Search engine algorithms rank content that is relevant to users. Most experts agree that search trends are in a state of constant change. Thus, web content should regularly be evaluated for relevance and new content helps keep your website competitive.
Regularly publishing new content keeps your site relevant to current user interests. This is helpful for rankings because Google is tuned to present the content users expect to see, particularly for trending topics.
Creating new content requires time and resources. Fortunately, updating old blogs and pages can sometimes be as effective as creating new pages.
Rather than investing time in brainstorming topics, you can extend the life of your existing content by keeping it up to date with user expectations.
Here are a few ways a content refresh can help you reach your SEO goals, without overextending your schedule and budget:
- Rewrites Keep Your Content Relevant
Ditch those statistics from 10 years ago. Contextualize your industry-specific advice using current events.
With a rewrite, you can quickly fix mistakes and add new information you’ve learned over time, increasing engagement, and saving potential embarrassment.
- Current Dates Can Improve Click-Through Rates
Search engine result pages display the most recent publication date next to each listing.
People conducting keyword searches often prefer results with a recent publication date, so if your pages are updated and current they’ll be more likely to select your site from the search results.
- Revisions Strengthen Your Outbound Link Profile
The editorial process creates a perfect opportunity for some external link housekeeping. During revisions, replace broken or outdated links with outbound links to more informative and interesting pages. This practice refreshes your outbound link profile, which is another positive ranking factor on search engines.
Ultimately, refreshing old content is a best practice because it makes your website genuinely more useful.
Think about it— would you trust a how-to guide published in 2013 or a similar guide posted last February?
Offering recent information helps establish trust between your website, your reader, and their search engine of choice.
Refreshing Content for Brand-Mention Link Building
Revamping old articles is only one part of digital content marketing. Promotion tactics like link building expose your content to a wider audience and drive traffic to your website.
When you include content updates in your link building strategy, you’ll be able to secure great backlinks without the added burden of creating fresh content from scratch.
Link Building Overview
Put briefly, link building is the process of obtaining links from other websites to your own.
The more high-quality backlinks to your website, the likelier your search engine results will be.
Link building also brings visitors to your website by funneling users from related websites to your own content with a single click.
Good content naturally gains links simply by being useful. However, SEO link builders can gain even more backlinks through link outreach, which involves contacting individuals from other companies to request a link placement on their site.
Brand-Mention Link Building
A quick and common method for identifying backlink opportunities is finding unlinked mentions of your company on other websites.
Unlinked brand mentions are ideal for link building because the author is already aware of your company.
The outreach work is basically complete; you don’t have to introduce your brand, and you don’t have to finagle a connection between their content and yours.
Check out this helpful video guide for finding unlinked mentions of your brand across the web.
The Benefits of Offering Content Updates in Your Link Outreach
When conducting brand-mention link outreach, maintaining an updated website with new and refreshed content is critical for success.
Your outreach recipients will hesitate to link to a site with a neglected blog featuring outdated content.
Content refreshing can go both ways, too. If you want to elevate your outreach strategy, consider offering to update the content on the recipient’s website, too.
Often, link outreach messages include an offer of some kind to motivate the target site to place the link.
When you combine your link placement request with an offer to update the recipient’s web content, they will be more inclined to accept because you’re doing them a favor.
Remember, fresh content is good for any website, so by offering your rewriting services, you’re helping the recipient improve their own search engine rankings.
Updating the other company’s page also ensures your link placements are high-quality.
If your brand is mentioned on an outdated page, you could discredit your website by requesting a link placement from questionable content.
Instead, offer to update their content to ensure your link is placed on a useful, authoritative page.
Perhaps most importantly, updating the other company’s content will help your newly-linked brand mentions look more natural to Google.
Sites that are relevant to users can pass that SEO value to sites they link to. So if you offer to update the external page, you may give your own rankings a small boost.
Plus, an observant reader might find it strange if an article published in 2016 links to your 2018 blog from the future.
For seamless brand-mention link building, make it your goal to refresh most of the pages that agree to link back to your page.
Though it requires a bit of effort, this method can still be more efficient than writing all-new content for a guest post, and it will ensure your link placements generate results.
How to Revitalize Content Via Link Outreach
When someone else mentions your brand, you have the perfect excuse to reach out and ask for a link.
When the content that mentions your brand needs some improvement, you have the perfect opportunity to incentivize your link outreach message.
Here are a few easy ways to spice up someone else’s content, and earn a fresh backlink in the process:
- Beef Up Thin Content
If you find your brand mentioned in a short, 400-word blog post, offer to bring new depth to the post in your link outreach email.
Is there a missing caveat to the post’s argument? Could the author go into greater detail?
An extra paragraph takes only a few minutes to write, but the effort can earn you a link placement and make a simple article more robust.
- Correct Inaccuracies
Sometimes, old or hastily-written content can unintentionally mislead readers.
If you notice inaccurate information, politely reach out to the publisher and offer to correct their content.
Make sure that you have accurate sources before trying this approach, and be ready to present proof!
- Fix Grammar and Spelling Errors
Spelling and grammar errors are easy to spot, and often even easier to fix.
If you find your brand mentioned on a page with writing mistakes, point out the mixup and send your revisions in an email (along with your company name included as a link!).
Most websites want to appear credible. This simple trick helps both parties look polished and professional to their readers.
- Replace Broken Links
You don’t have to build backlinks from brand mentions alone.
If you find an article in your niche that links to an expired resource, offer to replace the broken link with a link to your own relevant content.
For example, if a chef’s blog once linked to information about types of organic flour, and that page no longer exists, ask the chef to link to your new pros and cons article about organic flour.
You earn a new connection and save them the headache of scouring their site for dead links. Win-win!
An Evergreen Approach to Link Building
Just as some “evergreen” articles will always be useful to your audience, content refreshing will always be an effective approach to link building and general SEO.
Web content begins to age as soon as it’s published, and in some industries, like tech or fashion, articles can become outdated in just a few months.
As a result, offering to update old content will almost always yield new backlink opportunities.
From a writing standpoint, refreshing content can also help spark creativity.
You may find that new ideas flow more easily when you’re building off of previous work and not staring at a blank page.
Why start over when you can take existing content to the next level?
Whether you’re revising your own content or rewriting someone else’s for link outreach, this approach is precisely what readers (and subsequently) search engines will appreciate.