to use your old content to get backlinks. Let’s say you have a great infographic. If a fellow blogger is linking to an inferior infographic, then outreach to them, telling them you have a better infographic for their post. This can also be done with blog posts, videos, and more. This gives you some link juice, and it improves your site, using your old content.
Great content has nine lives, just like a cat. Make sure you create great content right now, and it will serve you very well in the future.