10 ways to spring clean your content strategy

Okay, the weathSpring cleaning content strategyer may still be miserable, but believe it or not, spring is here, and it’s high time you did a spot of spring cleaning in your office. No, we’re not talking about that cupboard you’ve been meaning to organise since you moved in three years ago, or that pile of papers that have been sitting there so long you’ve started using them as furniture – this year, we want you to spring clean your content strategy.

Whilst there’s no physical scrubbing or sweeping involved, giving your content strategy a good spruce will give your marketing efforts a much-need boost for the rest of the year. From updating your website to exploring new kinds of content, here are 10 great ways to spring clean your content strategy:

1.    Clear out website clutter
Lots of websites have sat idle for too long and are still advertising products and services that no longer exist. Also, many companies have websites that don’t list all of the services they now offer, which could be losing them new business. Set aside some time to go through every page of your website and get rid of everything that is not current – from old employee profiles to social media handles that are no longer in use – and write new copy that reflects everything you now offer. It’s time consuming but essential.

2.    Update your testimonials
If you haven’t published a new client testimonial in the last six months, this definitely needs to form part of your content spring clean. Recommendations from existing clients are some of the best you can have – a study by SearchEngineLand showed that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from their friends and family. Contact everyone you’ve worked with over the last few months and ask whether they’d be happy to provide you with a case study or quote to be published online – you’ll be surprised how many people say yes, and how many new clients you can convert as a result of these trusted recommendations.
3.    Double check your links
It’s a simple fact of the Internet: links break. Chances are your blog posts and social media pages feature numerous broken links. Go through your old content and figure out which links work and which don’t – then fix or remove all that are broken. If you’re using a blogging platform like WordPress, you can install a broken link plug-in to check this for you on a regular basis.

4.    Polish and promote your ‘evergreen’ blog piecesEvergreen blog content
‘Evergreen’ blog content is not time-sensitive and can be just as valuable to its reader months or even years after it is first published. According to Hubspot, evergreen content has three key values – it should be timeless, high quality, and canonical. Go through your archive of blog pieces to identify those which fit this mould and give them a modern format with images, sub-headings and any relevant updates to the copy and anchor text links. When these blog pieces look the part, you can drive traffic to them through your social media channels and by linking to them within your new material – and if they’ve met the three key values, other people should want to link to them too. Cultivating a bank of top notch evergreen content for your blog gives you a selection of articles that can generate links for your website time and time again (see the next point for an example of one of our own ‘evergreen’ blog pieces!).

5.    Recycle your existing content
It’s not just your blog pieces that can be given a fresh lease of life. If you’ve spent years writing newsletters, white papers and presentations – online, offline or even in print – you’ll be sitting on a potential gold mine of valuable content that can be recycled in a modern online format. To learn more about recycling your old content, check out our blog post: How to recycle your content (without repeating yourself!)

6.    Invest in some keyword research
Many companies are still using keywords that they sourced years ago. If you’re one of them, your spring cleaning schedule should include up-to-date keyword research. Keywords are one of the most vital tools in your SEO arsenal, so it’s essential to get them right. Remember, just because your original set of keywords put you on Page 1 of Google in 2007, doesn’t mean they’re going to do so now!

7.    Create new types of content
Now you’ve got up-to-date keywords and a clear idea of where your strategy is headed, it’s time to get out of your usual rut and explore the other kinds of content you could be creating. Whether it’s video, white papers, guest blogging or infographics, producing different kinds of content can open up new marketing channels and help you stand out from your competitors who are all publishing the same kind of content.

Bluebird concept Twitter8.    Follow and unfollow on Twitter
Refresh your Twitter profile by unfollowing people who aren’t following you back, and replace them with some new, relevant accounts (i.e. people in your industry, and/or your prospective clients’ industries). Not only will this give you more opportunity to engage with the right sort of people and raise your brand awareness, it gives you much better choices for relevant retweets!

9.    Send out a regular newsletter
Now that you’ve spent all of this time polishing your content, it’s time to let your list of contacts know about it. Send out a regular newsletter detailing any updates to the website or new products that you’re now offering, and links to a few particularly good blogs (that you’re now certain don’t feature any errors!) It’s never a bad thing to remind customers that you’re still there, and now you’re confident in the content your site has available, there’s never been a better time either.

10.    Create a content schedule
Your content should all now be in good working order – so now it’s time to keep it that way. Creating a content schedule will help you to stay on track when making posts on your blog or social media accounts, and you can include six-monthly reminders to audit and update your other content as well. Having this to hand means you’ve got no excuse not to keep your strategy strong and streamlined – who knows, next year you may not have any spring cleaning to do!

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