How To Use Old Content To Generate New Business

Michelle Symonds
SEO Consultant | Ditto Digital
13th February 2023

There is plenty of talk right now about the AI content generation tools ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, and there are certainly times when those tools could be useful. But to gain a competitive business edge and engage potential customers with something truly original still requires a human brain. If you want your content to offer unique insights and original opinions it needs to be researched and written by a real person. AI tools may be evolving rapidly but they can’t offer originality of thought.

So with that in mind it’s worth considering how you existing (human-generated) content could add more value to your business.

Consider the value your old content brought when it was first published in engaging customers and generating new business. Ask yourself - if it was useful then could it be useful again?

Historical content that previously added value to your website and your business can often be refreshed and renewed and made to work for you again.


Why Historical Content Matters


No matter how great the content, the sheer volume of published material on the internet and social media makes older content less effective. In many cases, it loses visibility and interaction. However, a simple tactic known as 'Historical Optimisation' could save the day. But, to have maximum impact, you can't simply share it again or re-publish it with a new date.

Here we look at some historical content tips that can help refresh your old content and add new value to your business.


Step By Step Tips For Historical Content Optimisation


Historical optimisation will enable you to reinvigorate the value of old content by revisiting old content and carrying out a few simple steps to bring it up to date and give it a new appearance. This approach can save you valuable time and expense in continually trying to develop new ideas to keep visible online. Whilst historical optimisation does take time; it can also help your position in search engine results, improve web traffic and revive interest in your website. All for less time than devising new content ideas.


Step 1 – Conduct an audit of past published content


A content audit will enable you to review previous articles and blog posts to group any that have covered the same or similar topic. You often find that you have covered the same topic in various ways, allowing you to combine them to create a new piece with more detail and a renewed appearance.


Step 2 – Start slowly with a few pieces


It can be daunting once you realise just how many pieces of content are worthy of a revamp. So to avoid the task becoming overwhelming, it's essential to break it down and work on just a few pieces at once. You also want to have time to monitor the effect of the newly published version before updating more and diluting the value of each piece. Google Analytics will tell you the pages with the highest converting traffic so it’s essential to monitor that data regularly. Start with the pages that rank on page 2 or 3 of search listings. A simple update and refresh could potentially see them reach page 1 and gain more traffic, although this assumes you have recently completed on-site search engine optimisation (SEO).


Step 3 – Add videos, change images and link to new research


Remember to check the validity of old links remaining within the new piece and whether CTAs are still valid or require a change in the revised piece. This is also an excellent opportunity to add new hyperlinks and videos and update any imagery on the page.

Review any facts, figures and research to ensure it is still relevant and add any fresh information, such as later case studies or reviews, to revalidate the article. A title and headline refresh can complete the revamp to refresh the look and rejuvenate interest. You should also optimise for new keywords and key phrases to ensure that the article contains the terms people are likely to search for.


Step 4 – Measure results


Historical optimisation is only worthwhile if it achieves what you want, whether providing better value to your clients, engaging new people, increasing conversions, or improving your search engine rankings. Comparing the performance of the latest post to its pre-update performance will give you an idea if you are on the right track. Monitor and track the results in Google Analytics through the re-optimising process to inform the future. Don't forget that results can take a while, so be patient and monitor over several months, especially if your business fluctuates seasonally.


Step 5 – Consider transforming old content into an e-book or online course to add value


Whilst reviewing historical content, you could find the opportunity to repurpose content into a short e-book or online course. You can offer this as a free sign-up incentive or as a learning opportunity for customers that will add value to your business for minimal work.


New content still has value


Of course, fresh original content is great so don’t neglect it, but it can be hard work to keep up the momentum of new ideas. To make it easier why not try collaborating with other businesses relevant to your business – maybe on an informal podcast or video that can then be transcribed into text content?

Find the sweet spot of collaborative, regenerated and new content, and you’ll have a website that’s working hard for you now but also into the future.

  • Join the Chamber

    Be a part of the largest business membership organisation in the region and tap into a range of valuable business benefits.

Do you want to join the conversation?

Sign up here