Blogging is a big part of many businesses’ marketing strategy and it is important that the content created ranks well on Google and therefore generates traffic. If done correctly, content can reach the first page of Google for relevant keywords.
The goal with SEO is to help content, or pages reach the top of rankings and stay there for as long as possible. However, it is not uncommon for content to drop down the rankings. When this happens, businesses often lose traffic and leads.
Oftentimes, blogs drop in rankings due to the information included becoming out of date and newer, more relevant content taking its place.
Luckily, this isn’t the end of the world, a quick update of a blog is usually enough to help it get back to the top of SERPs. In this post, we’ll look into the different ways you can refresh outdated blogs and reclaim their rightful place on organic search.
Take inspiration from competitors
Updating old content is an invaluable part of a marketing strategy, but it can be tricky to know where to start. This is where a bit of stalking of competitors comes in handy.
A great way of gaining insights into what is ranking well is by searching the keyword your blog aims to rank well for. This will show you the first page of results for that specific search query, otherwise known as competing blogs.
However, it is important to remember that not all ranking pages will be relevant. Some are likely to be Wikipedia pages and others may appear at the top due to Google AdWords. These can be discounted from your list of competitors. Therefore, during your research, you have to identify which among the pages are your direct competitors.
Once you have found a variety of competing articles, it is good practice to take a look at them and determine what each page is doing well. This is essentially a shortcut to working out what Google likes, and it is possible to use this information to help your blog rank highly.
Some helpful things to look at could include:
- the title
- meta title
- meta description
- article content.
When updating blogs, it is good practice to include the year in the title; this is something that can easily be updated and will help Google notice that the blog is relevant. This tactic can be applied to the body of the content as well, make sure any stats or resources are up to date as well as any trends.
Focus on internal linking
Internal linking is one of the most unsung heroes of SEO and falls under the bracket of on-page SEO. This means that you are altering things on your web page to improve your rankings, rather than changing external factors.
The amazing thing about internal linking is that it is incredibly simple and you don’t need to rely on anyone else to get it done.
The basic premise of internal linking is that in each blog, you include links to other pieces of content or pages on your website. By linking your blog posts to each other, you can boost your overall website SEO and generate higher amounts of organic traffic.
Whilst it may not sound like internal linking will make a huge difference, many businesses have benefited from it. Spencer Haws of Niche Pursuits launched an internal linking campaign that increased the search ranking of his pages by 76%. This was achieved simply by editing old blog content and adding internal links.
While it sounds simple in principle, it is still important to have a strategy before diving straight in. It is good to consider what pages will link well with each other and what will feel natural.
The goal of internal links is to improve your website’s topic relevance in the eyes of Google.
Another benefit of internal linking is it helps pass your site’s authority across all your content. The links help form an interconnected web of information about your site, which is likely to improve not only overall rankings but other metrics such as domain authority.
Whilst many aspects of SEO and content strategy have changed, one thing has always remained important; keywords. Optimizing content for a target keyword has always been a surefire way of ranking well on search engines. However, metrics that impact keywords (and how hard it is to rank for them) are constantly changing.
A really effective way of updating old blog content is by looking at what keywords a particular blog was trying to rank for. Metrics such as keyword volume and keyword density will play a huge part in changing where your content appears on SERP’s.
It is good practice to take a specific keyword and see what the search volume is; the higher the search volume, the more people are searching for that word or phrase. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs are helpful for this task.
If a keyword you were targeting before has a lower search volume than it did before, this could be a main reason why your content has stopped ranking. In this situation, it is recommended that you do some research and find another keyword with a similar intent, but a higher search volume.
Another important metric is the keyword difficulty, this refers to how hard it is so rank for a specific keyword. Generally, the higher the search volume, the harder it is to rank for it. This is simply because your competitors have also noticed how valuable the keyword is, and everyone is trying to rank for it.
If you want to rank, it is good practice to find a middle ground between search volume and keyword difficulty.
You can’t deny the power of simply dusting off your old blog content and making it new again. By implementing any of the above, if not all, you can update the information of your articles and reoptimize it for its intended keyword. This way, you can get the most ROI out of your existing content pieces.
About the author
Rebecca DiCioccio is the Marketing Manager at Paperform. Outside of work, Rebecca can be found exploring the outdoors or with a book in hand. Rebecca’s background in copywriting and keen interest in SEO and digital marketing mean she understands the importance of staying up to date with the latest trends in a dynamic and ever changing industry.