content refresh documents

What is a Content Refresh & Why They’re Important

Do you ever feel like your website could use a little pick-me-up? If so, you’re not alone. In today’s digital age, businesses must continually create fresh, relevant content to stay top-of-mind and attract new customers. However, that doesn’t mean you always have to start from scratch. A content refresh could be just what you need. 

What is a Content Refresh?

A content refresh is exactly what it sounds like: a refresh or update to your existing content. It can be a helpful way to keep your website or blog posts up-to-date and improve your search engine optimization (SEO) without starting from zero.

Exactly how you refresh each piece may change depending on its purpose and the type of content you are working with. You may want to do a comprehensive overhaul or simply update quotes, add new statistics or insert funny anecdotes to improve the piece.

The goal is to make your content better each and every time you touch it. Each piece should cover the topic in depth and provide as much value as possible.

Why Should You Conduct a Content Refresh?

When you create content, you’re providing free and useful information to your audience. This will attract potential customers to your website through search engine visibility, and help you retain existing customers through quality engagement.

There are a few main reasons for doing a content refresh. This could be because:

  1. Content is out of date or no longer has the appropriate amount of topical depth
  2. It is not ranking on search engines or its losing traffic

If your content is out of date, the facts may be wrong, there may be outdated references or you might have broken links or references to products you no longer stock. Topical depth of a subject might change over time, too. When you wrote an article you might have recounted all the information available but if there have been new innovations or updates to a product, industry or topic, then the piece might require more information and depth.

If your page is not ranking or losing traffic then it might be a victim of content decay. Content decay refers to an ongoing decline in organic traffic and rankings for one or more blog posts. It is a slow and gradual decline that can go unnoticed for long periods of time, resulting in compounding losses. This is not unusual. In fact, it is part of the natural life cycle of a piece of content.

Content decay can arise if it is simply old, two or more pages on your site are competing for the same topic, there is increased competition from other external websites or if there has been a shift in how Google ranks websites or a particular topic’s search intent. 

This leads to you losing in all major ways. Your organic traffic decreases, Click Through Rates and Time on Page drop, and no one backlinks to your site. Ultimately leading to lost revenue. 

If your content is not relevant at all, you may want to delete a page and redirect it to an existing page so no one stumbles across it and muddies your brand image and perceived authority on a subject. 

Where to Start with a Content Refresh

You should treat a content refresh as seriously as you did the initial post or piece of content. Be methodical, purposeful and use a spreadsheet to keep track of which pieces you have updated. 

You can approach a content refresh two ways:

  1. You can identify pieces on your own which do not serve their purpose and update them yourself. If you have a small site of fewer than 10 pages and SEO expertise to make optimised changes then you should be able to handle a content refresh on your own. 
  2. Alternatively, you can hire an agency to perform a content audit to identify which pages need to be updated, consolidated or deleted. They can also update the pieces for you. This is recommended for larger sites with many pages or blog posts or for businesses with no prior SEO experience.

Keep in mind that fresh content is just one of the aspects of content SEO maintenance. You also need to work on internal linking, keyword research, ensuring each page meets search intent, has the authority to rank and more. Reach out to our team if you have questions about SEO best practices.

How Often Should You Do a Content Refresh?

If you are posting regularly then you should review content every 6 months. This is generally enough time to know if your content is going to perform organically, or if it needs adjustments to achieve the goals you’re setting. 

If your content is on the first page of Google, up to date and meeting its goal, you probably don’t need to update it. 

Be diligent and make an effort to commit to a refresh when possible. You’ll ensure that your older content doesn’t become obsolete and a poor reflection on your business. 

Once you do, you’ll need to promote the new version of your content just as heavily as you did the first time around. This new content is up to date, visually stimulating and accessible to large groups of people. Let the world see it!

Need help? Contact our content marketing team to learn more. We will happily perform a content audit for you, so you can prioritise content that will inspire trust and move your audience to take action.

When was the last time you refreshed your website or blog content?

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