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Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury
Do you know old blog posts can boost your overall site SEO?
Content is King & we all know it. It is the foundation of marketing strategy & even after 100 years; it will remain the same. At the beginning of marketing, before the birth of the internet and Google, content existed. As time goes by, marketing strategy improves. However, the base always remains the same.
Look around you. Almost all small to big brands are now investing in content marketing. Now it is a vital part of every business. Static websites are long gone. The more quality content you write, the more organic traffic you will probably receive from search results.
Now the question is–what about our old existing content that we have written 6-10 years ago? Those are almost obsolete. Because as you already know, Google developed their algorithm with QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) and looking for fresh & new content to show them in SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
If your blog post is about 6-10 years old, there is a little chance it will remain on the top of SERP unless it is absolute evergreen content. Old blog posts will not perform as well as before.
Now think carefully; if your blog is ten years old and you have written 24 blog posts per year, then there are 100s of posts that have already become obsolete & are performing poorly.
Do you leave them exactly where they are? Or do some tweaks and repairs, and include some new contents to make them fresh again.
In this article, I will show you how to update old blog posts for SEO and increase organic traffic like before.
Identify which old blog posts you should update.
As I said, if your blog is ten years old and you have written 24 blog posts per year, then it’s around 100s of blog posts already obsolete. But, this is a low-frequency blog publishing style. Some people write 10-15 blog posts per month; in that case, it’s around 120+ blog posts per year.
As you can see, old pages are piling up as time passes. Therefore, I think you should make a schedule for updating old blog posts and writing new content. In this way, you can reduce piling up old contents.
But what about selecting old content that you want to enhance in the first batch? Well, it’s better to leverage the “Google Analytics tool” to identify which old content was popular back then—or still getting a little monthly traffic.
The selection criteria are entirely based on your decision. What kind of business do you have? How do you make a profit? Ask yourself what your selection criteria are.
Let me show you some examples:
- If your website is solely based on the blog post (articles) and you make a profit from affiliate programs & ad revenue, then high-quality and relevant traffic should be your selection metric.
- Revenue should be your vital metric if you sell online services, for example, ad management, SEO, and content writing services.
- If your blog is part of a brand website and the blog post links back to product pages, then again, high quality and relevant traffic should be your selection criteria.
Head to your Google Analytics page and look at the Behavior section to get an idea of the traffic you receive for every blog post. In my opinion, your target should be how long people are staying on your page. However, bounce rate is not a factor here, as you are not measuring the whole website’s performance.
Google search console to check organic traffic.
Another best method to measure performance is the Google search console. Get an idea of how much organic traffic your old blog post is still getting. In this way, you can measure how Google treats your old content. These two free Google tools should be enough to judge the performance of your old content.
From here, you should categorize them as tier 1, 2 & 3 old, underperforming content. Now start your campaign to enhance them according to your schedule.
Here are six steps to enhance your old content:
1. Perform keyword optimization.
Perhaps you may already do this back then 6-10 years ago; however, as you know, it has changed a lot since then. Therefore, read the full content thoroughly and identify how to implement new keyword optimization. Even some keywords may have become obsolete altogether.
Therefore, it’s better to conduct keyword research from scratch and implement those on your old content.
Quick Note: Do not overuse keywords in your content. Google does not tolerate any more keyword stuffing. Besides, overusing keywords can reduce your readability, affecting your overall SEO performance. Instead, it would be best to focus on improving the content to give the best user experience.
2. Restructure the old content.
It may happen to your old and new content that its structure may not perform well enough. First, you have to figure out why it’s happening. Sometimes a piece of content is well-written. However, it lacks visual elements, i.e., images and videos. For example, a user won’t understand what to do if your content is “How to set up WordPress using c-panel” without good photos.
Therefore, in that case, use enough visual elements to make it easy for your audience to digest. If you must add a video or infographic to make it more meaningful, then do it. Now, identify which old content needs to improve like this, add necessary components, and republish it.
When you check old content, do not forget to analyze all links (external & internal) to determine whether those links are working. As well as whether the website/blog content you are linked with is updated. You may rewrite this old content with new information, but the content of the external source you are connected to remains old.
Therefore, check those external links & contents. If that content is still appropriate, you do not need to change it; however, find new content to link with if it is old. It is the best practice for your content marketing.
Quick Note: Internal links are vital for your content structure. When you update the old content, focus heavily on it to get the most out.
4. Refresh old blog posts with more words.
Nowadays, words are a significant factor in ranking up in Google. Before 2005 people used to write the content of no more than 500 words. But now, 3,000+ words of content is standard. Bloggers are racing to create mountains-like content (5,000+ words). The more helpful information you can pile up in one content is better.
It’s far better to create one enormous article than 5-6 small ones. Thus, you should check out the word counts of your old content. If it’s applicable & necessary, then inject more helpful information and make it larger, at least 2,450+ words.
5. Recheck the headlines.
As I said, 6-10 years is a long time, almost like a new generation. Thus check your headlines of old content. For example, today’s “10 ways to” is far more popular than the “How to” title. For instance, if your old content was “How to Implement SEO in Your Blog” & contains ten easy steps, then change the title to “10 Easy Steps to Implement SEO in Your Blog”.
It will become more eye-catching and trendy content.
Quick Note: Use the headline analyzer tool to create a better title for your blog post.
6. Catch the user intent.
It is a new trend. Keyword optimization has become almost a secondary objective. Instead, webmasters are now focusing on the “search intents” of users. Before 2005 injecting high-volume keywords in your content would do the job; however, now it doesn’t work that way. Nowadays, you should focus on user intent and write content based on that rather than focus on a specific set of keywords.
Instead of focusing on specific keywords, webmasters now concentrate on “LSI Keywords,” which means “latent semantic indexing keywords.” As a result, you are no longer required to research keywords but rather focus on the quality of content.
For example, if you write the content “10 Easy Steps to Implement SEO in Your Blog,” here you intend to deliver the concept of SEO implementation on a website.
Use LSI graphs to get an idea of semantically related keywords.
Even if you do not inject low-competitive keywords or never inject any targeted keywords at all, still, Google will realize your content & if it serves the best to its users, then you will rank higher in SERP. Without doing any form of keyword optimization & research.
Updating your old content and making it whole new again will take a severe amount of time and effort, almost like writing new content from scratch. But again, this will give you the same benefit as writing brand-new content.
Search engines are always looking for fresh content. So if it is found that your 6-10-year-old content has recently been updated with new links, images, text, videos & infographics, it will boost overall traffic.
Besides, your new content does not have any backlinks, no one knows about it, and no one shares it on social media, while your old content already received a lot of it. Thus, in this case, updating old content is far more beneficial than creating a new one.