Update Your Old Content and Improve Your SEO the Right Way
The content on your website plays a large role in boosting your SEO strategy. That is why most SEO tips encourage you to create new and quality content regularly to keep your audience engaged. Creating content constantly will also help you make users stay and browse through your website.
However, now that you have written several blog articles and published them on your website, you might be thinking about what to do with the older and less popular ones. You might have thought about deleting them or letting them become obsolete but doing so will not help improve your website’s SEO.
Instead, you should consider updating and refreshing your older blog posts. Doing this will greatly improve your SEO efforts and provide you with several benefits.
Why Consider Updating Your Old Content
Regularly creating new content for your website requires hard work and a lot of time—resources that may not always be available especially to small businesses. If you are a one-man team or do not have a dedicated writer to come up with and publish fresh articles, it might be hard for you—if not impossible—to keep up with the content demand of your audience. Although you may choose to hire freelance writers, it might be too expensive for smaller businesses.
Once you decide to update your old articles, you can boost your SEO efforts without spending too much of your resources. You can take advantage of your existing resources and work on them to benefit your business in the following ways:
- Keep your content fresh: Search engines, including Google, prioritize fresher content and show them on top of SERPs. If you update an article that you have written a few years ago, you can get back on the search radar, and users will find your content much easier.
- Improve your clickthrough rate (CTR): Refreshing your content will also update its publish date on SERPs. Once users see how recent your article has been published, they will have more reason to click on your website and read your article.
- Become up-to-date with SEO best practices: Google frequently updates its algorithm, which can make your older content not very effective in terms of SEO. So, updating your content can help you apply any new SEO best practices to your articles, which can greatly affect your ranking and traffic.
- Get rid of duplicate content: While browsing through your older articles, you may notice duplicate content that may be causing keyword cannibalization. The intent of updating your content will allow you to address this problem and improve your website’s SEO.
How to Update and Refresh Your Existing Content
Updating your content is not as easy as it seems. Since it might not be possible to refresh all of your articles, you should be strategic in choosing which ones to update so as not to waste your time and effort. To help you get started, follow these tips:
Find Out Which Articles to Optimize
The first step to refreshing your website’s content is by determining which articles will provide you with the most benefits once updated. You can do this by using the data provided by Google Analytics.
Look at the status of all your older content and choose the articles you want to optimize based on the following criteria:
- Lower than 1% CTR
- High impression rate
- SERP position is between 1 and 30
Blog articles that meet these criteria are likely ranking for keywords that have enough volume and are being seen by users. You only need to update them to fix their CTR and their rankings. Additionally, you should aim to make your content more relevant to user queries when refreshing them.
Aside from articles that meet the qualifications listed above, you might also consider working on:
- High traffic but low conversion pages
- Low traffic but high conversion pages
- Former popular content
Update Your Keyword Research
After choosing the articles you want to refresh, you should start updating your keyword selection. This is a crucial part of your task because the keywords you might have used on your content a few months ago may not have the same amount of search volume today. This factor may be responsible for a dip in the CTR of your older articles.
You can begin by going to Google Search Console and doing the following:
- Go to your site’s Performance report
- Filter the search queries based on their Position, click Smaller than, and then input 21
- Click on the results that show up and choose Pages. This will allow you to see which pages show up when users search for that particular keyword.
Another tool you can use is the Google Keyword Planner to see suggested keywords for your older articles. This can help you find more keywords and phrases that you might not have optimized for yet.
Just remember that when looking for additional or new keywords to use on your existing content, do not forget to take note of long-tail keywords. These can help you rank easier on SERPs and attract more relevant traffic to your website.
Understand Users’ Search Intent
Before adding every keyword that you find to your older articles, you should first understand users’ search intent. Remember that people use different keywords and phrases when they want to search for certain things.
Ask yourself what the user wants to see on the SERP when entering a specific query. Are they looking for information or do they want to make a purchase? Understanding the differences between keywords used for varying search intents will help you obtain the right kind of traffic that you are looking for.
Enhance Your Content’s Headlines
Your headlines are what will keep your audience on your site and reading through your article. Without a good headline, you may lose valuable traffic and have a hard time attracting new readers.
One way to improve your headlines is by adding the current year to them. This will help you entice users who are specifically looking for content written and published in the current year.
You can also use various tools that will provide you with ideas on how to enhance your existing content’s headlines, including the following:
- CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
- Portent’s Content Idea Generator
- Answer the Public
Update Your Content
Now that you have what you need to refresh your existing content, you should start updating each of your chosen articles. Here are some ways how you can accomplish this:
- Look at any research or statistics you have included in your older articles. Check if the data have been changed since you published your content and update your blogs and infographics accordingly.
- Ensure that all the outbound links included in your articles redirect to recent and existing pages. Remove or fix any broken links you encounter as they may negatively affect your SEO.
- Add images and other visual elements to your articles to get ahead of your competition.
- Improve the quality of your older content by checking each article for grammar and spelling. You may also update your content to match your current writing style and improved skills.
- Place internal links on your older content pointing to your newer articles. Doing so will improve your site structure and encourage readers to stay longer on your website.
Improve Your On-Page SEO
After updating your content, you should direct your attention to the on-page SEO elements of your website. Ensuring that your on-page SEO is updated will help your rank higher and drive more relevant traffic to your site.
The first thing you need to do is include your main keywords in the title, URL, meta description, and headings of your existing articles. Then, add your secondary keywords to your content’s subheadings.
Update Your CTAs
The last thing you should do when refreshing your content is to update your CTA. You should change your CTA if you have a newer product that matches the topic of your updated content or a new lead generation prompt that will help you increase your conversion rates.
Keep in mind that your CTA should match your audience’s search intent. You can do this by looking at the keywords you used in the article and determining your readers’ motivation.
Publish and Promote Your Updated Content
Once you have refreshed your older articles, you should publish them on your website. You should also promote them on your social media accounts to entice more people to read your updated articles.
Experience the Benefits Your Updated Content Provides
Updating your older articles will allow you to obtain higher rankings, better conversions, and increased traffic to your website without spending too many resources. Accomplishing this will also encourage users to visit and browse through your site and learn more about the products and services that you offer. In time, you can convince them to pay for your products and services and become a long-term customer.
If you want to ensure that your older articles are updated properly, you should consider working with an SEO company. This type of organization has the skills and tools needed for refreshing your existing content, which can greatly benefit your business.
Author Bio: Marc Bartolome is a strategist and enabler of hundreds of successful digital marketing campaigns. Always looking out for the little guys, he specializes in helping SMEs create a bigger impact online – which is why he writes blog posts like this.