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Put Your Archive to Use: Reusing Old Content for Better SEO

by Guest Author

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It doesn’t matter whether you are running a major website or a personal blog, most website owners face the same problem: where to find original and interesting content to feature online. For those that are looking to increase their place in search engine rankings, the use of original and engaging content is especially important.

The traditional workflow goes a little something like this. You pitch an idea, you refine it, you write it up (or find someone to write it), you edit it, you find appropriate imagery, and then format it for your blog or website. This takes a lot of time and resources that you don’t always have.

But there is a better way to create content that will help your website’s SEO and similarly keep your audience engaged. Using refurbished content from your archive is a great way to keep up your content output without investing the resources needed to create new content.

Why Repurpose Content?

There are a number of reasons why repurposed content is a great tool for website owners and bloggers. Reusing content allows you to take advantage of the resources you already have in your back pocket and exploit them. You can take articles and other items from your archive that have already been used, refurbish them, and give them a new life.

But why is this important? The first thing to understand is that as the internet grows, so too does the amount of information available. This creates a difficult challenge because as audiences become more fragmented, the amount of competition on the internet simultaneously increases, making it harder for any website or blog to gain an audience’s attention.

That’s where recycling content comes into play. By reusing material on the web, you can keep your audience engaged, generate a new audience, and make strides towards improving your SEO. Repurposing content will similarly increase your site’s ROI because you will be investing less in the process of creating the content. The formula is simple: the less time and money you spend on creating, the more you save and the more you will be able to profit from your website.

Don’t forget: quality and quantity are not created equal. It’s more important to create content that is engaging and relevant to your audience than it is to pump out tons of material to your audience. Stick to repurposing items that are interesting and will actually pique your audience’s interest.

So, How Can I Recycle Content?

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There are a few simple ways to reuse content from your archive. But the most effective are to update old content to make it relevant, and to reformat content to change the distribution method:

  1. Updating old content: By updating old articles, you can make old, stale pieces of information relevant again. This means taking old content from your archive and giving it some sort of new significance such as connecting it to current events, adding new statistics, or amending it to represent a current trend or fad.
  2. Reformatting old content: This is probably the most powerful approach to recycling content. By reformatting content, you can change the way a piece of information is conveyed. For example, take written content and make it visual via a video or infographic. Since the web is interactive and visual, you have tons of different options here. You can create slideshows, audiobooks or podcasts, and of course, video. You can similarly change the content to make it more appropriate for a certain medium, such as Facebook or Twitter.

These two steps could really make a difference in your presence online. If you use these techniques intelligently, you can create lots of useful material from one article. Also, a variety of media gives your audience more of an opportunity to connect. Face it, not everyone likes reading online. Using video, audio, and other interactive media gives you more of a chance to connect and grow your audience.

Evergreen Content is Key

When considering what items to repurpose, look for content that is evergreen. That means items that are relevant, important, and unlikely to become insignificant in the future. Evergreen content should never expire and always stay pertinent; it should be timeless.

Since evergreen content remains relevant for so long, it is a perfect choice when looking for content to repurpose. If you are having trouble identifying items to repurpose, look towards evergreen content that is still relevant and likely to stay relevant in the near and distant future.

But be careful, you don’t want to copy-paste content. This practice could have a negative effect and Google may even penalize your SEO if you duplicate content. Therefore, make sure every piece of content you publish is original and has some sort of added value that can’t be found anywhere else on the web.

Don’t forget to make use of other tools you have at your disposal when analyzing your archive. Technical tools like analytics and other metrics can help you identify the most successful items and the content that your audience likes. Spend time repurposing this material, after all, there is no use in spending time repurposing a flop. These tools will really help you gain insight into what is working, and what is not.

Overall, reusing old content is a great way to improve your website’s SEO while simultaneously engaging and growing your audience. Take the time to create content that you are proud of, enjoy the process, and never give up. The more you put out there, the more likely you are to have a hit piece of content that will bring you loads of success.

About the author: On Yavin is the Founder and CEO of Online Performance, a company specialized in providing SEO services and Founder and UK CEO of Exactive Marketing, an advertising agency, focused on digital marketing. He is an expert in search engine optimization (SEO) with years of experience in web and mobile marketing.

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