These days we all realize the power of content: It builds the foundation for all digital marketing tactics and it is able to drive leads and traffic long-term.
Consequently, more and more content is being created on a daily basis. Businesses seem to be under impression that if they miss a week, their content marketing strategy will inevitably go downhill.
But what about all of that old content we created throughout months and years? Are we happy to just let it be there, regardless of the fact whether it is still being visible or whether it is forever lost in the depths of our blog archives?
Well, your existing content should not be forgotten. Creating a strategy around managing your old content (to either use it to create more assets or bringing it back for more people to see it) is the key to successful content marketing strategies. After all, old content has one huge benefit (well actually, two huge benefits):
- Most of the work has already been done (you have already done both the research and writing)
- There’s some performance data to analyze and act upon (you can see which queries have started sending clicks, which social media networks seemed to have worked, etc.)
But first step: Get diligent with consolidating your own content (especially if you publish it in many places)
Curating Your Own Content
There are several ways to approach this. To give you some ideas:
- Come up with your own unique hashtag and always tweet your own content with that hashtag at least once. This is the easiest way to create a searchable archive of your work. The downside is that hashtags don’t below to you, so you may see people hijacking yours
- Create your own feed to consolidate your columns into one. You can use WP RSS Feed Aggregator for this or any of the alternatives
- Simply create a spreadsheet and manually put your links there. This is the simplest way of all. There’s no need to set anything up, but you’ll obviously need to do that each time.
- Import all your content to Medium while using rel=canonical to credit the original source properly (see more on this below). This is also a good way to build your audience and connect to fellow bloggers and writers on Medium
- Create a Flipboard magazine dedicated to your articles and add all your content from across the web there. Magazines are searchable and you can actually get some traffic coming from it, if you remain consistent.
It is also a good idea to identify your most linked-to content on your own site. I use backlinks as a signal of the highest potential, the more backlinks content attracted, the higher chances it has to rank higher if you do a little bit of on-page work.
This free backlink checker tool will help you check your site backlinks. simply copy-paste your domain name and then click through to “Top pages” section.
By default, the report is sorted by the estimated traffic each page receives. But you can also see the total number of backlinks each article has. The tool is free and requires no registration.
1. Re-Optimize Old Content for Traffic-Referring Keywords
The concept of referring keywords is often overlooked as it is advanced. Pages are often optimized for a specific set of keywords, although the traffic may actually come to it from a completely different set of keywords.
It is very powerful to change the page so when people type in a specific search, they find the exact same words in the search results. This will increase your click-through rate dramatically (and may boost rankings too!).
Finteza is the free web analytics platform allowing you to identify which keywords bring the most engaged traffic. Simply install Finteza’s tracking code (which works similarly to Google Analytics code), give it a few days to collect data and access Sources -> Search report and then click the “Search keyword” tab:
[The report shows which search queries are bringing the most engaged audience, i.e. people who kept browsing the site]
Basically, the tool will help you with:
- Identifying a solid list of keywords people are searching to narrow down what topics are best received and most wanted by your target audience.
- Creating a blueprint for posts you will write in the future.
2. Re-Optimize Your Old Content for Search Intent
Another often overlooked content performance metric is engagement. What if you do have clicks but most people just leave without doing anything on the site?
To fix the issue, you need to analyze what people expect to find when searching for a certain phrase and whether your page gives them what they want.
Text Optimizer is a semantic analysis tool that extracts related terms and concepts from search results and helps you include those into your content for it to better meet Google’s and its searchers’ expectations:
[Simply provide your target query and then your page URL and the tool will compare your existing content with Google’s search snippets and identify if yours is well optimized or what to do to optimize it better]
Apart from better engagement, Text Optimizer is likely to improve your rankings too because optimizing for intent is one of the most effective ways to get Google to love your content.
3. Re-Package Blog Posts into Lead Magnets
A lead magnet (also referred to as a content upgrade) is the free advanced content asset that you give away to your readers in exchange for them opting into your newsletter. A few good examples of content-based lead magnets are checklists, cheat sheets, whitepapers, and ebooks.
Lead magnets are a great way to improve your content performance, improve your email marketing performance and boost social media engagement.
If your blog has been up and running for the past year and you’ve shared a new blog post every week, now is perhaps a good time to condense these posts into an e-book. Perhaps you’d like to switch from blogs to vlogs or combine the two?
They say a change is as good as a rest. Bringing changes to the way you portray your content will create a fresh perspective for your site, generating interest from your current audience and potentially attracting new customers.
For re-packaging purposes, refer to the following resources:
- Here’s how to re-package your content using Slideshare
- Here’s how to turn your content into videos
- Here’s how to create an eBook using Google Docs
- Here’s how to re-purpose content into infographics
Anyone who read my posts in the past knows I am very much in favor of high-quality guest blogging. I think it is one of the best content marketing methods out there and I am not alone. Some big brands with serious clout are getting more visibility than ever before thanks to successful guest blogging strategies.
But how to leverage that content you publish elsewhere on your own site? How to let your audience read it too?
The myth is that is your republish your own guest blogs on your own site it is going to lead to duplicate content warnings and problems for both sites. That won’t happen if you use a canonical HTML tag when you are republishing, which links back to the original source. That tag is
<link rel=canonical href=”YOUR GUEST POST URL HERE”/>.
This tag ensures that crawlers are able to follow the original publication link and accept your own site as a secondary source.
I would also recommend waiting at least three weeks (or better a few months if it’s evergreen content) before you re-publish the post for it to get some fresh start. It also helps to read editorial guidelines of those media outlets (or confirm with the editor) that you can do that, just to be on the safe side.
Using the same code, you can also re-publish ALL your content (both from your own site and other publications) to your own Medium channel. Just be sure to use Medium Import tool each time you do that for Google to correctly identify the initial source:
5. Put Your Content on Viral Content Bee
Viral Content Bee (Disclaimer: I am the founder) is the free platform putting your content in front of eager social media users who seek content to share on Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Mix.
The beauty of the tool is that, once you put your content there, it will rotate their forever. That being said, new members will be able to discover and share your old content once they join the platform. It has been a good way for me personally to generate consistent shares to my old content on a daily basis.
All you need to do is to log in to the platform from time to time and add credits to your projects that are running out of them for other members to be able to share it around.
Bonus: Use Content Marketing Calendar
Re-assessing your content performance should become your regular and recurring venture. This task is never really done. I suggest allocating a week of every month to analyzing and monitoring your old content to get a better idea on how to convert more of your readers into subscribers (if not buyers).
To include my whole team into the process, I add [old content] projects as marketing campaigns to my ContentCal calendar. If months are slow (there are no busy holidays and huge projects), I may plan two [old content] campaigns for one month:
ContentCal shows scheduled campaigns across your calendar on the month view keeping everyone organized. It’s also pretty minimal: Just jot down your ideas and let the team take initiatives and delegate the tasks.
It saves a ton of managing time while boosting the team’s morale making everyone part of every marketing project.
Old content managing takes time but it is well worth it! All the efforts you once put into creating and marketing those articles (even if it was years ago) deserve to be awarded now. Your old content deserves to be put into the spotlight again and again for additional exposure and more visibility.