What to Do With Old Content: Refine It

If you have a website or blog, you’ve probably wondered what to do with old content. While it’s true that content goes stale extremely quickly in the digital world, it’s a myth that you must constantly produce new content to stay fresh. Refining your old content is the best way to preserve your digital authority, revive traffic to your site and lighten your workload.

Consider auditing older content—specifically content that isn’t attracting views—and asking these four questions:

1. Has a recent newsworthy event made a piece of content relevant again?

For example, let’s say a large online credit card breach at a major retailer is making headlines. Your content from two years ago with tips for protecting personal information online is prime for republishing. Work information about this latest breach into the introduction of the piece and cater the tips to the current environment.

2. Is there new research that could serve as the basis for a content update?

Let’s say several years ago you captured your reaction to a ground-breaking study in your industry. An update to that study was just released—it’s a good time for a content update.

3. Could older pieces of content support new organizational goals or priorities?

If your organization has shifted its focus to grow one particular area of the business, audit your content to see which pieces can be republished or repurposed for this new initiative.

4. Does older content address current seasonal concerns or interests?

For healthcare organizations, the fall brings the opportunity to repurpose older content featuring flu shot FAQs and tips for fighting the common cold. For financial organizations, February and March are the perfect months to republish your tax content—with the appropriate updates, of course.

Like it or not, not all of your email subscribers or usual blog visitors will see or read every piece of content. The reality is, even your most faithful readers will miss some pieces. That’s why it’s a good idea to look at previous content through a new lens. Once you’ve identified older content ripe for republishing and have made the needed updates, do your part to promote it. Publish the updated content in your e-newsletter, promote it on your social channels and feature it in a push marketing effort.