Everything Old is New Again – Leveraging Legacy Content

Legacy content that has generated traffic and conversions in the past may just need a quick refresh in order to go to work for you again. With an estimated 60% of all B2B marketers planning to spend more on content marketing this year, many are undoubtedly rushing to create lots of new material. If you’ve done your home work, know what your customers are looking for and can create new content to meet their needs, hats off to you! But unless your products and services have been completely revamped over the past year or two, you may also be sitting on a goldmine of great legacy content that just needs a bit of dusting off to be useful. Think Back, WAY Back… Most established businesses have published piles of relevant content that has long been forgotten but still has tremendous potential. Think back over the last year or two… Did you publish a whitepaper or opinion piece that was particularly well-received? A how to article or video that generated a lot of buzz? By first reviewing content that just needs to be refreshed and optimized in order to attract and engage prospective customers, you may be able to save time and money, and realize some additional benefits as well. Your website analytics account is key to uncovering valuable content that can be spruced up and put to work again. The Content Drilldown feature in Google Analytics provides loads of information about content performance. In order to find content that worked well in the past, there are many signals that can help identify effective content. For press releases and article marketing, you undoubtedly have access to reporting that will show impressions, clicks, reads, downloads, and more. Updating a very effective article and re-releasing can generate renewed interest, with less time devoted to creation. Depending on your business, evergreen or seasonal content is tailor-made to use multiple times. If you’re in health care and you feature content on back to school immunizations every year, revise that content rather than re-create. If you’re an accounting firm or a financial planning firm, you’re well aware that tax time rolls around in mid-April every year. Update your content with new rules and regs, rather than recreating the wheel. Contests, Giveaways, Newsletters Do you regularly publish an email newsletter? Do you have contests or giveaways? By entering a lengthy date range into Analytics, you can more easily see jumps in traffic that would indicate intense interest and engagement, possibly from content being shared. Look for what’s missing, too. Did you inadvertently remove engaging, popular content just because it was old? By looking at site search in your analytics package and at your queries in Google Webmaster Tools, you can see what visitors are looking for, and whether or not they’re still able to find that old favorite article on your site.

Legacy Content Has History An additional benefit of refreshing legacy content is that it has “history” with the search engines. They’ve already indexed the page, the PDF, the video. By refreshing and re-using established content, you send a message to the search engines and human visitors alike that you are an established business, providing relevant content, and that you recognize the value of updating your best material.

While you’re updating text, don’t forget to update and refresh your meta too. Use keywords that effectively convey the “new and improved” aspect of your legacy material. Resubmit to the search engines as you are able. If there are a significant number of external links to the material, alert those sites to the fact that you’ve refreshed the material with new and improved ideas. As you plan your spend around content marketing, plan to spend at least some of your “time budget” in review of your legacy content. A mix of old and new can boost your credibility and help you gain the trust of new customers who are visiting your site, reading your blog or watching your videos for the very first time.

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