Did you know that a whopping 90 per cent of the content in existence today has been created within the last two years, yet 91 per cent of content gets no traffic from Google?

As a result, investing in new content isn’t always the right way to go. In fact, a lot can be said for leverage existing assets or putting a fresh spin on current collateral.

Here’s 5 steps with which you can breathe new life into your content, and improve your SEO at the same time.

  • Analyse your existing content

First and foremost, decide whether you want to select a topic and keywords or a main page of content to refresh. Either way, you’ll need to identify all of your own competing pages that rank for target keywords.

The easiest way to do this is by consolidating URLs and relevant metrics into one place, as this will give you a better idea of your content landscape – which pages to avoid cannibalising, which underperforming pages can be made into more authoritative content and which content can be included in new evergreen articles.

  • Understand search intent

Seeing as search intent is becoming more and more important with Google, you need to understand the type of content that appears for certain queries. This will give you a better idea of how to present content and attract more visitors.

“Last year, we had this amazing page about celebrity homes, and it wasn’t getting any traffic at all,” says John Shehata, vice president of audience development strategy for Conde Nast. “We converted the page from an article format with a couple of images to a gallery with less content. And, guess what? Immediately ranked number two.”

  • Evaluate competing content

“If you are writing about how to boil an egg, and all the other sites that are ranking mention ‘eggshells,’ and ‘breakfast,’ and ‘easy,’ you may want to consider these topics to give you complete and in-depth coverage of your topic,” Shehata advises.

One method to identify “must-have” words and phrases is to conduct a term frequency-inverse document frequency ((TF-IDF) analysis. Don’t forget to also look at related entities that should be included in content.

  • Optimise on-page content

From adding a different title and introduction to including more internal links and updating the publishing date, there are a number of ways in which you should be optimising on-page content.

However, make sure that social and email teams know that content has been refreshed. There’s a good chance pages with conversion goals, such as newsletter signups and affiliated links attached to them will be affected.

  • Get busy publishing

To maximise the power and potential of refreshed content, aim to publish three months ahead of time, as Shehata explains: “In general, your refreshed, optimised content will last you at least a year, if not longer.”

If traffic starts to decline, you may want to carry out another round of refreshes. This is where a fully mapped-out editorial calendar will pay dividends.