Your content is the most important part of your website. It’s what search engines use to rank your pages and it’s what visitors use to decide whether your products or services are right for them. Content, therefore, is critical in increasing traffic, engaging customers and generating sales. In this post, we’ll look at how you can increase traffic and engagement and help boost conversions by upcycling your existing content.
If your website isn’t performing as well as it should be, you will need to make changes to your content. You can do this by creating brand new content, adding new pages or by updating existing content.
For some businesses, however, the first two options are not viable. Buying effective new content that is SEO optimised and fit for purpose can be expensive and not within the budgets of smaller companies. Creating it yourself isn’t easy either. Many smaller businesses don’t have the time to spend on completely recreating a website – they need to focus on carrying out their day to day operations. The easiest and cheapest option, therefore, is to upcycle what you already have to make sure it performs better.
Which content needs upcycling?
Before starting the process of improving your content, you need to know which parts of your website are working well and which are not. The best way to find this out is through using Google Analytics.
By linking your website to Google Analytics you’ll be able to find out a wealth of information about how successful your pages are. For upcycling purposes, you’ll need to find out:
- The number of visitors each page is getting.
- Where your visitors are coming from (search engines, social media, direct links, etc.).
- The bounce rates for each page (i.e., how many people leave the site after visiting the page).
- How long people stay on each page.
- How many people follow calls to action on each page (e.g., click on ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’ buttons).
- How many visitors purchases or leads do you get from each page? (You’ll need to set up goals to find this out.)
Once you have this information, you’ll have a much better idea of which pages are performing well. You’ll discover which pages don’t attract traffic, which don’t engage the customer and which are not creating sales. With this data in front of you, it will be a simple task to draw up a list of key pages you need to work on and prioritise them for upcycling.
How to upcycle existing content
1. Make the page look better
One of the easiest ways to upcycle an existing page is to improve its presentation. Poorly presented pages make visitors leave, often without reading the content or following calls to action.
Simple things like putting in headings and subheadings, changing the font size so it’s easier to read, increasing the amount of white space so things don’t look too busy all help to keep the visitor on the page and reading all the way to the CTA.
In addition, think about improving the images on a page. Replace existing pictures with ones which are fresher, cleaner and more in keeping with your brand. Make sure they are professional looking too. If you don’t have any images, consider using them – especially if you are selling a product or service. There is also the possibility that you have too many images and that the essential text you need is lost between them. If so, cut the number down.
2. Add more detail
Lack of detail causes problems with search engines and customers. Pages with a limited word count often get downranked by search engines because they consider it to be thin content which won’t be of much benefit to the user.
Potential customers like to be given as much detail as possible in order to help them come to an informed decision about whether to use your company. Leaving gaps in what they want to know can make them go elsewhere.
The easy way to add detail is to think of all the things a customer would want to know and fill in any gaps that the existing content has. This could include product or service descriptions, technical specifications, pricing and delivery details, FAQs, customer reviews and testimonials.
3. Reorganise content
Sometimes web pages have so much content on them that there is no way that the average visitor would want to spend time reading it all. This often happens when websites try to put information about all their services or products on a single page. A building company, for example, might use their homepage to write in detail about their roofing, loft conversion and renovation services.
When this happens, people will get information overload and abandon the site. Those who are interested in a new roof won’t want to have to read about loft conversions and those interested in renovations might not find what they are looking for if it is buried at the bottom of a busy looking page.
You can upcycle pages like these by moving content to strategic places. Briefly mention all your services on the homepage, but move the detailed, service-specific content to a separate page. This way, every piece of information has a place of its own.
4. Change content formats
Another great way to recycle content and make it more useful is to change its format. If you have pricing details written out in text, consider putting them in an easy to read and visually attractive table. If you have a portfolio of your previous work, put the images together in a short video presentation together with some suitable background music. Instead of having overly descriptive product specifications, create engaging infographics. By adding different formats to the content mix, you can help keep visitors engaged and make sure the key points you want to put across are done so in the most effective ways.
Upcycling is a way of taking your existing web content and adapting it to help your site perform better. You can:
- improve the presentation of existing pages
- add customer and search engine-friendly information
- reorganise content to be more user-friendly
- change the format of existing content
By doing these things, you can make your site perform better on search engines, keep customers engaged and, as a result, increase sales.
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