If you have been blogging for a while but ignoring your old blog contents, then you are missing out on a lot of search traffic. Remember that the quote, “Old is Gold” applies the best in the blogging industry. Hence, it is very important to optimize your blog content every now and then to make the best use of all the active content on your blog.
Search engine algorithm, especially Google algorithm changes too often nowadays. Hence, the possibility that your old blog content was optimized differently or contains outdated content increases with time. It is therefore important to keep the frequency of new posts intact but at the same time you must also go back and optimize your old blog content to generate better search engine traffic.
Optimizing old blog content won’t be much different from optimizing your new posts. However, the chances of ranking the older posts are always high compared to the fresh ones. This is the very reason why professional or successful bloggers keep an eye on how their older blog posts are performing and never shy away from optimizing those posts to improve search engine rankings.
Why Optimize Your Old Blog Content?
Recently, Google has updated their search engine algorithm putting emphasis on fresh content. In short, if there’s a quality new content qualifying a search query, this fresh content will get more important than the other older posts. This is the very reason why big publications update and re-share their older posts every now and then.
It is found by several Moz experiments that if you remove the publication date of the post from your blogs, then your organic traffic will improve by an average of 10%. On the other hand, you can also increase the organic traffic by 66% after a month if you update the publish date to something current and share the posts to social media as you do with new posts.
However, this will only work if you already have good organic search traffic. Also, this isn’t a formula to increase traffic, so simply updating the older posts every now and then won’t help you. You need to play smart and revive the older posts that are already ranking and generating search traffic not each one of them.
Also, there are few limitations to reviving older blog posts. The content of the blog post must be evergreen and it won’t help reviving event-based or seasonal articles. You need to analyze whether updating the old post will help your readers even today as it did then. Once you are convinced, you can optimize your old blog content and move towards improving search traffic.
Optimizing old blog content is all about making use of the existing contents on your blog which are otherwise lying in the interior pages of your category archives doing nothing. Here’s how you do it!
Step by Step Approach to Optimize Your Old Blog Content
You need to follow a systematic approach while reviving the old posts. If these blog posts are already ranking No.1 or 2 for several lsikeywords and fetching some great organic traffic, it will not be wise to change anything.
The first and foremost step is identifying the posts which can be re-optimized to improve search engine traffic. Let’s talk about the reviving older blog posts in the smartest way possible.
Here’s the step-by-step formula to optimize your old blog content:
Step 1: Identify the Old Posts to be Re-optimized
If you are blogging for a while, then the number of blog posts published on your blog will be in hundreds. Well, not all of them qualify to be revived or re-optimised. While few of them are already performing well and placed high on SERPs, few others aren’t worth it as the topics aren’t evergreen.
The only older blog posts that qualify to be revived are the ones which are evergreen and have the potential to rank better. These blog posts are ranking within top 50 for several high volume search queries but don’t feature in top 10.
Make a list of such posts and re-optimize these posts to improve your search traffic. You can use the Google Search Console data to find such posts as well.
Step 2: Generate New Keyword Ideas to Relevant to Old Posts
Once you have identified the old posts, you can work on new keyword ideas. You must have already researched and targeted keywords while publishing these older posts. However, there’s no guarantee that the search volumes are still the same for those keywords.
It is important to start fresh and update the targeted keywords based on current trends. Identify a fresh list of keywords relevant to these old posts and use them to re-optimize your older posts and improve the visitor traffic from search engines.
There’s no need to write the articles all over again. Simply update the content according to the current information and place these new keyword ideas smartly within the updated content. Make the content more interactive with headlines and bulleted list, so the readers find it interesting and user-friendly.
Step 3: Update the On-Page Data to Target Better
While you find new keywords and update the content accordingly, you must also re-optimize the Metadata for these blog posts. Update the SEO Title and Meta Description of the posts based on new keywords.
Also, chances are that you have not added any images when you published the posts earlier. You can add some images this time with proper ALT tags. If you have added the images, you can update the ALT tags according to the new keywords. Ensure that you have the proper Heading tags throughout the content as well.
Such Metadata update will optimize your old blog content better for search engines.
Step 4: Build Few Links to the Older Blog Posts
Link building is very important to rank your blog posts in search engine listings. Building links to older posts will generate better results compared to building links for the old niche posts or new posts. You can ask other bloggers within your network and request them to share the links to your revived old blog content on their blogs.
You can also find relevant older blog posts published by other top blogs and request them to cite your post as it contains updated and better content. You can also create new guest posts on other blogs to generate link backs to your existing old blog posts as well.
Step 5: Update Publish Dates
If you are blogging on WordPress platform, then you get the option to change the publish date based on your preferences. However, changing the publish date won’t be a wise option if you are using the default permalinks for your blog post URLs.
The default permalinks contain month and year within the URLs when the article was published originally. It means that if you change the publish date; the URL of the old blogs will change accordingly.
Hence, it is important to check the permalink settings of your blog before you make any changes. If there’s no mention of the date, month or year anywhere in the blog post URL, you can go ahead change the publish date to the current day. However, if there’s a mention of date within the URL, you don’t need to worry.
There are WordPress plugins with the help of which you can add the “Updated” tag and post will display the date when the post was updated recently. This will not tamper with your URL structure but at the same time will get the work done to revive the older blog posts.
Well, there are no overnight changes here. It will take some time to get the desired results. You need to wait for at least a month to witness the results. If you are convinced of the results, you can always repeat the same for other older blog content.
Recommended Additions to Your Old Blog Content
Besides updating the content and the Metadata of your old blog content, you can also add few elements that can come handy in the longer run. Blogging is evolving and it is better to stay ahead of this curve rather than fall behind.
Reviving old blog content isn’t just about the SEO relevant updates but also making it better for the users reading it.
Here are few recommendations:
Converting the blog post into video
YouTube is a huge platform today and converting the blog into a helpful YouTube video will offer leverage compared to other competitors. A YouTube video will also help in adding new subscribers to your YouTube Channel as well.
Creating an Infographic based on Blog Content
Infographic images are often shared and cited by bloggers within the same niche. You can hire a professional and get creative. If there’s a possibility, you can always create an infographic image to offer your readers a visual option to understand the content. In addition, you also improve the chances of generating backlinks naturally to your blog content.
Cite official resources or helpful links
While it is important to build links, you should also add resource links to other sites as well. You can cite official resources or add helpful links so that your readers can get more information about the topic. Adding such references is also considered search engine friendly too. Hence, it will help you improve your google search result presence too.
Add Internal links to relevant blog posts
Besides adding external links, you should also add a few internal links to your new blog posts to pass some link juice to the fresh articles. Adding internal links to other relevant blog posts will also help you control the bounce and keep the user engaged on your blog.
Over to you!
To achieve success in blogging, you not only need to work hard but also smart. If you have been blogging for a year or more, then reviving your old blog content is the smartest thing to do. Simply optimize your old blog content and take a step towards improving your search engine presence while regularly publishing new blog posts and ideas.