Old content reuse – in 15 easy steps

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Old content is unavoidable. Everyone is getting so obsessed with the latest things and the old stuff just seems to pile up into this scary heap we call our past. Dare we take a peak? Or should we just dump everything down the black hole of no-return. The answer? It depends on the situation. Unlike actual things like old toys and clothes, web content is quite different because of the numbers and varied factors that could either make a website rise or fall miserably into a lonely heap of pity and despair. Here’s our 15 tips on old content reuse for you to try.

Step 1: Realize that you have a problem

You have a problem. In fact, you have a lot of mini-problems but the important point here is that you have properly defined it and will seek to remedy it. This is basically asking the question, why is your old content important and if so, what are you going to do about it.

Step 2: Add in the supporting details

Now that you’ve identified your problem, it’s time to get into the things to be considered like your SEO authority, user experience, availability of resources, labor and of course, relevance and importance to the current trends.

Step 3: Let the money talk

Let’s face it. We need money. We need time. We need people. We need a lot of things to keep our sites alive and well. Therefore, we need to consider our resources. Prepare for the cringe-worthy experience of budgeting and prioritization.

Step 4: Rank them up

Let’s start by weeding out the weak. Are these old pages worth the trouble and cost? We can get a nice estimate by using SEO authority. Which page is giving you the feeds and conversions you need. Which page is a total dud and needs to go. Analyze and rank.

Step 5: Find a connection

We need to root out pages that are still salvageable. We need to find the ones that matter. The ones compatible to your new content. The ones that can be a nice basis or reference for the current issues and goals you’ve cooked up. Find them and connect.

Step 6: It’s all about them

One of the biggest influences in making a choice is the user experience (UX). What do they like? What do they hate? Your site caters an audience and it is imperative that you make sure that they are happy and content with your site unless you want a mass evacuation at your hands.

Step 7: Deal with it

You’ve established you framework of considerable factors, now it’s time to look at the available options open for you. However, if you think your old content is pretty much harmless and more or less contributes to your site, it’s best to just leave it as it is for now.

Step 8: Time to open the old warehouse (optional)

This is you basically putting your old downgraded content in the backroom (a.k.a. archive). Now, before you decide it’s a sloppy way doing things, take note that there different types and styles, it all depends on how you make it work. Just make sure you don’t archive the wrong stuff.

Step 9: Learn your numbers

We are all familiar with the codes 404 and 301 but just in case someone forgot I’ll do a bit of a reminding. 404 is the error page, we do not like the error page and it is important we avoid this. But, on the rare occurrence this is actually helpful for you, go ahead with it. 301 is basically a redirect. We like 301 but sometimes we tend to over use it and the users hate us for it. Use 301 wisely.

Step 10: Keep up with the trends

Update. Update not only yourself but your content as well. This is where all your thoughts and ponderings of relevance come in. You gather up your useful content and pimp them up to make them look sort-of new and interesting.

Step 11: Perfect Combination

Actually, it’s more like the perfect consolidation which is a mix between updating and redirection. This is basically where you take bits and pieces of your old but useful content and combine it with the new one. After that, you make sure that when they see the new article, they can redirect to the old one.

Step 12: Match them up

Okay, you’ve made a list of the things you need to deal with and the available methods. Now it’s time to put them up on a tabular form and see just how much damage can they incur if combined.

Step 13: A bit of processing

Don’t let it pile up, you can deal with old content through the incorporation of it into your system or workflow and enabling it to deal with certain or specific problems that just needs or can be remedied by the same option. Through this process of interweaving, you can avoid the nasty build up.

Step 14: Take it in segments.

Evaluating content can be such a hassle and drag. This is especially true if you’re evaluating a lot of it. So try taking it in segments. After gathering all the needed data and statistics, you try and take things apart before you go through the process of analysis. And after the analysis of pages, you tick them off to avoid the nasty task of going through it again.

Step 15: Decide.

It is time. And you alone hold the key. What will you do?

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