All industries have evergreen topics, ones that will never be out of fashion. However, ‘evergreen’ is a bit of a misnomer. Content would need occasional refreshing, even if you wrote it to have lasting appeal. We have covered how to write evergreen content and gave tips on writing a post you want to last. Sometimes, though, you need to consider—does my evergreen content need a refresh?
The first thing you should do when deciding if your content needs a refresh is to look at your analytics. Figure out if your audience is interacting with your content or ignoring it. If people aren’t looking at your blog posts, you have two options—update your content or scrap it altogether. If you are getting some traffic on your post, it could be worth fixing and updating. Otherwise, if the content is outdated or too old, you could redirect to fresher relevant pieces or delete the post altogether. If you decide on an update, here are the things you must keep in mind.
1. Include New Information
If you have the time and resources, you can rewrite the entire article. Businesses with marketing teams or those who hire managed SEO services can go this route. Rewriting the piece involves finding a new angle, sourcing new images, and republishing the updated version. You will keep the URL but have new content on the page. Updating your evergreen posts in this way is thorough, but it is also time-consuming and costly. You might want to save this for pillar content or ultimate guides.
For businesses without the time, budget, or resources for an overhaul, periodically adding lines to existing content is good practice. For example, if you have an evergreen article explaining the different CRM solutions perfect for businesses in your industry, you can add a couple of sentences about new platforms. You could also write about the advantages and disadvantages of using each solution. Building on your existing content will count as a refresh, and Google will still rank that favorably.
2. Fix Broken Links and Add New Ones
Everyone knows how annoying it is to click on a link that leads to a dead end. Avoid having broken links in your posts—having them won’t endear you to your audience. Even if you have evergreen content, you still have to check your links occasionally and see if they still link to where they should. Also, don’t worry about doing this manually. You can hire managed SEO services. Choose a provider that includes access to a dashboard with a site auditor, and use it to check on-site issues like broken links. You can also find free broken link checkers online.
3. Refresh the Screenshots and Images
Besides links, images and screenshots can also become irrelevant. If you have evergreen content, you must always check if the images and screenshots still serve their purpose. Sometimes, the main idea or concept is still applicable to current practices, but the example isn’t. If the information is great, but the screenshots and examples are so-so, you need to replace them ASAP. It takes some effort to source or create new images, but your audience will certainly appreciate it.
4. Edit and Proofread Your Old Content
No matter how polished it is, your work will always have room for improvement. No matter how many times you’ve edited it before publishing, there will always be a sentence or two that could be more concise. When you’ve had time away from evergreen content, you can be more critical of it and see the aspects that need revising.
Re-read your article and look out for sentences you can shorten or blocks of text to break up. We tend to prefer shorter sentences and paragraphs when reading on screens, so don’t give your readers walls of text. Watch out for improper use of tenses and pronouns, keep your adverbs to a minimum, and replace weak adjectives like ‘good’ and ‘fine’ with stronger ones like ‘excellent’ and ‘superb.’ Avoid talking in abstract terms, too. Consider the examples below:
The first one has an “invisible narrator,” someone commenting with detachment. The second one addresses the reader directly, which gives the words more impact. Strive to maintain a level of closeness with your readers—even if you write for a buttoned-up industry, you should still show care for your clients and customers through your sentence structure.
Adding Grammarly to your browser, using Hemingway Editor, or using similar tools helps. However, you cannot rely entirely on them; you need to develop your editing and proofreading skills. Besides having on-hand resources like a dictionary and a thesaurus, you should read guides like Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer or the classic The Elements of Style by William Strunk, J.R. and E.B. White. Using language properly is always in style!
5. Tell Everyone about Your New (Old) Content
If you take steps to update your content, you must promote it once more on social channels. Even your most loyal readers will not know about the updates to your post if you don’t alert them to it. Once you hit publish, create social media updates about your refreshed content and direct your readers to it.
A content refresh will breathe new life into your evergreen articles. You cannot publish articles and leave them on your blog—you must constantly examine your pieces and see if they’re still relevant to your audience. Looking at your analytics will give you an idea of what articles matter to your readers, which ones used to get traffic but now don’t, and which ones need a serious rethinking or overhaul. Revisions and changes are part of everything, and incorporating them into your blogging schedule will help you create high-quality content every time.
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