There’s something potent about reinvention having multiple definitions. Much like the actions it describes, it refuses to sit still and accept its situation.
Reinventing could refer to making changes to something, presenting it differently or completely remaking it, the end goal is the same. The pursuit of betterment.
Reinvention is central to keeping the majority of things interesting, and your content is no different.
While it’s tempting to constantly add more to your collection, it’s important to take a look at what you’ve got and how to make it better.
By looking at the performance and relevance of your blogs, landing pages and branding, it’s possible to identify missing details and opportunities for growth.
Whether you completely rebuild a website or just tweak a single line of text, making changes to the content you own is central to maintaining its value and giving it genuine longevity. Revisiting your content and refreshing the experience you provide should both be regular activities.
Content isn’t a valuable commodity by default. It’s not a case of ‘the more the better’ and its value fluctuates with time.
Even 24-karat content can become fool’s gold and if you aren’t monitoring it you won’t even notice.
As your website ages and expands, it’s inevitable that pages will become outdated. This could be down to a change in circumstance, such as structural or service changes, or just the passage of time, but a dated experience is usually a bad one.
I recently ate in a restaurant that boasted about winning Indian Restaurant of the Year for three years in a row. 2008, 2009 and 2010. Nothing since. Gaps like this can make people suspicious. Whether offline or online, keeping content relevant and up to date can reduce this – even if it means cutting references to some past victories.
Revisiting your content is just as useful if a brand new service or page doesn’t perform as well as hoped. If you are not updating more established pages to highlight new offerings and include important details you’re harming user journeys and the potential of your site.
For the content you consider central to your website and your goals, the need for a revisit can usually be identified by keyword visibility or engagement measurements such as time on page and bounce rate changing for the worse.
This will vary for individual items, but all content has a half-life – the time taken for the effectiveness of a specified piece of content to fall to half its original value. While core pages are always visible and tend to erode slowly, blog posts often get buried even though they’re still valuable.
Typical blog traffic looks like a spike. This is usually due to timeliness and relevance, but sometimes it’s because of neglect. Here’s a graph displaying the visitors to a news-based item we published in January 2015:
A burst of traffic coming from an otherwise flat line, the usual shape for a blog.
The following graph shows traffic to another blog we published last January:
The depreciation in the first blog’s value is plain to see, but the second received just as many visits in December as it did when it was published eleven months earlier. So, what did we do differently?
Blog number two, A Guide To Programmatic Advertising, is an evergreen, informative piece that is neither time-sensitive or dated. While not an appropriate treatment for every post, we could share it throughout the year. Its guide-like style also lends itself to search queries, so it saw decent ranking performance.
While your blog output remains valuable, there’s no reason not to recirculate it through your social channels. If a blog like does eventually become dated, there’s no reason not to update its content and republish it. This can keep a previously successful post in view, rather than consigning it the past.
Some blogs have a short lifespan due to their subject matter and that’s ok. Each blog has a different purpose and that means some don’t need to be forgotten about once a new post has been published. By recirculating and updating a blog, you can get far more out of a blog than its original ‘just-published’ afterglow.
Remember, a skim of your content could reveal missed opportunities or dated information. You can use these insights to fix issues quickly and prevent your assets from dwindling.
I discussed ways to improve pages in relation to conversions in a previous post, Conversion Woes? Focus on your Copy, but many of the processes are relevant to revisiting a page with other objectives.
Seasoned sky divers don’t experience the same rush on their fiftieth jump as they did on their first.
They know how to manipulate their descent and keep air in their lungs. They’re more interested in the subtleties and techniques than the shot of adrenaline. They’re used to icy wind ripping past their ears. They see through the myths and know the experience for what it is.
A person’s relationship with a brand isn’t all that different.
The shiny logo or message that hooked them on first look will lose impact over time. They become accustomed to the product or service and less conscious of its quality. They will be exposed to alternative options, that tick the ‘new’ and ‘exciting’ boxes they’ve come to miss.
Plummeting through the sky and brand loyalty may not seem like an obvious connection, but both of the people described above have become familiar to an experience and experience it differently as a result.
While skydiving is a practise that can be honed and refined, a brand is more like a relationship. If it isn’t a fulfilling one and the other party is unwilling to change, it’s healthier to cut it off than cling to it.
To keep mid to long term customers interested, you need to take them to a higher altitude from time to time – or at least give them a new plane to sit in.
Of course, providing an excellent service is the main way of keeping people with you, but providing a fresh experience every now and then can prevent them from even considering their options. For a website, that means making sure the content captures the essence of your brand and regularly reinforces it.
Changing things up doesn’t just prevent audience fatigue. A page may have been designed on one assumption, but actually performs differently. By analysing how visitors are interacting with specific areas of your site, you can decide whether a page is performing to your expectations and do something about it if it isn’t.
Advancements in technology and design can also see you left behind, whether that’s by a competitor providing something you don’t or visitors browsing your site on platforms you don’t support. If somebody lands on your website and thinks you’re falling behind, it’s only natural for them to wonder where else you might be slacking.
It shouldn’t be your first option, but redesigning with clear goals in mind is a sure way to align a website with your ambitions.
If you’re bleeding traffic or your engagement metrics are starting to dip, it’s worth thinking about refreshing the experience you’re offering.
This doesn’t mean scrapping your identity and jumping aboard the latest fad – far from it. You don’t have to modernise, invest a fortune or deconstruct what makes you unique, just look at how the experience you’re presenting can be improved. This will help you to win new people over and strengthen your existing relationships.
By keeping an eye on how your website compares to the industry standard and presenting the best possible experience, you’ll be in a better position to retain interest and stay in line with user expectations.
By looking at your content and updating it accordingly, it’s possible to give it new life.
If you aren’t embracing reinvention, you’re letting readymade opportunities pass you by.