What is content refresh, and why is it important


Although even the best content can become irrelevant and unpopular and lose its high-ranked position. However, Google has a simple rule when considering content ranking and that is “keep it fresh”. For that purpose, the Chicago web design experts have made this comprehensive guide on how to make existing content fresh and valuable to serve your brand again.

The importance and benefits of the content refresh

Refreshing existing web content will provide you with performance results without having to spend additional money, it represents your tendency to keep up whit industry news and changes, elevates your best content in Google search results, supports your marketing strategy, and drive traffic without having to create completely new content. 

Adittionly improving your SEO performances by adding finer keywords, and remaining content “productive” increases CTR, sign-ups, and conversion rates, and keeps your publishing calendar full and on time. 

The reasons content becomes outdated

There are different reasons why Google lose its interest in content, and the most common are:

  • Competition is also spending a lot of money for publishing content as a part of the marketing strategy, creating articles with similar or even identical topics
  • The topic loses its relevance. While some subjects remain relevant for a long time, others can lose their applicability earlier.
  • The topic may evolve and get modified and updated by recent discoveries and acknowledgment, requiring the rewriting and remaking of old content to become relevant again.
  • Google’s algorithm aims to provide users with the most helpful, relevant, and quality information, which also considers “fresh” information

What is a “Content refresh”?

Content refresh is considered editing of existing content such as articles, FAQs, landing pages, guidebooks, or other forms of web content. These changes might be various, for example, you can add quotes from experts in your industry, or transform written content into audio or video form. The changes can be light or more comprehensive. Editing, updating, and optimizing your old content are refreshing processes to maintain or boost content performance. 

What content should be refreshed?

When deciding on content that needs updating consider your business marketing goals. As not every content deserves to spend time on improving, marketing aims will be the best indicator for determining the content that can bring the most results. Different approaches can help you identify the content with priority to refresh:

Search engine ranking. If your primary marketing goal is to elevate page ranking and increase organic traffic, look for the articles and pages that are high-ranked but still don’t reach the first page in search results, and posts that have been highly ranked before but declining now.

Persona marketing goals consider that certain buyer persona brings more value to a business than others. In cases where your marketing goal is to bring more conversion, you should prioritize refreshing the content that meets this persona’s preferences. If your business has undergone some changes that consider changes in the target audience, your old content should be rewritten to address this new target market.

If your marketing goal means increasing social influence, look for content ranked by shares, clicks, likes, and the number of comments. As social media are the platforms where the first impression counts the most, content refreshing might requires only modifications in headlines or adding of striking and engaging images.

To lead generation as a marketing goal, focus on content that underperformed and identify why certain content doesn`t magnet leads. The reason might be that the topic doesn`t interest your audience, unattractive design, or others.

Leadership and authority in the industry can also be a marketing goal. If so, your content must be most informative, relevant, and up-to-date as possible. Update the content that includes old news, old references, descriptions of outdated technology, and methods.

Besides your marketing goals, you should refresh every content that appears to be “evergreen” or ever-current in your industry. These contents usually require the slightest improvement to become refreshed and actual again. 

When deciding on content that needs a makeover keep in mind that the page needs time to be ranked in a search engine, therefore pages that are less than six months old you shouldn`t edit. If your content is ranked in the top three by its target keywords, you should focus on lower-ranking content. However, it can be a case that your content keywords are not the issue but the lack of backlinks, so it`s necessary to add more quality ones.

How to refresh your content

1. Fix grammar and spelling mistakes

Mistakes like this can always sneak up, and while checking for grammar and spelling mistakes, look for the headlines and review if it is still catchy, check for internal and external links and if needed update references. Also, review if the page URL is coherent with refreshed content, meta description, and alt-text for on-page SEO.

2. Update Topics

Topics can change their aspects which consequently requires a content refreshment. Look for Google`s top five results on the same topic to find the idea on the approaches to the same subject and look if your content is missing some new and latest keywords. Investigate if there are new articles and news related to your topic since it was published, and update it with fresh information.

3. Optimize content for SEO

As Google frequently makes algorithm changes, the requirement for content adjusting appears. The best content practice is to optimize text to be responsive to small screens implementing the rule of three-line paragraphs. Providing a summary of the article helps users to get the notion of text needlessly to scroll down.

4. Update the aesthetic

As users expect an engaging experience regarding both informative and visual aspects, updating the content to current styles will help your content look fresh. Imparting visuals and interactive elements such as social media buttons that lead to your social profiles are necessary features for modern content.

5. Add visuals

Refresh your content by adding interesting visuals that will enhance user experience and engagement. Those visuals can be captivating photos, videos, illustrations, screenshots, visualization of data (graphs, charts), visual call-to-action (CTA), user-generated content (UGS),  or augmented reality (AR).

6. Word Length

Consider the word length of top posts in the search resulting page and try to make your content around the same word count. However, expanding the word count just for the sake of the word score can be unproductive, therefore, focus on content quality and add only valuable information. 

Final Thoughts

Refreshing old content provides insight into how far you have come and what you have learned over the years. It`s a great way to extend the life of your best work while expanding its engaging potential. Establishing content refreshing as a routine in your content strategy is an efficient and effortless way to ensure a full content calendar and sustain website performance.