If you have a blog, you’re probably thinking of new ideas for content all the time. Whether you’re new at marketing or a seasoned pro, you want your website to rank for every relevant keyword — plus add your own insight on industry trends and topics to build expert authority.
What’s great is that you don’t always have to rely on original content. You can make the most of your old ideas, too. When you learn how to renew or repurpose older blogs to keep up with the way search engines have changed, you won’t have to always scramble. Think of updating older blogs or a content audit, like reupholstering your living room chairs. Refreshed copy and images can make your website more attractive for readers, search engines and your business.
Here are 5 ways to revamp your old blog posts, boost SEO, and generate interest and pageviews without a ton of effort.
1. Keep information up to date
If the information on your website is up to date, your page will get better quality backlinks from other pages. The goal is to gain backlinks from reputable sites which builds credibility for your brand.
Let’s say you have a blog post about the Super Bowl. It’s important to make sure the post is updated each year when a new NFL team wins the Big Game. Updating every post with the latest information isn’t always going to be easy, but keeping the information current will lead to higher quality content, better quality backlinks, more traffic and better ranking in search.
Another suggestion is to indicate the post is updated. Simply adding “(UPDATED)” and the current year to the title will notify anyone searching for that keyword that you have the most recent facts. This is helpful because anyone searching for that keyword will be more likely to click on your page when they know the information is from the current year.
2 Bolster your links and multimedia
SEO experts also suggest increasing a website’s traffic by adding relevant internal links to each post. If your post is about your healing teas, your readers may also click on other posts about the best electric tea kettles. Adding internal links helps create a string of content that keeps the reader on your site longer, checking out other articles they’re interested in. You can also create customized links, like “People also ask” or “See also” references before linking to another page on your site.
A huge factor for Google’s SEO algorithm is “dwell time” or the amount of time a user spends on a webpage. The goal is to get users or visitors to spend more time on your page(s), and a proven way to do that is by adding pictures and videos. A longer dwell time shows your page has higher quality, because of the time spent looking at the content.
Another tip is to look for broken links, especially for really old posts. The links you directed a reader to back then may not work anymore, so change the old links to new links with the most up-to-date information. You can find broken back links using sites like DeadLinkChecker.
3. SEO best practices change
Although search engine optimization has been around since 1991, the practice of improving SEO may not be first hand, especially for business owners who are less savvy than web developers (the majority of marketers, including myself). This means the rules around SEO have changed dramatically in recent years with what Google, Yahoo or Bing recommended earlier.
If you’ve been writing for a while and have posts from 2017 or 2018, it could be possible that the reason they aren’t ranking well now is that something’s off with the latest SEO best practices. To regenerate that traffic, update that information, include more links to reputable sites and update your use of SEO-friendly keywords.
4.Identify underperforming posts
Don’t go down a rabbit hole with this one, because it’s driven around priority. Find older posts or blogs with keywords you want to focus on, but make sure the effort to update them is worth the end result.
You might think that the best posts to update are the ones that didn’t generate much traffic, but the opposite is actually true. Experts like Michael Tomaszews of resume-builder site Zety and Thomas Brodbeck of Found Search Marketing suggest updating old posts that had high traffic and that other sites linked to. Brodbeck recommends looking over old blog posts a couple of times each year to look for outdated information and opportunities to apply the latest SEO best practices.
From there, you can identify the specific pages that didn’t rank well and fix them.
Also, if you’re not familiar with the Google Search Console, you should be. With this tool, you can sort your posts by average ranking position and see the number of clicks and impressions. The click-through rate (CTR) shown on the Console tells you how many users saw your post on a search and clicked to read it. If a page has a low click-through rate, it tells you that your post showed up in searches, but not enough people clicked on your page as a search result.
5. Don’t change too much
The good news is that you don’t need to completely redo an old post and start from scratch. It’s not necessary to change the post’s URL because establishing your blog’s history is an important piece of the SEO puzzle. If the search engines recognize that your blog has been cranking out content for a number of years, it’s a credibility boost. To that point, avoid mentioning the year in the title or URL because that information can and should be updated to always reflect the current year’s information.
The bottom line: A blog post typically has a shelf life of only two years and about 80% of your organic traffic will come from the backlog of posts your site has produced over the years. This is why it’s so important to update your posts to re-boost their SEO value. Even well-performing posts can run out of gas over time, but the opportunity to drive traffic, is yours.
If you’d like more marketing tips on this topic, check out my blog on Finding keywords with social media. That will help with SEO as well.