There’s more to content marketing than just creating new content. A crucial tactic content marketing experts need to consider is updating and republishing their old blog posts.
Among other benefits of content marketing, blog updates drive SEO and broader business value such as:
- Saving time
- Boosting content relevance
- Helping content rank
- Driving traffic
For instance, a recent blog post that Venngage updated resulted in a spike in registration rate from 7% to 14% in a span of 4 weeks.
This article outlines how you to update your old blog posts and boost blog traffic in 3 steps:
- Audit and identify blog content to update
- Conduct keyword research and determine search intent of relevant keywords
- Optimize body for SEO and add visuals
1. Audit and Identify Which Blog Content to Update
The first step is to create a repository of your blog posts and use Google Analytics to analyze key performance metrics:
- Organic sessions: Organic traffic from search engine results
- Average session duration: Amount of time people spend on your website
- Bounce rate: Percent of visitors who leave your website without taking an action (e.g., clicking through to another page)
Other metrics you can track to measure success include:
- Social shares: Number of shares a post receives on social media
- Inbound links: Number of domains that link to a blog post
You might have over 100 blog posts, updating all of them is certainly not the answer. What’s important is identifying the ones that are worth updating.
To choose which content is worth updating, consider:
- Content with high-volume keywords but declining organic traffic: These are posts that were ranking well for high-volume keywords but have experienced a dip in organic traffic in the recent past. This can be due to a competitor’s post taking over or a decline in search volume.
- Content with high organic traffic but low conversions
- Content with high traffic but isn’t converting. By updating and optimizing them, you can aim to leverage the traffic to generate leads and increase conversions.
- Well-performing content: Republishing can extend the performance of blog posts that performed well in terms of attracting traffic, shares, or links when they were published.
- Outdated content: Blogs can become outdated, but have the potential to rank better if updated and republished.
2. Conduct Keyword Research and Study Search Intent for Updated Content
Use a keyword research tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to find which keywords the content ranks for.
You might realize that your initial target keywords might be too competitive, broad, or no longer as relevant. Create a comprehensive list of long-tail keywords that will drive traffic with higher search intent.
Make sure you also do a competitor analysis by analyzing the posts that rank above your blog post and evaluate the keywords they rank for. This will help you identify gaps in your content and update it accordingly to rank for additional keywords.
It’s also important to check if your blog post aligns with the search intent associated with your target keywords: Type the target keyword in the search bar and analyze the blog posts that appear on the first search results page. Identify the dominant search intent in those posts.
This indicates what aspect people are most interested in knowing about and sets the foundation for the content angle you can take in your updated post.
For instance, the search results for the keyword "accounting software" relate to accounting for small businesses.
To rank for this keyword, you will need to update your content so that it matches the same search intent.
3. Update the Body and Visuals in Blog Content
Here is a list of on-site SEO services you can leverage to comprehensively update blog content:
● Title the content using the new target keyword
● Optimize headers, body content, and the meta description for new target keyword(s)
● Add new sections to make the blog post more comprehensive
● Add new supporting data, quotes, and statistics
● Remove links and content that are no longer relevant
● Replace content or data that is outdated
● Add internal links
● Improve readability of the post by breaking up large paragraphs, adding images, adding bullet points, and using header tags
One thing you should not change is the URL of the blog post. You also can add an editor’s note stating that the article has been updated for accuracy.
Adding Visuals Can Produce Results for Blog Content
You can’t expect readers to sit through large chunks of text. Research shows that the more visuals a blog post has, the more likely it is to succeed.
So, while updating old blog posts, one of the most important additions you must make is adding more visuals. However, stock photos are not always the best idea.
In fact, 40% of marketers said that original graphics performed best for them. This isn’t surprising because original graphics are unique and more effective in appealing to readers as compared to run-of-the-mill stock photography.
Here are the different types of original graphics you can use in your updated blog posts to make them more visually appealing:
● Process diagrams (flow charts, mind maps, etc.)
● Charts and graphs
● GIFs and memes
Update Blog Posts to Earn SEO Benefits
Once you’ve republished the old blog post, make sure you promote it like a new blog post through your email marketing and social media channels.
So, don’t be a marketer who creates content, moves on, and doesn’t look back. It’s important to constantly revisit your repository of content, analyze performance, and identify old blog posts that can be updated to boost traffic and search engine rankings.