How long have you been creating content for your website? How many blog posts do you have on your blog?
If you’ve been in business for years, and have had a content marketing strategy in place, the numbers could be huge. Now it’s time to ask another question:
Is all of your content still relevant for what you do?
Even if you sell a widget, and you’ve never deterred from that plan, life happens. Things change. Hello, 2020.
Are people still buying your widget for the same reasons they were even one short year ago?
Why it’s important to re-evaluate your content and keep it up to date.
What’s the biggest reason you should pay attention to old blog posts? Let’s say someone finds a post you wrote three years ago. It’s optimized and doing very well in the search engines. But upon closer examination, you also find it’s a page where people leave your site and never return. When you read through it, you see why: its focus is on something that expired three years ago. Why should they stay and research something that no longer exists?
Depending on your industry, things change rapidly. We see that right here within our own niche. If we approached SEO the same way we did three years ago, it would be a recipe for disaster.
While it’s great that content online will last for the life of your website, that doesn’t necessarily mean it stays relevant during that time frame. It’s up to you to ensure everything on your site stays valid, no matter how old it is.
Why is keeping content fresh important?
Fresh content is important for your readers. If it isn’t accurate, it doesn’t belong on your site.
It’s also important for Google. Google isn’t monitored by humans. Instead, it’s observed by spiders that are constantly on the lookout for changes to the pages it ranks. If a page sits for weeks – months – years – Google basically ignores it. It’s been ranked, and with nothing new, why pass over it again? When you make changes to a page, however, it gives Google a reason to re-evaluate it.
If you change minor things about a post, it might be best just to make the corrections and move on. If it requires significant changes, it might be more relevant to rewrite it and republish it. You can do this by simply changing the publishing date, which will allow it to be placed at the top of your blog list once again. If you choose this method, just be sure to delete old comments. It will look funny to readers to see a current blog post with comments dating back years before.
What is a cornerstone post and why do you need them?
Think you’re creating blog posts just to create content? If so, then you really don’t understand or have a content marketing strategy in place.
Content is about gaining traffic and raising awareness. Eventually, you’ll create a variety of posts, all based around a topic that matters most to your business. This is what your brand stands for. It’s who you are. What you sell.
That’s what cornerstone content is. It’s posts and pages that define your brand and hold your website together. It’s what attracts people to your content, what users will read and want to share, instantly recognizing the value you offer your client base.
Cornerstone pieces have the potential to bring in a lot of traffic, but only if you choose to use them correctly. They don’t duplicate other content already on your site, but instead bring everything together.
As you work through your data and create them, it gives you a chance to evaluate each post on its own, make changes as needed, add depth to some while deleting others that may appear too repetitive.
And when you’re done, you have content that is by far more in-depth than anything a searcher will find with most of your competition. This is what starts to separate you from the pack.
Finding your cornerstone pages
As you build cornerstone pieces and go in-depth with your content, it’s important to start with the big picture. What does your brand stand for? What products or services do you offer? How do people search for you? What are they looking for as they search you out?
Businesses often have more than one cornerstone relevant to the way they do business. For example, here at DMG, we build around digital marketing, SEO strategy, and content creation. Each has its own focus and its own audience.
What are yours? You can ask employees, valued clients, or even friends that know your business well if you have trouble narrowing it down. Select three to five cornerstones to start, anymore would be too wide and detailed.
You can also ask: What do I want people to take away when they leave my site?
This is what can help lead you to become the expert in your niche. It can allow you to dive deeper into your topic, and find ways to approach it you might not have thought of before.
An easy way to keep your existing content fresh for years to come.
Are you writing the correct content to attract the right visitors? Are you using the right keywords to focus your target audience on what you do?
With your keywords in mind, take a blank piece of paper and write your website name in the middle. From there, draw lines out to your selected keywords. Then spider out again and add the topics most relevant to these key terms.
Identify what you’ve already written. What do you need to do to improve these posts? What topics do you need to dive deeper into? What can you add to make it more relevant?
While this may seem like a project that you do once and put it away, we find it beneficial to repeat regularly.
This is what makes you look at your business through a fresh pair of eyes.
This is where you can find new approaches to customers you might not have targeted before.
This is how you stay relevant to both your customers and to Google.
Doesn’t that make it something you should be doing regularly for your business?
If you’re ready to thrive and stay relevant in the months and years to come, let’s talk about refreshing your digital marketing strategy, and find ways to create an internet presence that has your prospects and customers loving what you do.