What’s the Best Way to Revive Dead Content and Get New ROI?

Heart rate monitor shows signs of life.

“If you build it, they will come.” That mantra may have worked for Kevin Costner in the ‘80s film “Field of Dreams.” But it does not prove true in the SEO world of Google search.

So, what if you have a bunch of old webpages on your site (like on your blog) that aren’t getting much traffic, but they’re still good content? How do you breathe life back into them? Optimize, promote and repurpose, of course!

This is a topic we tackle in one of our “Ask Us Anything” videos from our SEO training membership site. I’ve posted the video below and after, I’ll summarize it by showing you some ways you can reanimate your old content and make it perform better for you.

1. Optimize It

Review and Update
The first thing you want to do to optimize old content is to bring the information up to date. Are there any old stats that should be updated with new data, or guidance that has changed since you wrote it?

Once done, you can republish the article with a new date if you made substantial changes. But if your changes were only minor, I suggest you put an editor’s note at the top of the page stating when the content was last reviewed and updated. That way, if you have dates on your blog, people won’t be turned off by seeing an article that’s three years old thinking it might be irrelevant.

Remember: Even if you update the article, always keep the content at the same URL because that URL may have built up links and traffic over time. (That is, of course, unless you need to 301 redirect it for some reason.)

Use Tools
Did you optimize your content before you published it last time? Even if you did, there may be some new, missed opportunities. Take some time to understand how you can improve the optimization of the webpage.

One of the best ways to do that is with the use of SEO tools. SEO tools can tell you quickly how you can better optimize a webpage. (Or you can always follow an SEO checklist as well.)

Take, for example, the Single Page Analyzer tool in our SEOToolSet. This tool can analyze your webpage and give you data on:

  • Keyword usage and distribution
  • Tags and headings
  • Linking and anchor text
  • Readability
  • Any problems with cloaking
  • JavaScript rendering
  • Mobile friendliness
  • And much more

Single Page Analyzer tool in the Bruce Clay SEOToolSet.
You could also use our Multi Page Analyzer tool to compare your webpage to your competition in the search results (meaning, the top-ranked pages that you are competing with). This can show you what they’re doing with their optimization, and you can get recommendations for keyword usage.

This is great because in SEO, it’s all about beating the competition, not the algorithm.

Optimize for Featured Snippets
Another way to optimize your content is to think about reorganizing it in a way that allows you to compete for a featured snippet. A featured snippet shows up at the top of Google’s search results. It’s meant to answer a searcher’s query right away.

Also known as “position zero,” it will feature a snippet of your webpage content with a link back to your webpage. And the best part is that it shows up above all the other organic listings.

Featured snippet for the query “what is an SEO silo.”
Featured snippet for the query “what is an SEO silo”

I give tips on how to optimize for featured snippets in an article I wrote on surprising on-page SEO techniques you may not know about.

2. Promote It

If you have old content that’s performed well in the past, consider promoting it to generate new traffic and buzz.

First, you can share it on your social media channels. Be sure that the promotion of your old content fits seamlessly within your social media schedule, so be strategic. For more, Sendible has an article on how often you should post on social media channels.

And don’t let your social media posts get stale, either. Think about how you can vary the content in your social media updates for each article you are promoting to make it seem new and exciting.

This can be a great way to not only get more visibility and clicks, but also fill up your social media calendar.

Second, also consider how you can create fresh links to your updated page from within your own site. Look for related pages, or create new articles on a similar topic, then include a link.

You might also add a “related content” section to your blog pages for more visibility. This can feature posts you want your visitors to read next. You can see how we do that on the Bruce Clay blog:

“Related content” block at the end of an article at BruceClay.com/blog.
“Related content” block at the end of an article at BruceClay.com/blog

3. Repurpose It

Another thing you can do to breathe life into old content is to repurpose it into other types of content. This may or may not boost the original webpage, depending on if you link back to it or reference it in some way. Either way, it is another step you can take to make your content work for you.

Think about it: You put in a lot of time and resources to publish that original piece. Why stop there? Get more ROI from your content by using the same topic in various formats.

You might use an old article as:

  • Inspiration for a podcast
  • Script for a video
  • Text for an e-book
  • Content for an infographic
  • Topic for a webinar
  • Seed for a case study — and the list goes on.

In fact, I repurposed the content you’re reading right now from a video we created.

Yet another idea is to use your older article as part of a “roundup” on your blog. A roundup can get old content in front of a new audience while still providing value and generating new ROI.

It may be that your website needs SEO-enlightened content to bring your ROI back to life. If you’d like expert assistance, check out our content services and request a free quote today.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay, Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn and other social networks from Bruce's author page.
Comments (1)
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One Reply to “What’s the Best Way to Revive Dead Content and Get New ROI?”

Amazing article Bruce. I found a good solution to rejuvenate my old blog posts through your article. I really liked your suggestion of putting an editor’s note at the top of the page, it really helps to remove the doubt of old information from the minds of the readers.

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