Nothing screams web content overhaul like the onset of a new year.
Whilst there’s no physical scrubbing or sweeping involved, giving your web content a good spruce will give your marketing efforts a much-needed boost for the rest of the year. From updating your website to exploring new kinds of content, here are 10 great ways to spruce up your web content for 2019:
Audit all your web content (yes, ALL of it)
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to go through every page of your website and get rid of everything that is not current – from old employee profiles to out-of-date landing pages – and write new copy that reflects everything you now offer. Auditing your content is time-consuming but essential.
Consider function before form
Many websites have too much content. Yes, that may seem like a strange thing for a copywriting agency to say, but it’s true. It’s not enough just to get rid of inaccurate or irrelevant copy: you also need to prune anything that’s simply unnecessary. To help you decide, start with the purpose of the page or section (i.e. the function), then consider its form. Is it too long? Not clear enough? Not sufficiently action-driven? Does it need to be there at all?
Update your case studies
If you haven’t published a new case study in the last six months, this definitely needs to form part of your web content overhaul. 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.
Double check your links
It’s a simple fact of the Internet: links break. Chances are your web content features numerous broken links. Go through each page 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.
Polish and promote your ‘evergreen’ blog pieces
‘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. Evergreen content 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.
Recycle your existing content
You can give a fresh lease of life to more than just your old blog pieces. If you’ve spent years writing newsletters, white papers and presentations – online, offline or even in print – you’re sitting on a potential gold mine of valuable content that can be recycled in a modern online format.
Sanity check your keyword strategy
Many companies are still building their content strategy around a tired list of keywords. Remember that search is semantic now, and while a solid list of core keywords is still an essential asset, it’s more important to make sure all your content uses the language of your readers.
Create new content formats
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 that rut and explore new content formats. Whether it’s video explainers, white papers, blogs or email campaigns, producing different kinds of content can open up new marketing channels. Diversifying your content also helps you stand out from your less creative competitors.
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. Include links to a few of your best blog pieces, and drive traffic back to your website.
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.