Does Content have A Shelf Life?

Feb 6, 2014

Is Outdated Content Sabotaging Your Marketing?

shelf lifeWeb content is like a newspaper article. No matter how attention-grabbing, informative, and well-written, today’s top story eventually fades away to become yesterday’s headline. This applies to website content as well as to social media posts and video.

The sheer volume of information available means that your content not only has to provide a truly valuable experience to the reader, it has to be constantly replaced with fresh material if you hope to keep your loyal audience base.

You can increase the life, as well as the audience, of your content by sharing it among all of your other digital properties, such as your website, social media accounts, and videos.

Website Content

The content on your website actually has three distinct audiences, each one requiring fresh, high quality content on a consistent basis.

  1. New visitors don’t just arrive at your website by accident; they found you in their search for information about your industry or field, and will leave just as fast if you don’t provide them with the informative content that they need.
  2. Returning visitors can be encouraged to return with fresh content that contributes to your reputation as an authority in your field. If all you have to offer is the now-outdated articles that your visitors read the last time they visited your site, there is little incentive for them to return.
  3. Search engines like to see fresh, quality content that enhances visitor experience to your site. The more time visitors spend on your site, the more the search engines will assume you offer relevant and informative content, and will reward you with improved rankings.

How often should your website content be updated? Whenever you have something worthwhile to say or share with your visitors:

  • On average, articles posted on your website have a shelf life of only 37 days.
  • Ideally, try to schedule one to two new pages of content each week. At the very least, plan on fresh material at least once a month.
  • Update your keywords as well as your content. Search habits change, and fresh keywords can bring new visitors whom you might not otherwise reach.
  • Drip feed your new content over time; don’t just dump several new articles on your site all at once.

Social Media Posts

The shelf life of content posted on different social media channels varies, but here is a guide to help you plan and schedule your social posts for maximum readership and involvement:

  • Pinterest pins will receive 70 percent of total clicks within 2 days of posting.
  • A Facebook post receives 75 percent of its total engagement within the first 5 hours.
  • Twitter content will receive one half of all the links it will ever attract within the first 2.8 hours; this is commonly referred to as half-life.

YouTube Videos

  • A typical YouTube video will receive 10 percent of total shares within the first 2 days, and 66 per cent of total shares within the first 3 months.

Blog Posts

  • Like website content, your blog posts have an average shelf life of 37 days.