Anything you post online lives forever. While immortal content may seem like a pretty awesome thing at first glance, it could work to your detriment. Content from years ago could showcase antiquated ideas that are now considered uncouth. Even if there’s nothing technically wrong with your old content, it may no longer support your new goals.
So, what can you do about old content that follows you around like a ghost in your closet? Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple. You update it! This article shares a few ways you can retool your online content to have a maximum impact on your audience.
Optimize With Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence can speed up every stage of the content creation process. But did you know it can also help you retool existing content? Optimizing old content can be time-consuming if you do it the “old way.” Combing piece by piece through every blog post and article you’ve ever published is a huge job. AI makes it easier.
Some AI programs have the capability to analyze old content and provide real-time feedback on how well it’s structured. Using cutting-edge models, they can show you how to improve your content to achieve a more competitive online rank. If content optimization seems confusing or overwhelming to you, AI-generated content briefs can help you write like an expert.
AI is a great tool for anyone who’s ever struggled to answer the question, “What are keywords?” Optimizing any piece of content with relevant keywords can be challenging. Why not let someone (or something) else do the work of researching keywords and creating optimized content briefs for you? With the help of a good AI program, you’ll know exactly what to do to make your old content more impactful and high-converting than before.
Before you can retool old content, you need to know what to look for. Whether you’re using an AI program or combing through content yourself, inaccuracies are some of the first things to eliminate. Do you include any claims in your old content that have since been debunked? Do you mention organizations, programs, or tools that no longer exist?
Once you’ve identified inaccuracies, it’s time to go to work correcting them. This may require you to remove or rework entire sections of content. Try not to get discouraged if this happens. After all, you’re doing important work to ensure your audience can rely on you for honest and accurate information.
Inaccuracies are not just embarrassing; they can be very damaging. A single inaccuracy in your content can not only harm your reputation, but potentially lead to a lawsuit as well. So never underestimate the importance of carefully reviewing old content and removing or updating inaccurate information.
Check for Grammatical Errors
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but grammatical errors are particularly embarrassing. If you find old content with misspelled words, typos, or spacing errors, correct it immediately. Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes can make you appear much less educated and trustworthy to your audience.
You can use a word processing document or online program to check your content. These programs check for basic grammar mistakes, so you can publish error-free content. It also goes a step further and analyzes your content for tone, clarity, and more. It’s a helpful tool for anyone who regularly produces online content.
Alternatively, you may wish to hire an editor to help you retool your old online content. A good editor will have a keen eye for repurposing old content to make sure it meets your current goals. Just let the editor you hire know your parameters for updating old content and let them work their magic!
When updating content online, it’s important to look beyond the written copy on the page. You also need to analyze any images included in your piece and make sure they’re still relevant. Do the images look dated, pixelated, or old-fashioned? If so, it’s time to swap them out for more current selections.
Once you’ve updated any old pictures, peruse your content for old infographics, charts, or graphs. If you notice anything that’s no longer current or relevant, get rid of it. Replace it with something that’s more recent and evergreen.
Finally, make sure any content containing your company logo is up-to-date. If your logo has changed over the years, hunt down and remove any old versions that still exist in your published content. You always want references to your logo, brand name, and company colors to be current.
Update Your Calls to Action
Every piece you publish should contain a compelling call to action. This is the portion of your blog post or web page that can turn visitors into subscribers or customers. When reviewing old content, scroll down to the bottom and check for a persuasive call to action. If there isn’t one, you know what to do!
Over the years, calls to action have changed a bit. Earlier, outdated versions are often vague and salesy. If you see a CTA that says “Click here to change your life!” or anything similar, nix it. Modern calls to action are still compelling, but less clickbaity. They tend to be more upfront about where a link leads and how taking an intended action will benefit the reader.
While you’re updating the end of your pieces, scroll back up to the top and add a punchy headline. Make sure the headline accurately reflects what’s in the content, naturally includes your focus keyword, and engages your audience. When the beginning and end of your pieces are masterfully crafted, readers are more likely to develop a favorable impression of your content.
Old content can be embarrassing and counterproductive. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Follow these simple steps to transform old, cringy content into engaging content with a maximum impact on your audience.