Why we love content upgrades at Evergreen

By Josie Palmer
February 22, 2022

Content upgrades are part of our bread and butter at Evergreen, and with good reason. Some people may not realise this, but existing content unlocks a myriad of opportunities if you know what to do with it!

Not only is content vital to improving your visibility and authority, but it’s also a way to tap into your audience’s mindset. Publishing new content regularly is important, of course, but leveraging old content and improving it should also play a major role in your content strategy.

If you have a number of blogs which perform relatively well, you could be sitting on a goldmine.

So, what are content upgrades and why are they important?

A content upgrade is the process of updating and improving an existing piece of content that is already published. Content upgrades can help ensure that blogs that perform well don’t lose traction over time, and can be key to ensuring your organic traffic remains consistent in the long run.

Potential customers and Google alike aren’t going to appreciate being directed to an outdated blog that makes references to products or mindsets of years gone by.

Relevance is key to how well a piece of content performs. One of the leading factors in determining how well a content piece performs is by how well it answers user intent.

User intent

A key point to remember about user intent? It changes all the time – whether your audience is looking to read up on the latest new innovations in your industry, widen their knowledge on new legislation, new products, or simply get the best information out there on a topic they’re unfamiliar with – an old blog post that hasn’t been looked after isn’t going to do the trick.

What will do the trick however is a well planned out, relevant, considered, high quality piece of content that answers all the questions, ticks all the boxes, and absolutely and resolutely tells the reader everything they need to know.

As user intent shifts over time, your content will need to- and that’s why content upgrades can be absolutely essential to maintaining blog performance.

An insight into your customers

Repurposing or upgrading your content can also provide invaluable data into user behaviour that can help you to map out your wider content strategy. You can tap into the minds of your customers, how they think, what they like, what they’re responding to, and what they’re not responding to.

Leverage this data and make it work for you, and suddenly your brand is working with your customers rather than simply for them – you also humanise yourself subconsciously, providing the kind of content that will keep your brand top of mind and firmly in the ‘companies I trust’ pile.

We’ve spoken a little about how content upgrades are valuable to customers, but what about their SEO value and your website standing?

Well, it should come as no surprise to learn that Google loves content upgrades. Why? Because half their job is already done – there is a live URL that simply needs to be recrawled.

It demonstrates a company’s ability to use its content wisely, leveraging what already exists rather than bombarding Google with constant new blogs to identify, crawl and rank. Content upgrades are a brilliant way to not only save time but also maximise opportunities with what you already have.

A few pointers for how to conduct content upgrades with your content:

Consider what you want to achieve

This goes without saying, but have a clear set KPI before you begin, as this can help you measure the success of your content from the off. Whether you want more natural leads, or more readers signing up to your email list; whatever it is, define it early on, so you can track the success of your content straight away.

Analyse and audit your existing blog performance

Most businesses will consistently track their website performance, but may not consider their blog performance in its own right.

Tracking content performance can not only give you insight into topics for future content, but it can also reveal any topic areas that are lacking and need work. This kind of information can direct your entire content strategy from this point on, so a content audit and consistent analysis should always be a priority.

Upgrade your top performing content regularly

Regularly analyse the performance of your top performing blogs that regularly bring in traffic, as these blogs are where the opportunities will lie.

Look into the performance of the content and be sure to only upgrade pieces that are worth upgrading. Blogs that have a fair amount of traction will offer more data to work with and by regularly updating and improving these, you can ensure they don’t lose relevance and popularity as time goes on.

Research your competitors

Again, this is pretty obvious, but competitors can actually be incredibly useful – see what performs well, and why it performs well.

Now it is very important you do not duplicate what you see -plagiarism is ugly and Google will spot it a mile off – but competitor research can help you tap into the content topic with a fresh mindset and potentially provide a new angle on things.

For example…. your website has a piece of content does relatively ok, but a competitor ranks above you thanks to a longer word count and handy infographic.

What does this tell you?

Google likes long form content and champions visuals.

What do you need to do?

Go away, research into the topic, and improve your content offering so it’s better than your competitors. Spend some time (and money) sourcing some slick creative work, and suddenly you’ve gone from ‘an OK guide that does OK’ to a blog that makes Google go – hang on a minute, these guys are really onto something.

Keep it varied

Consistent quality posting will put you in Google’s good books, but why not take it one step further?

Always think –

  • What does this need to become the best on the web?
  • What’s missing?
  • If I needed information on this topic, what kind of things would I want to see?
  • Maybe a helpful statistic, and how-to video, a step by step infographic?
  • What about some handy diagrams that allows customer to visualise what they’re learning about, or a link to a really cool podcast? Your own podcast, even?

Content needs to go just beyond words these days – the words are your vessel, for sure, but the element that’s really going to put the wind in your sails – excuse the cliché-is those stand out components that make people go ‘wow’.

There you have it – a quick introduction to content upgrades, what they offer and how they can greatly improve your content offering.

I hope you find this article helpful, and that it inspires you to change your mindset when it comes to your existing content and how you can leverage it to make it work for you.

If you’d like to here more top tips from myself and the other departments within our agency, make sure to sign up to The Evergreen Way!


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