How reusing old content can be more rewarding than creating new

The old vs. the new

The world doesn’t need more content – there is enough click bait out there – what it needs, is more quality content. Most companies actually have a great amount of rich content in their archives, which can be given new life, it is reviewed and dusted a bit off.

Take Hubspot for example. They have delivered content for many years now, and have over 5000 blog posts. With systematic blog optimizing, their old content transforms into a lead-generating machine. Their analytical way of thinking and looking through their content, is worth paying attention to for anyone who has the slightest interest in content marketing

Old post generates 92% of all leads.

Hubspot has not just one but THREE blogs, dedicated to each of their own audience. These blogs, together, is responsible for a THIRD of all the company’s leads, and they are visited by over 2.million user every month.

The content responsible at Hubspot, made an effort off looking through their post to see what generated most leads and traffic, and from this investigation he discovered that 92% of their leads and 75% of their traffic came from blog posts posted more than over a month ago. Fresh content is usually preferred, but as long as something is of high quality and give quality answers to problems that people want solved.

When first an article has gained as specific spot in the search results, because of their quality level, they keep leading to quality traffic. Google reward those who offers the best solutions, so sometimes older content beats the new, even if it is several years old, as long as the content is useful.

Hubspot knew that quality content was rewarded, but that 92% of their leads and 75% of their traffic came from old blog post was a surprise.

This is how Hubspot optimises their blog today:

With that kind of new knowledge, of course you have to change your strategy.

  • Hubspot started with identifying the most popular blog posts.
  • After this they identified what search terms the most popular blog posts was found with, and which posts had the potential to be shown first in Google’s search results.
  • They also changed their “call to action” to be more specific for the individual search. If the user had searched for “create Facebook ads”, the call to action button for the relevant post would be something along the line “download this e-book on how to attract customers for Facebook”
  • They update the content, so it keeps its level of relevancy and so it matched the search terms better.
  • They repost old content. The link is the same, but the timestamp is new, and it goes to the top of Hubspot.

This way they refresh the old content, and keep it generating more quality content for a longer period.

It sounds like a lot of work just to squeeze more traffic and leads down the pipe.  The alternative, however, of creating more and new content, with same quality, would take just as long, if not longer. And would the new content guaranty same level of traffic like the old? Only time will tell.  This doesn’t mean you should stop creating content, but it means you don’t always have to be innovative and create something completely new.

So it might not be innovative, dusting off old content, but it just might keep your business in the top search result at a constant level if you do it from time to time.

To delete or not to delete:

So…. DON’T delete old content, without running it through first. It might be more valuable than you think. Make an effort of going through your post, and see what generates traffic and what doesn’t. Don’t delete. Optimize.

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