Content Refresh: Try This System to Unlock Organic Growth

Content Refreshing

Call a priest – your content is dying.

No, really.

Like a house plant that doesn’t get its soil nutrients regularly boosted, your articles slowly wither over time. 

Whether it’s because of outdated information, ever-evolving Google algorithm updates, or competitors running circles around your blog posts, the truth is that even evergreen content slowly decays – and sheds traffic as it does so.

But there’s a solution to keep your content fresh and engaging – content refreshing.

I’ve spent the last decade honing my skills as a content specialist, which means writing content and doing my fair share of content refreshes. So I’ll show you how to execute and use them effectively to keep your traffic at respectable levels.

Let’s jump in!

Get more leads with less effort.

If you want a steady flow of targeted leads, we’ve got a proven process for driving organic traffic and converting it into qualified leads.

The Perils of Content Decay

Content decay refers to the gradual decline in the relevance and effectiveness of your existing content over time.

GSC Traffic Decay
Lost nearly half of their traffic over six months. Not the graph you want to see.

This decay can stem from various factors like: 

  • Changes in search engine algorithms
  • Evolving user preferences
  • Advancements in your industry that make your content less relevant

Content decay poses a significant threat to your website’s organic traffic and overall visibility. As outdated content loses its appeal and relevance, it can lead to a decline in search engine rankings and lost SERP features. This can result in decreased organic traffic and engagement. 

“If left unchecked, content decay can erode your website’s authority and credibility in the eyes of both users and search engines.”

Martin Stokes content specialist

Martin Stokes

Content Specialist, DCP

However, it’s not all bad. By staying on top of content refreshes and keeping your content current, you can breathe new life into your website, reigniting interest and engagement among your audience. 

Updating your content also offers a much cheaper and faster strategy for increasing traffic to your website, especially when compared to creating content from scratch.

This process involves revisiting your existing content to ensure its accuracy, relevance, and alignment with current trends and user preferences.

Let’s break that down.

How to Refresh Your Content: 4 Ways to Win Back Traffic

Refreshing your content isn’t just about making superficial changes – it requires a systematic approach to ensure maximum impact. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the content refreshing process effectively.

Step 1: Conduct a Content Audit

Before diving into the content refreshing process, it’s crucial to conduct a content audit:

  • Crawl Your Website: Use tools like Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, or Semrush. They automate the process of analyzing your website’s content, structure, and SEO elements to give you a comprehensive overview.
  • Leverage Google Search Console (GSC) and Google Analytics (GA): These platforms provide insights into how your content performs in search results and how visitors interact with your site. Connect both to your website to track rankings, organic traffic, and user behavior.
  • Spot Content Decay: Look for pages that haven’t been updated in over two years, show a drop in keyword rankings, or have low organic traffic. These indicators help prioritize which pages need refreshing.
Content Audit
This is what our content audits look like. We use spreadsheets to crunch down the data and produce meaningful insights.

It’s worth noting that as a content specialist, I don’t handle this part; the SEO wizards on my team do. Once they’ve crunched the numbers, they put together a plan that involves the next step.

Step 2: Identify Old Pages Losing Traffic

Once you’ve completed the content audit, identify pages that are ripe for content refreshing. 

Pay attention to factors such as the last update date, keyword rankings, and organic traffic trends. Pages meeting these criteria will likely benefit the most from a refresh.

For example, if you have an article that was last updated two or three years ago, it would be a good candidate for a refresh to infuse it with some new, relevant information. 

Likewise, if you notice that an article with a good target keyword isn’t ranking or has lost substantial amounts of organic traffic, this is an indication that it could use some love.

You should also consider revisiting time-sensitive topics, such as event-related content, price comparisons, or local guides, which might require regular updates to maintain relevance. By targeting these pages strategically, you can optimize your efforts and maximize the impact of your content refreshes. 

Step 3: Update the Content

Now that you’ve prepped everything and identified what needs refreshing, it’s time to actually update the content.

While the steps for this stage might vary slightly depending on the type of content that needs to be updated, they all generally follow the same process:

  1. Start by analyzing the top-ranking results for your target keywords. This will help you understand what your competitors are doing and glean insights into content structure and formatting. Based on what your competitors are doing, you might want to change up the format of your article (for example, adding an FAQ section).
  2. Next, systematically review each section of your content. You’ll identify opportunities for improvement and updates. This might mean removing outdated information, clarifying sentences, or tightening up prose to enhance readability and value. 
  3. Make sure both headings and subheadings align with the content’s purpose and are optimized for search intent. They should also be skimmable so the reader can find a specific piece of information quickly and easily. If you need help writing killer headlines, check out our article.
  4. Make sure you’re using keywords correctly. This means using them naturally throughout the article while avoiding keyword stuffing or spamming. It’s one of the principles of SEO copywriting that will ensure readers find your article without Google penalizing you.
  5. Next, merge any duplicate content. This will streamline the user experience and improve search engine visibility. 
  6. Finally, add a republished date near the top of the page, usually just after the intro. This signals freshness and relevance to both users and search engines.

Step 4: Promote Newly Updated Content

Refreshed content is great, but like the proverbial tree in the forest, did it even happen if no one’s around to read it?

Once you’ve finished refreshing your content, promoting it effectively to maximize its reach and impact is essential.

Internal Linking

One of the easiest and most effective ways we do this is by using internal linking to guide users to the updated pages from relevant sections of your website. 

Since we blog consistently and keep a record of all content we create, I can easily slip into the records and find previous content that I think is relevant to the article I’ve just refreshed. 

From there, I simply add links (making sure that they’re natural and organic), to the refreshed piece of content to give it a little boost and direction. 

External Content Distribution

You can also consider promoting your refreshed content through other channels, such as social media, email newsletters, or industry forums. 

By amplifying your content’s visibility across various platforms, you can attract new audiences and drive additional traffic to your website.

How Often Should You Refresh Content?

This is a good question to ask but a difficult one to answer. The most measured and truthful answer would be – it depends.

Many factors are at play, including your industry, audience preferences, and content goals. 

However, as a general rule of thumb, aim to refresh your content at least once a year to ensure its relevance and effectiveness.

That said, specific niches or industries might require more frequent updates, especially those caught in the currents of hyper-evolving trends (looking at you AI and crypto). 

Artificial Intelligence
And we’re looking right back, human Martin Stokes.

If Your Content Is Dying, We Can Bring It Back to Life

Content refreshing is a powerful strategy for maintaining the relevance and effectiveness of your website’s content. 

But you have to be proactive. That means updating your existing content to enhance its visibility, engagement, and impact, while producing new content simultaneously to stay relevant.

Does that sound like a lot of work? Well, it is if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Luckily, we’re a content marketing agency that knows precisely what we’re doing, including reanimating old content.

So if you’d like to give your content a second lease on life, and enjoy the flood of new traffic that accompanies this miracle, get in touch with us today.

Martin Stokes Avatar

Get more leads with less effort.

If you want a steady flow of targeted leads, we’ve got a proven process for driving organic traffic and converting it into qualified leads.