I like to tell clients that one of the many reasons web content is so effective is that it’s evergreen; once posted, good content continues to generate traffic for years unlike a newspaper ad, which becomes tomorrow’s chip paper.
But I don’t think we take full advantage of the longevity of web content and that’s partly down to the relentless nature of online marketing. Once a piece is written and posted we move on to the next, slaves to the diktat of the editorial calendar.
And yet, we could be squeezing so much more from content that’s already been written and the advantages are obvious: not only are you saving time and money on new material and avoiding that desperate search for inspiration, there are also significant SEO advantages with re-using the tried and tested.
You can get a far better ROI by using content you’ve already created. According to The Curious Marketer, refreshing evergreen articles resulted to a 113% increase in organic traffic.
Content Marketing: Avoid rehashing your mistakes
But I’m not for a minute suggesting you try to fob off readers by republishing any old stuff; there are two important points you should keep in mind:
- You need to engage your audience a second time by adding something new and valuable to the original; update it and release it in a timely way so that it’s still relevant to new readers.
- It’s no use reheating any old content; you need to know what worked best the first time round. I have a colleague who wrote a killer blog post several years ago and it’s still one of his main lead generators.
So how do you find out which was your top performing content? The answer to that question is freely available and may even already be installed on your website – Google Analytics.
The website BuiltWith looks at what software is in use on websites globally. Out of nearly 350 million websites on its database, around 30 million use Google Analytics, which is about 8.5% – not a big proportion considering it’s free.
“A ship is safe in the harbour… but that’s not what ships are for”
What’s the point of having such a fantastic tool available if you aren’t going to use it? Maybe people avoid using Google Analytics because it tells the truth about their beautiful looking website and clever copy – they aren’t attracting interest.
Even those who do use Google Analytics may only want to validate themselves rather than get full critical benefit from the tool.
Getting the most from Google Analytics
But when used properly, Google Analytics can give you an invaluable insight with which to shape your online marketing strategy:
- Setting up filters and goals to track the success of campaigns
- Monitoring traffic from emails and QR codes for offline ads
- Seeing which key terms people are finding you for
- Monitoring referral traffic if people are advertising online on others sites to see which ads are most effective
There’s a great article on the Crazy Egg website explaining how new start-ups can leverage Google Analytics to understand their website users and their behaviours better.
It’s part of our fundamental approach at Moxie Business Marketing to make full use of Google Analytics. It’s important to me to ensure new clients have it installed, not only to see what effect I’m having on their digital presence but, more importantly, so we can learn and shape our email marketing and social media efforts. This isn’t something you want to guess at. My view is “If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it”.
Become greener – reuse and recycle your old blog posts
So, to recap, why not get the full benefit from your creative writing back catalogue by taking a look at some of your existing blog posts and updating them for a new audience, making sure to use content with a proven track record.
After all, this is a good time of the year to add a bit of extra colour to your website by displaying some evergreen – and why not take a leaf out of most TV broadcasters’ books: a few well-loved repeats on the telly are always popular over Christmas.