If you own a website, you know it takes a lot of work to groom it and grow it. Stagnating websites – or those websites not maintained and essentially left to die a slow death on the Internet – can actually cause harm to your company and its reputation. If your existing content is not adding to the quality of your brand or your recognition online, a good place to start is by updating the content.
You must fix content when it’s no longer working as intended, and this is done by redirecting the content or repurposing it as new opportunities come up, says Search Engine Journal. Many of us know by now that content is king and that fresh blogs, web pages and news items are imperative. However, one thing many website owners overlook is that stagnant content doesn’t have to be thrown away once it’s lived its useful live. Rather, it can re-perform to previous levels all while setting new peak performance standards.
Sticking to the same marketing strategies can hinder your website and thus company from growing, and could even send your business into a plateau, points out Forbes.
By the same token: why re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to?
Stagnating Content, Defined
This is content that has experienced reduced performance in working towards its original intended purpose. As a result, it has slowed down, or even stopped, adding any kind of meaningful marketing value.
Rather than move your goal posts entirely, it should be enough to give your existing content a little boost so that it can return to its optimal performance target. There’s no hard and fast rule as to how long it takes for content to stagnate: it could take weeks, months or years, depending on:
- Content type.
- Content robustness at the time it first went live.
- Speed at which the content’s perceived value deteriorated over time.
There are many trends that should send up red flags for you, such as:
- Reduced metric performance.
- Slow, declining reduction.
- Lower value over time.
Here are some ways in which you can revitalize your content.
1. Stay on Top of Changing Audiences
Content becomes dated and disjointed over time. One of the driving forces responsible for lowered performance contribution originates from variations in audience behavior, needs, wants and the perceived value of the content as it compares to alternatives.
Some signals showing that your content is starting to fail include:
- Fewer page views
- Lower engagement rates
- Declining social shares
- Reduced time on-page
- Decreased results, i.e., traffic, new users, impressions, goal completions
There are a few things you can do. First, you can compare the demographics of the people who are digesting your content now with those who engaged with the content at its peak performance levels. Also, look at top-performing ranking content on Google, as well as content that’s shared and promoted on social media platforms.
2. Improve Technical Performance
Your website could likely benefit from several technical improvements, such as mobile friendliness. You may also have slow, lazy loading images or internal broken images or links you could fix. Repairing these can improve content performance and accessibility to your audience.
Content speed is a big ranking factor – just as much as it is a usability and site maintenance issue. Make it a priority to ensure your website content is all-device ready, faster to access, and spans all mediums. It’s no secret that content performance experiences a big boost with improved speed of delivery.
3. Enhance Topical Completeness
Completeness of content coverage: this is a growing trend that doesn’t always get a lot of attention but that has been growing in marketing value nonetheless. Not many companies invest the time, money and expertise into maximizing this opportunity to breathe new life into stagnating content.
Here are some impactful actions you can take to enhance the completeness of the content you want to improve:
- Bring all content up to date.
- Add new statistical reference points and sources.
- Include genuine authorship to content topics.
- Expand or add to the depth of your FAQs.
- Cover all core intent areas related to the content topic and purpose.
- Make the content better than the closest match.
- Turn individual content pieces into hubs of topical value, or into a series of helpful content pieces.
- Give the audience alternative ways to digest content, such as videos, podcasts, webinars, presentations and infographics.
- Hire local writers skilled in SEO who can repurpose existing content or craft new content going forward.