New Content vs Updating Content?
So, you're having trouble deciding whether to create new content or update your existing content.
If you're like most people, this is a problem you've been trying to solve for years. And it's not just because it's difficult to determine which approach is best for your business—it's because there are so many factors at play.
We know that deciding whether to update or create new content is a hard decision, but it's one that you have to make.
But we're here to help! In this episode, we'll discuss the 5 points you need to consider in order to determine if you should create new content or update your existing content.
Listen to the Episode
Atiba de Souza: Today we're gonna tackle an age old question and frankly, a problem in the content creation space. Should I create new content or update my existing content? What's better for my SEO?
Hey, everybody! Welcome to Traffic Keys. I am your host, Atiba. And today we're going to be diving into this question of new content, update content, which one should I do? And I've got five things for you to consider. Five points for you to consider to determine should you create new content or update your existing content. So let's dive right on in.
So number one. Number one. How much content do you have on your site right now? How much do you have?
If you've got a brand new site, in other words, you've been creating content for less than a year, then it's not time to update your content. I don't care how much you have. It's not time to update your content, but looking specifically at how much content you have, what you want to look at is, I'm hoping that you've listened to my channel before, and you've taken that content and you siloed it into content pillars.
So you have 3, 4, 5, maybe six major topics that you talk about on your website, and all of your content is siloed into pillars. Now, if that is the case, then you're in a good place. So that's number one. If it's not, then stop this video and go back and start to organize your content into pillars. Then when you are looking at each content pillar, the question to ask there is, "Have I covered enough of this pillar? Have I covered enough of this topic?"
If you've covered all of the different avenues that you can talk about with this topic, then yes, maybe it's time to consider looking at updating that content because there isn't a ton of new content for you to add for that pillar. On the other hand, if you look at that pillar and you say, "Wow, there's a lot of topics or a lot of subtopics that I can still talk about here." Then go create some new topics, some new content around those subtopics. So that's number one. Consider how much content you have.
Number two, and I started this in the last one. Number two. What is the age of your content? If your content is less than six months old, don't touch it. Matter of fact, depending on how much content you have and how old your website is, if your content was created a year ago or less, don't touch it.
Do not update it. Now, if you have a well established website — and what I mean by well established? — I'm saying, your website is more than four or five years old and you've been creating content continuously for more than three years then you can say, "Okay, at the six month mark, I can look at content that's older than six months and start to consider updating that content."
Doesn't matter how old your website is though, if you have content that's less than six months old, don't touch it. Do not touch it. Okay? So age of your content is the second thing that you have to consider.
Number three. Number three. And this is a really, really key one that it's hysterical to me that people don't actually pay attention to when they want to make this choice about updating content.
How's it performing? See, because content could either perform in really roughly one out of three categories. Really well and poorly. Now, what do I mean by poorly? Poorly means that it's ranking — you can check its rankings for that particular page, and it has keywords that Google has ranked it for.
However, none of those keywords are generating traffic. So none of them are page one. Definitely none of 'em are probably even page two keywords. It's not ranking for terms with lots of volume. So it's generating no traffic. Generating no traffic. That's a really poorly created performing page. Generating no traffic.
Now what about a "eh"? So an "eh" keyword or an "eh" page would be a page that yes, it is generating some traffic, not nearly as much as you would like, and it's probably not ranking for the terms that you would have wanted it to rank for, or at least it's not ranking for them highly enough. Okay?
So for example, if you wanted to rank for the term best pens to buy. Okay. 'Cause you wrote an article about pen and Google did rank you for that term, but they ranked you for that term on page five, then yeah, you got the term you wanted. So Google says, "This content talks about that." But Google doesn't like the content enough to rank it high enough for people to actually find it.
Okay. So that would be an "eh" type of keyword or sorry, a page. A page that is ranking well and doing well and performing well is one where yes, you were able to rank for the keyword that you wanted, probably even keywords you didn't even consider and it's generating traffic. It's generating traffic.
Now, it may not be generating all the traffic you want yet, but it's generating traffic, okay? And the type of traffic that you're looking for. So, it's on its right path.
So that's how you evaluate how a page is performing. Now, when should you update that content versus write new content? So let me be blunt, if it's in that poor category, if Google has said, "This page, I don't wanna rank it for any of the keywords that you thought I should rank it for. I don't wanna drive any traffic to it." Create a new page. Don't waste your time. Create a new page. If you are in that "eh", sort of category where you did get the keyword that you wanted, but it's not driving any traffic because Google didn't rank you high enough for it, yes, time to optimize this page. It is absolutely time to optimize this page.
When you wanna optimize this page and look at how can I make this page better in the eyes of Google and for my reader? How can I provide more value as I update this page? Now, the tough category is the, "Yeah, you're performing pretty well." You're in that good category. Because there is temptation in that good category to say, "We're doing well. Can we do better? Can I make some tweaks and do better?" And let me tell you, I've been there a ton of times and made tweaks and then the page stopped performing well. And it's about the tools that you're using. We're gonna talk about tools at the very end, so stay with me till the end, cuz we're going to talk about tools at the very end, okay?
But it's about the tools that you use to help that page go from a good performing page to a great performing page. Okay?
Number four. Fourth thing that you have to consider is, how relevant is your content? So, if you're talking about best pens to buy — well, I don't know how much the pen market changes. Let me just be blunt. Okay?
But let's say the pen market doesn't change very much, and so the content that you wrote is evergreen content means it's still valid. A year later. It's still valid two years later. That's evergreen content. Then that often — if you have evergreen content that is also performing, "eh" or decently well that's a great page to optimize.
Now, if your content isn't evergreen and now you're looking at how relevant is it — so for example, if we are talking about predictions for the Super Bowl, well guess what? After the Super Bowl, if you didn't rank well, get rid of the page. It's time to create the new page for the next Super Bowl because no one cares about who's going to win the last Super Bowl when we already know the answer.
So relevancy matters and how evergreen the content is or how much the content information actually changes and what people need to know. Does it need to be updated?
So now within that, I do wanna give it a little bit of a caveat. So let's say you wrote a page this year on the Super Bowl and predictions for the Super Bowl and you ranked really well, and \ this page did really, really well.
Do you create a new page next year or update the existing page? That's a whole nother question. That's much bigger and much broader, and we're gonna cover that on another video because there are lots of different implications there about what you can do and how you can create the new page based on the old page or do you update, but we'll cover that in another video in the future. Okay?
So number four, the relevancy of the information in your article determines — Do you create a new one or do you update the existing one?
And then number five — told you we'll get to this at the end. Talking about tools. What tools do you have at your disposal matters an awful, awful ton. Okay. Matters an awful, awful ton because if you have tools that do general audits — and when I say general audits, I mean just ranking checks and that type of thing of a website — those are great. Those are awesome. Those are wonderful. And there are tons of 'em out there. Some of my favorites, well the one I use every day is Semrush. Have a link for it down below. Some people like Moz, some people like Ahrefs. They all do the same thing, just slightly differently and it really depends on your personality.
Which one really speaks well to you? Semrush that's my personal favorite. There are tons of others that are less expensive than those even on the market that do a really great job at showing you your website from a more global perspective of your website, of how it's ranking, what keywords it's ranking for.
With Semrush you can see — and with all of these really — you can see the pages and what keywords Google is ranking those pages for and where, that's all wonderful. And if that's the data that you have, that data is fantastic for helping you figure out where the holes are for you to create new content. Those tools, most tools, 99.99% of the SEO tools on the market today are going to help you figure out where the holes are in your website content-wise so that you can create new content.
What they don't do is help you figure out how to update your existing content. What they don't do — and it's not a knock against them, so don't take it that way, okay? But what they don't do is take a particular page on your website that you're interested in and audit that page and give you recommendations for how you can make that page better, how you can take that page and go from "eh" to good or good to great. Those tools don't do that. There is one tool. And there are several that have tried to copy it and they are failing. So I'm telling you that now because people write me and they ask about all of these other alternatives. Those other tools are failing.
There is one leader — in my opinion. One leader in the market at doing this and doing this very, very well of helping you figure out how to optimize a page that you want to update, and that tool, my friends, is Surfer SEO.
By far the best tool. The beauty of surfer SEO is that it will audit a particular page for you and then give you an entire report based on your competition on page one and tell you here are the things that you need to do in order to get onto page one and compete with everyone who's currently on page one. No other tool does that better than Surfer Seo. So I strongly suggest — and I've got a link down below. I strongly suggest that if you are in a place where you have a site as we've gone through the first four of these points here, if you are in a place where you have a site that needs optimization, you need to go in and update your content, don't update it blindly. Take the page, have the page audited through Surfer SEO so that you can make changes to the page that one, are going to attract your right customer. And two, that Google is going to want to see. That's what Surfer's going to do for you.
It's going to help you to position those pages. So that's it my friends. I've given you five points. Five points on how you can figure out whether it's time to add new content to your website or update content on your website. These are the five points that I use when I'm evaluating one of my client sites and deciding what should our strategy be.
So I hope they help you. As always, I'm here for you. If you have any questions, drop 'em down below in a chat or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you didn't hear me before, go get Surfer. The link is down below. It will change your content life. Trust me on that. All right everyone, I'll talk to you later.