Over the years, SEO has evolved continuously. A factor that remained consistent no matter what was content marketing. If a website was going to rank for keywords, you needed to have those terms throughout the site repeatedly. SEOs would create single pages using heavily targeted, highly searched terms with bare bones content. As we fast forward to today, our strategies have shifted.
Now, the recommendation is to keep the content longer with less of a focus on exact matched terms. We want these pages full of rich content that will keep users on the site longer and more engaged. When we look at old blog posts that are outdated and underperforming, it can hurt the site’s overall authority with Google by encouraging higher bounce rates and fewer clicks.
Additionally, both users and search engines prefer to see fresh content. This is of particular importance to news sources and blog posts. When we search “How to write content for SEO,” we get these results:
If you came across these results, you’d most likely go for the one dated April 12, 2017. There has been quite a bit of change since 2011, so typically a user would lean towards the most recent post.
Before you start clicking the delete button on those old articles, use this opportunity to plan your next steps towards a stronger SEO strategy.
Redirect or Repurpose?
The next step is to decide what to do with those old articles. You can setup a 301 redirect that sends users to a more recent post on the same topic. The other option is to repurpose the content and make it fresh again.
Determining What Posts to Edit
How do we determine what to redirect, repurpose or leave alone?
First, you need to know how many posts you have on the website. You could use tools like Screaming Frog or another spider tool to extract the URLs. Next, go into Google Analytics and see how many of those posts received a visit organically in the past 90 days. If that landing page showed zero results, it’s probably time to redirect or rewrite.
To make things easier, we created this Blog Repurpose Template to help you.
Repurposing Old Content
Once you have decided on what content to repurpose, it’s time to come up with a plan. Since each article may need a different strategy, we put together some ideas to get the creative SEO juices flowing.
Low-hanging fruit. This is an opportunity to look at the posts that are ranking, but not quite reaching their full potential. If it’s hanging around position 7 to 15, then this would be an excellent opportunity to freshen up.
Images. You don’t always have to focus solely on the content. Images are another great way to optimize an old post. Update the pictures and screenshots and include optimized ALT tags.
Comments. If there were discussions or questions in the comments that seem relevant to today consider updating that article using some of the feedback that is right in front of you.
Structure. You could also consider updating the headers, title tags, meta descriptions, bulleted lists, etc. These small changes can make a huge difference to a user’s experience on the site.
Once those edits are complete, update the published date on the blog post to a more recent time.
Tell All Your Friends
Now you’ve spent all this time updating old articles. It’s time to drive traffic back to those pages. You can promote the pages through your social media channels, email your list and reach out to influencers.