Do you want to boost your rankings in organic search results?
The strategy in this article will help you increase your rankings without any stress.
You can’t publish new content every time. So the best way to offer your site visitors fresh content and keep them engaged is to regularly update your old posts.
According to a study published on HubSpot, updating old blog posts played a key role in increasing the monthly views via organic search.
Another article on Search Engine Journal also confirmed that an updated content can yield better search rankings, more traffic, increased social shares, more links, and new clients.
This is why one of the major priorities of B2C content creators is to update their old content.
What most people do is update the date on an old article to a new date.
You need to do more than this if you want to get the maximum benefits of updating old posts (i.e. better organic traffic, ranking, engagement, and conversion).
Should You Improve or Remove Old Content?
If you prefer revising your content to creating a new one, then you might be wondering; should you improve or remove the old post?
You may need to remove your content when the link-building efforts on a particular page are yielding poor results and the content cannot be salvaged. Removal may also be an ideal option if no keyword relates to the topic. While doing these, don’t forget the purpose of a page.
The removal of content from your website should be as a result of any of the following reasons:
- Use of a keyword too many times (Keyword stuffing)
On the other hand, you may need to improve content when you can benefit from revising it rather than removing it.
How Can Removing Old Content Help Your Website?
In the SEO industry, getting rid of the old content is also referred to as ‘content pruning.’ Pruning may appear destructive but if you do it properly, it can enhance your rankings and improve your website’s SEO.
Content pruning plays a key role in:
- Improving user experience
- Making good use of the time and resources spent on making search engines crawl your site
Here are the different reasons why you need to remove old posts from your site:
Reduce the occurrence of the same keyword phrase on multiple web pages
Also known as keyword cannibalization, the presence of the same keyword phrase on different pages hurts ranking. When you use the same keyword phrase many times, you are simply competing with yourself.
This lowers your authority.
Also, in 2019, Google announced that its algorithm will get rid of multiple listings from a single domain to enhance site diversity.
If you want to publish new content, ensure you don’t have an article that is targeting the same keywords you intend to use.
Remove the page if you do.
Get rid of irrelevant pages
Irrelevant web pages offer no value and they serve no purpose to the search engine crawlers or readers.
They waste crawler time on pages that offer little to no keyword value or traffic conversion.
If you keep wasting crawl budget on your site, search engines will be discouraged from revisiting your site and indexing your content.
For instance, if there is a product page for items that you’re no longer selling, you need to remove such a page. You should also remove headers or sections that are not relevant to the content on your web pages.
Remove web pages with low quality
Just like irrelevant pages, low-quality web pages serve no purpose on a site.
These pages do not rank for meaningful keywords, they draw little to no traffic, and they do not play any role in link-building.
All the pages on your site don’t need to offer SEO value.
You should keep content that does well on social media, updates loyal customers, or attracts targeted traffic. Ensure you have a good reason behind each of the pages on your website. If there’s no good reason for having a particular page, then remove such a page.
How Can Improving Old Content Help Your Website?
There are different reasons why you need to improve the old content on your site. These benefits are usually centered on creating a better user experience and promoting the use of better SEO strategies.
Here are the benefits you stand to gain from updating old blog posts:
Correct grammar and spelling errors
Although grammar and spelling do not have a direct effect on Google rankings, error-free content creates a great user experience.
Having many misspelled words in your content can create a negative user experience; this can end up hurting your rankings.
When you go through your old posts, you will be able to detect these mistakes and correct them.
Revising your content can also make the content clearer and more concise.
Go through your content to find content that is too long and shorten them.
Get rid of broken links
A useful resource that you linked to when you published your content years ago may no longer exist; leading to a broken link. Apart from hurting your rankings, this can also reduce user experience.
Your readers will not want to find a broken link when all they expect is a valuable resource.
The good news is that it is not hard to fix broken links.
You can carry out an in-depth SEO audit of your website to detect issues with links and other issues that you may need to pay attention to while refreshing your content.
Link to newer resources
You need data to support the claims you make in your content.
Data can quickly get outdated.
For instance, if you published an article in 2017 and you cited a resource from 2014, chances are you can find newer and better resources. The old resources could be reporting information that has been proven to be false.
Mark up any piece of content that requires citation as a page that you will need to revise in the future.
Your content needs to meet up with the ever-evolving research.
Improve internal links
Apart from including new resources, you should also improve your internal links.
Think about the content you have created.
Use your top-performing content to highlight the new pages. Don’t this will help in reinforcing your link-building strategy and also increase the traffic you attract from search engines.
Optimize for the right keywords
The behavior of searchers changes with time.
What you believed to be a valuable keyword six years ago may no longer be today.
This implies that keyword research that was done in the past (in most cases) does not present the best opportunities for searchers. Improving your old content helps you to re-evaluate your keyword research strategy and also optimize for the current keywords that take into consideration the intent of the searchers searching for such keywords.
Boost your click-through rate
The top-ranking results usually contain content published in the last few years, depending on how urgent the query is. With time,
Information becomes more accessible and people are more likely to go for recently published articles.
This still emphasizes the importance of content freshness.
For websites that have been around for a long period, they need to be revised to improve the click-through rate. Changing the date is not the only thing you need to do.
You can also update the title tag and meta description.
To have a compelling meta description, ensure you write something that addresses the main point and also promises that the page has detailed and valuable content.
Add rich media
Using different types of media improves the SEO of a site.
Images, videos, and other forms of media attract more links than web pages that do not have them.
When your page attracts links, then search engines will see your site as being valuable and trustworthy.
As a result, your site will be favored in search rankings.
Make the content mobile-friendly
Your old blog posts may not be mobile-friendly.
You need to revise your posts to ensure that they are optimized for mobile devices; this will go a long way in expanding your audience. You can do this by changing your page design.
If you want to improve your website’s SEO, then you need to consider updating your old blog posts.
Don’t see updating old posts as an opportunity to paste newer date on it.
Follow the strategies discussed in this article to update it so that you and your audience can get more value. This is a great way to boost the traffic your site attracts from search engines.
It will also improve your content’s rankings in search results.
If you want to start, then create new content in addition to the old articles on your site. Include new and more valuable resources, fix broken links on your site, and include graphics and other multimedia.
Also, improve your content’s accuracy and ensure the content is relevant and meets up with the latest trend.
Once you have improved your content, make it meet the latest requirements of Google’s algorithm.
More so, repurpose your post to different forms of media to expand its reach. You should also consider changing the keywords that your posts were optimized for.
Once you do these, then share the content.
Promote the content the same way you did when you published it for the first time. This helps you show new value to your readers.
By carrying out these updates on your content, your website and content will be able to enjoy better search engine rankings.
Elena is an SEO and Keyword Research professional who contributes to the blog section and manages the chat system at 1stpageKWs. She is passionate about helping clients rank higher and drive more traffic with effective SEO strategies. She also loves spending her precious time with her family.