Refresh Old Content for Better Rankings





Blog Date

June 6, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Refresh Old Content for Better Rankings

Refresh Old Content for Better Rankings

As an SEO specialist, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of updating old content. It’s like breathing new life into your website, reviving those once-thriving pages and boosting their visibility in the search results.

Not too long ago, I had a client whose top-performing post on “best waterproof golf shoes” had started to slip in the rankings. The numbers were grim – down to a measly 800 page views per month. But with a few strategic content updates, we were able to 5x that traffic, restoring the post to its former glory of around 4,000 monthly visits.

The secret? It’s all about focusing on the 80/20 of content optimization. While a complete rewrite may seem tempting, the real magic happens when you identify those quick wins – things like updating the publish date, refreshing the meta title and description, and fixing any pesky grammar or spelling issues.

Let me walk you through the step-by-step process I used to revive that golf shoe post, and how you can apply the same tactics to breathe new life into your own aging content.

Updating the Publish Date: A Quick SEO Win

One of the first things I did was update the publish date on that golf shoe post. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Won’t that just make me look like I’m trying to game the system?” But hear me out.

Google is smart, and they know that simply changing the date without actually refreshing the content isn’t going to move the needle. But when combined with a genuine content update, updating the publish date can be a powerful SEO tactic.

Think about it from the reader’s perspective. If you’re scouring the search results, would you be more likely to click on a post from 2016 or one that’s fresh from this year? Exactly – the more recent content is always going to be more appealing.

So, after giving the post a thorough refresh, I updated the publish date, and voila – instant SEO boost. But that was just the beginning.

Optimizing the Meta Title and Description

Next, I took a close look at the post’s meta title and description. These are the snippets of text that show up in the search results, and they play a crucial role in driving click-through rate (CTR).

I made sure to incorporate some power words and numbers to really make the post stand out. For example, the new meta title might read something like: “9 Shocking Myths About Waterproof Golf Shoes (And What To Avoid).”

The key is to tap into that emotional response – things like “shocking,” “astonishing,” or “insane” just grab the reader’s attention. And let’s not forget the power of odd numbers – they seem to jump off the page more than their even counterparts.

Oh, and don’t be afraid to get a little playful with punctuation. Parentheses can be your best friend when it comes to meta optimizations.

Cleaning Up Grammar and Readability

While the meta title and description are crucial for that initial click, the real magic happens once the reader lands on your page. That’s why I always make sure to give the content a thorough grammar and readability check.

I’m a huge fan of Grammarly – it’s like having a personal grammar and spelling assistant right in your browser. With just a few clicks, it can identify and suggest fixes for any pesky errors, ensuring your content is polished and easy to digest.

But it’s not just about mechanics – I also take a close look at the overall formatting and structure. Are those paragraphs too long and unwieldy? Time to break them up into bite-sized chunks. Are there enough subheadings to guide the reader through the content? Get those H2s and H3s working overtime.

Remember, a great user experience is crucial for both conversions and SEO. So don’t be afraid to get a little hands-on with the formatting and readability. Your readers (and Google) will thank you.

Strengthening Internal Linking

Once the core content is refreshed and polished, it’s time to turn our attention to the internal linking structure. This is where you really start to see the compound effects of content optimization.

I always aim for 5-8 internal links on a page, carefully selecting relevant anchor text and directing readers to other pages on your site. And don’t forget about that crucial homepage link – making sure your updated post is properly categorized and linked from your homepage can work wonders for getting Google to re-crawl and re-index that content.

But it’s not just about adding new links – I also make a point to check for any broken or outdated links. Nothing ruins the user experience (and SEO) quite like a bunch of dead ends.

Expanding and Enhancing the Content

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Isn’t updating old content just a bunch of technical tweaks?” Not at all! The true power of content optimization lies in actually enhancing and expanding the substance of your posts.

Take a close look at what’s outranking you for your target keywords. Are the top-performing pages packed with images and videos? Do they feature detailed, step-by-step guides? Or maybe they’re leveraging those irresistible listicles?

Use these insights to identify opportunities to make your content more engaging, informative, and valuable. Maybe it’s time to add a few eye-catching visuals, or dive deeper into a related sub-topic that your competitors have overlooked.

And don’t be afraid to get a little personal. Sharing your own experiences and insights can be a powerful way to build trust and authority with your readers. After all, Google’s ranking algorithm is all about E-E-A-T – Expertise, Experience, Authority, and Trustworthiness.

Spreading the Word on Social Media

Once you’ve checked all those content optimization boxes, it’s time to give your freshly updated post a social media boost. After all, those social signals can play a crucial role in amplifying your SEO efforts.

I like to re-share the post across all my client’s relevant social channels, sparking new engagement and driving additional traffic back to the page. And don’t forget to encourage your readers to share the content as well – the more social love, the better.

The Proof is in the Pudding

As I mentioned earlier, the results we saw with that golf shoe post were nothing short of transformative. By applying these content optimization tactics, we were able to 5x the traffic to that page, restoring it to its former glory and then some.

And the best part? These strategies aren’t just a one-time fix – they’re the gift that keeps on giving. By continuously refreshing and enhancing your old content, you can maintain and even improve your search rankings over time, staying one step ahead of the competition.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to dive into your content archives and start breathing new life into those aging pages. Your SEO (and your bottom line) will thank you.

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