Today’s content is tomorrow’s old news. Here’s how to automatically recreate old content so it is loved by both customers and search engines.
‘Content is king’ has become an overused expression, but in today’s online business environment, there’s no doubt that information reigns supreme.
From product descriptions to thought-leadership articles, case studies to white papers, the diverse range of material that comprises a business’s online presence is what gives it visibility, authority, and social capital among the people that matter.
Why is up-to-date content important?
The purpose of content is to attract and impress two distinct audiences: potential customers and search engine bots. Potential customers favor content that is new, valid, and relevant to their needs. Internet search engines value content that is fresh, well-written, and focused on a specific topic.
To rate highly with both people and bots, therefore, content needs to be meaningful, engaging, and regularly updated.
Creating high-quality content is not easy. It requires hard work and specialist know-how. After investing so much time and effort to create it, it would be a waste if it were simply left to go stale.
So, how can you maximize your content’s value and keep it invitingly fresh?
What Causes—and Cures— Obsolete Content?
Web content can exceed its best-before date for many reasons. Typically, these reasons fit into one of three categories:
- Changes to your business’s products and services—such as references to a ‘new release’ that has since been superseded, or Terms & Conditions that have not kept pace with the latest regulations.
- Changes to other business’s products and services—such as outdated specifications for products on sale on your site or even descriptions for products that are now defunct.
- Changing times—such as the shifting nature of SEO best practice or that blog post you wrote in 2017 declaring that TikTok will never catch on.
The different approaches to tackling the issue of obsolete content also fall into three categories. You can either:
- Make your website as ‘evergreen’ as possible, avoiding all topics or references that could date the content. This is a difficult task, especially in the fast-moving world of e-commerce. It also fails to address search engines’ preference for freshly created content.
- Accelerate content production to such a level that each piece is replaced by a new, updated version before it has time to age. Placing the emphasis on speed, however, risks sacrificing quality—and when quality declines, so will the number of people visiting your site.
- Implement a proactive content management plan that ensures existing content is either archived or refreshed and upgraded, so that it is always relevant to both humans and search engines.
This final approach is clearly the most comprehensive and coherent way to deal with the problem of content obsolescence.
A 3-Step Process for Updating Old Content
An effective strategy to keep content dynamic and relevant involves three key stages:
1. Assess existing content
Would even an updated version still appeal to your target market? If not, remove it. Remember to consider the differing concerns of customers across all your international markets (a best-selling product in Sweden may have no traction in the UK, for example).
2. Edit the content
A procedure for analyzing content on a regular basis for accuracy, relevance, and the need for new information should be integrated into the content-production process. The task must be carried out by reviewers who possess fact-checking skills and are knowledgeable regarding the content’s subject matter.
3. Localize the content
To maximize the updated content’s impact across all markets, it must be localized to suit each market’s language and culture.
Considering the vast quantity of content contained within today’s websites—especially product-packed e-commerce sites—this can be a monumental task. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it manually. There’s an automated solution at hand.
Using AI to Update Your Content
The latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI), such as natural language processing (NLP), have made it possible for content to be ‘read’ by automated systems. These same systems can be trained to identify elements of the text that require updating and implement the changes without disrupting the written quality of the text.
Any changes made to the content can then trigger automated localization, where corresponding updates are made in each international market’s language, according to its various legal and cultural requirements.
As soon as all changes are approved, the updated copy is automatically inserted into the website infrastructure.
Lea Backhurst, localization expert at Summa Linguae Technologies describes the importance of tailoring:
Using cutting-edge AI to shape fresh, vibrant content to meet the precise requirements of international markets, we recognize every region around the world for what it is: a unique commercial challenge with its own language, culture, needs, and personal circumstances. This ensures the investment initially put into creating content reaps the greatest possible rewards.
The amount of automation a company incorporates into their content rejuvenation process depends largely on the type of source material.
For example, a holiday rental site featuring in-depth insight into the local area will have a lot of changeable information, as nearby shops and restaurants open and close, and one season moves into the next.
A site selling antique watches, on the other hand, will have little to alter in the product descriptions, but will still have blog posts that will benefit from updating.
Updating your content provides a lot of benefits—from the increased search-engine click-through rate that newly published web pages generate to the chance to promote your revamped blog as brand new.
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