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The Battle Between Content Curation (Recycling) and Content Creation

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Oct 30

The Battle Between Content Curation (Recycling) and Content Creation

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s a question that has burned in the back of every content marketer’s mind: when is it ok to recycle my content (and what is the actual benefit, the SEO chimed in)?

Once upon a time

This is about the content “grey area”—understanding when recycling content is an asset to your SEO strategy…and when it will blow up in your face. Terribly.

Face palm.

You know those days when you just can’t write anything (remotely) satisfying to your usually unbeatable SEO plan? You know those days when you’re looking at your analytics data and notice that some pages are scoring higher than others, that some posts aren’t converting at all, and you just want to stop them from throwing off your groove?

We’ve all been there.

How to Recycle Content Effectively

So, you have a lot of blog posts that are dated, severely lacking, off-topic, or just plain boring. You might also have a lot of low quality pages. Either of these situations could cause a potential drop-off in your overall organic reach and search rankings.

One of the primary goals of content is to pique interest. We look at well ranking websites and notice one or many of the following:

  • They have an effective, clean and cohesive website design.
  • They feature up-to-date information about their company and team.
  • They highlight their products and/or services clearly.
  • They speak directly to you, their audience.
  • They have content that is alluring and gives an incentive.

Real talk, there is no singular right way to be effective with your content. It’s situational. Every industry has a tone and a particular set of “best practices” for communicating with your audience. When what you want and need your content to do is affected by innumerable variables, how do you effectively take your content to the next level?

This is where recycling your content can be a game changer.

Here are ways you can start recycling your lower quality content:

  1. Create a list of your pages and posts that have lower quality scores or thin content.
  2. Take a look at each page or post and group them into categories—based off of their topics.
  3. Create an actionable list to tackle the content one category at a time. You know your bandwidth.
  4. When you are working on your content be sure to focus on the following:
    • Content/Theme Repetition or Duplication—For this you’ll want to merge the content into one full page or post.
    • Dated Content/Topics—For this you’ll want to glean the structure but update the content with relevant information.
  5. Keep tabs on what content is too thin to be merged. (You might be able to convert those into future blog posts or other relevant.)
  6. Don’t be afraid to simply cut it. (If it’s not helpful to your website or useful to your audience, then consider if you actually need that content.)

How and Why Curating Content is a Toss Up

Converse to recycling your content, another way to add content to your website is through content curation. Now this tactic—while seeming like a “quick fix”—can throw a hefty wrench into your long-term goals.

But First: The How

When you curate content, you use the power of paraphrasing to your advantage. You seek inspiration from any one of (but is not limited to) the following resources:

  • Internally
    • Your printed marketing collateral
    • Manuals and other resources you have at your company
    • Old company memos
  • Externally
    • A Topic Based Feed
    • Your Competition (Yes, I said it.)
    • Google

What follows is a delicate summary or highlight of the main ideas within your resource(s). What’s the problem with that, you ask? Well, there’s nothing wrong with highlighting the usefulness of data or research or content that already exists—especially if you are using your existing company resources in an effective and creative way. There is a problem, however, with the curation of content from online resources alone.

To see what I mean, do a search really quick, it can be a topic, a question or a keyword. On your search results page, what do you see?

How does everyone phrase their meta titles and descriptions?

When you click into a few of the posts, do they all seem eerily familiar?

When you search for your competition, do all of their websites share similar iterations (if not exact carbon copies) of the same content?

It happens. I won’t name names.

But here’s the thing: it’s incredibly difficult to present your services and products and thoughts in a way that is unique to you and your company…if your first thought is to simply paraphrase something that has been said by someone else in your industry (or circle of relevant keywords).

When you’re facing writer’s block, curating content can be useful as a topic springboard; a means to build on the first thought and add in your own flavor. It can provide direction. It can be the first step. But solely relying on content that is gleaned from here or there, or a direct copy with some quick paraphrasing…that is when things get a bit dangerous.

Why Creating Content is Best Practice

There are countless articles and podcasts and vlogs on the Internet that discuss why creating unique content is a game changer for your company, and how you can break through the wall of doubt and fearlessly take control of your company’s success “in these 5 easy steps.”

“Why does everyone talk about this?”

It is unbearably hard at times to write moving, creative, relevant content in a way that is beyond what is expected. Thought leadership takes a lot of work, and doubt, and courage. We get blocked, and maybe even a little worried about the consequences of the “what if I push too hard with this topic?”

It’s hard to say something new. It’s hard to go against the flow of the world.

Whether it’s because you work in an industry that is reliant on regulations, or you are an upstart who doesn’t want to rock the boat to failure, there are an infinite number of “what ifs” that could stop you from breaking through into that truly unique content realm.

But that’s the thing. We need to stop being afraid of the word “create.”

How to Get Your Content Where it Needs to Be

When you look between the number of industries, companies, and individuals on the Internet one thing rings true no matter what: we all communicate differently. So, the best way to elevate your content to the heights you want it to reach in the search rankings is to take a look at a few things.

  1. Take a look internally at your company: do you have a common theme to how you present yourself?
  2. Take a look externally at your audience: what sorts of content do they find most compelling about your website?
  3. Find the bridge between those two points of view and link the two together with new content that speaks to you and your audience simultaneously.

Sounds easy, right?

The best part about working on your website, whether it’s all about refreshing your current content or creating new content to push ahead of your competition, there are teams of professionals ready and able to put their skills to the test for you. When it comes to creating a truly optimized website that features engaging, smart, and effective content, you should call in your dedicated SEO Team.

For us at webFEAT Complete, we don’t see our work as a job. You are our digital partner. We become a part of your team to make sure that your business gets the traffic it deserves. Contact us today if you’re ready to make sure your website is working for you and not against you.

About The Author

Hanna is a Digital Media Designer who loves to blend SEO content strategy with UX design. It's her duty to ensure that your company is represented in a way that your audience will understand. When she's not restructuring and creating website worlds, she loves to paint, write poetry, and dance in the kitchen.

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