How, When and Why to Republish Content

One of the easiest tricks to expanding your content portfolio is to republish existing content. Republishing content saves time and money while keeping your content up to date, which helps boost your SEO rankings.

The four steps below will provide guidance on finding the right pieces to update, making those pieces fresh and getting this new work in front of your desired audience.

Should You Republish Content?

Absolutely—any good content marketing plan will use republished content as part of a broader strategy.

Take a healthcare brand that wrote a 2018 article on what people should know about weight loss. Much of that information might still be relevant: the benefits of diet and exercise, the need to consult with a doctor on best practices and more. However, new medical information is coming out all the time. In this instance, republishing content might mean covering the addition of the much-talked-about weight-loss drug Ozempic. The 2018 article would look outdated without such a mention.

Make Your Content Age Better

Keep in mind that content that has been online longer has had more time to build a good reputation among search engines. Sometimes old content is actually more valuable to your site from an SEO perspective. Alternatively, search engines dock websites that have too much content that’s outdated or irrelevant. So just because you may have forgotten about that 2018 article, that doesn’t mean the internet has. Your old article might still be clicked on frequently when people search for info related to the topic of weight loss.

Republishing content is also handy when you might be pinched for time or resources but need to continue with your publishing frequency.

Regardless of the driving factor, organizations can build value for their audiences by always keeping their content relevant. Lastly, audiences grow over time. Whoever is reading your content now might not have been one year ago—let alone six years ago. Republishing content can put completely fresh eyes on your existing work.

How Often Should You Republish Content?

Publishing frequency will likely depend on your organization’s content marketing strategy. If the goal is to build organic traffic, for instance, HubSpot recommends smaller organizations post new blog content around three or four times a week, with larger companies posting five or six times per week.

Understanding how much you’re already posting can help you figure out how frequently to republish content. Some additional situations to consider:

  • When a topic is timely, and you have existing content about it, it’s a good opportunity to republish. Examples could be for observances, like Pride Month or holiday sales, or for recurring events, like annual conferences.
  • For topics that are about trends, republishing content works well when new research or information becomes available about something you have already written about. Examples could be new therapies for medical conditions (such as the aforementioned Ozempic) or new methods for business practices.
  • In general, if your organization has something more or new to say about a topic, that’s a good time to republish content. For instance, if you have a strong new case study, that’s a great opportunity to add depth to an older piece of content.

How to Republish Content in 4 Steps

Wondering where to start? Republishing content can be done in just a few steps, starting with a content audit.

1. Conduct a Content Audit

When republishing content, begin with a comprehensive look at the content that your organization has already created. A content audit will include examining your outputs, such as your website, emails and newsletters, videos, publications, podcasts and more. Doing this groundwork helps you understand the breadth of your previously published content, so you know what is eligible for republishing.

Once you know the content you’ve created, it’s time to assess its worth. Is a specific piece relevant? Engaging? Has it performed well? For the latter, how many leads has the content generated? What sort of traffic is it driving? How does it rank on search engines? Many free tools exist to help organizations understand how their web content is performing such as Semrush and Google Analytics.

Watch on demand — WEBINAR: How to Drive Engagement with a Digital to Print Strategy

2. Identify Your Top-performing Content

The content audit should lead you to an understanding of your best-performing content. Those pieces are prime to update and republish. After all, this content will need to remain relevant and useful for your audience to continue to engage with it.

3. Review Content for SEO Best Practices

Republishing content goes beyond just updating the main text of a piece. As part of the update process, make sure your headlines, subheads and body copy include the keywords your organization is trying to rank in search engines for.

Check for SEO best practices, too, like:

  • reading ease
  • internal and external links
  • meta descriptions
  • alt text for images

In keeping with SEO best practices, it’s recommended to retain the same URL when republishing articles. If you were to create a new page and copy over the preexisting text, search engines could ding the new article (and your site) for having duplicate content.

While not necessary for SEO purposes, it’s also a good idea to add some sort of editorial note to let readers know the post has been updated. A simple editor’s note can go a long way to clearing up any reader questions about potentially having seen that post in the past.

4. Promote Your Republished Content

Treat republished content like any new piece of content: Make a distribution plan that includes email, social and any other channels you use to share content.

Ready to Start Republishing?

Republishing isn’t only for your website or blog. One of the best ways to optimize your print channels is to fill them with high-performing, republished digital content. Fill out the form below to download our Ultimate Guide to Reverse Publishing to learn how to find the best content on your website and repurpose it for print.

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