You’re probably wondering, “What is republishing content and how does it help me?”
It’s a marketing strategy that helps you take a critical look at everything you’ve published online and determine how to rank higher in search results. Blogs can be republished if they’re outdated, if you’re assigning a new keyword, or if you need fresh content to stay relevant. If you have a blog that’s even a few years old, it’s worth updating to make it more relevant, appealing, and to gain new visitors to the page – especially because old content with no visitors hurts your SEO.
In this guide, Bin Cochran, Marketing Director for Marketwake, shares his definitive tips and hacks on how republishing content can help inform your marketing strategy moving forward.
"The best part about republishing content is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel. If you have good content that's performing well, milk it! It takes very little effort to update those posts every 6-12 months." - Bin Cochran
**Disclaimer – this strategy is best when you have at least 20 blogs worth of content. If you’re not at that number yet, focus your efforts on a net new content strategy. For those who have a lot of blogs republishing content can be messy at first, like untangling a ball of yarn, but is incredibly worth the time and effort. Once you’ve cleaned up your content and strategy, maintenance becomes a breeze!
What is a content audit? It’s a tool that will help you identify any underperforming content, way-too-out-of-date blogs, or multiple pieces of content that are targeting the same keyword so that you can re-optimize them.
Before you get to republishing content, you should make a spreadsheet and do a quick content audit. List all of your content in the first column, the keyword that’s being targeted in the 2nd column, and then any other information you want to keep track of such as page rank, number of visitors, search volume, last date of publication, etc. in the remaining columns. This will provide a high-level overview of your content strategy and make republishing content much easier in the future!
“SEO is like staying at the top of a downward moving escalator – if you do nothing you’ll end at the bottom, but if you take a few steps every so often you’ll keep your place and maybe even gain ground.”
– Bin Cochran
Part of the magic of republishing content is that you don’t have to add tons of new content. If you have a blog that’s already ranking well but starts to slip over time, add just an extra paragraph or two of content or drop in an FAQ section. Google will re-crawl it, recognize that your content is fresh, and then bump it back up!
Once you’ve reposted that new blog, make sure to promote it in emails and social media to get an influx of new visitors.
What is keyword cannibalization? It’s when you have multiple blogs or pages that are targeting the same keyword. You might be inclined to believe that the more blogs with a particular keyword, the more visible your website will become. Unfortunately, when you use the same exact keyword for each of your individual blogs and web pages, they end up competing with, and thus cannibalizing, each other. That’s where republishing content comes in to help.
A quick fix for this is to look at your content audit spreadsheet and compare all the blogs with the same keyword. Ask yourself:
Then, put your best foot forward and change the rest. Keep the best performing blog and assign new keywords for all the other blogs to something related. So if your best performing keyword is “home workout equipment”, then you might change the keywords and content on the other blogs to “home workout routine”, “home fitness equipment”, and “home fitness routine” to provide some variety when republishing content.
When you’re republishing content that’s high quality and ranking well, never change the URL. Why? Changing the URL is essentially the nuclear option (complete with a red button) – it resets any SEO value you had before and should be avoided.
The only exception to this is if you are changing the targeted keyword on an underperforming blog to avoid cannibalization. In that case, you’ll want to add the new keyword into the URL since it gives a slight SEO boost, but more importantly it provides trust to users and search engines by helping them understand what your page is about before clicking. Also, if you do this, make sure the URL length is 50 – 60 characters since that sweet spot tends to rank highest.
What are zombie pages? Simply put, they’re pages that don’t provide any value according to SEO. This could include very outdated or low-quality blogs, low-performing product pages, or even duplicate content. You’ll want to closely examine these when republishing content, since SEO penalizes you for unvisited pages.
If you have just a handful of zombie pages, they won’t hurt very much but it’s definitely worth trying to update them with the above suggestions. If you have a bunch of zombie pages, get rid of them – or better yet, repurpose them! If you have several short blog posts that are thin on value, trying consolidating them into a single in-depth guide.
When republishing content, make sure that your content has a 1:1 match for Search Intent.
It’s the underlying intent of the user when they search a keyword. For example, when a user searches “home workout equipment” in Google, their intent may be either to buy equipment or to learn information on the best equipment.
A quick analysis of the top SERP (Search Engine Results Page) shows listicle blogs (The 15 Best Home Workout Equipment), meaning that the omitted phrase “what is the best” underlies the intent behind the search “home workout equipment.” So in this case if your content isn’t geared towards a list format that answers that question, then consider re-organizing the content to match the other top results.
Are you rethinking your content strategy and searching for more information? The Digital Marketing for Dummies Guide is a Pandora’s Box of hacks, “How-To’s”, and tools all in one place. It’s like having Marketwake’s best and brightest experts on tap, ready to help you with both creative marketing strategy and understanding Salesforce better.
Perhaps you’re looking for a more personal touch? We’d be happy to help you dive into republishing content, targeting the right keywords, and publishing new content! Our team of professional marketers, SEO wizards, and copywriting experts want to help you succeed – so what are you waiting for?