Reimagining the Past: Optimizing New Life into Old Content
When it comes to managing existing content, many websites take the “let sleeping dogs lie” approach and do nothing. Once a blog is up, it’s all but forgotten. Why put all that time and energy – not to mention money – into creating new content only to have it languish in interweb limbo as soon as it scrolls off the main page of your Twitter feed? There is a great opportunity for growth (in terms of both brand recognition as well as increasing your site’s traffic and conversion rate) through the (re)optimization of existing content. How great is the opportunity? HubSpot discovered that a whopping 76 percent of their blog’s monthly page views were of posts published months before. After those blogs were optimized (again), the number of month leads they generated doubled and organic traffic increased by about 106 percent.
Why Optimize Old Content?
There was a time when we thought content optimization meant cramming a blog full of as many keywords as humanly possible. While some clients are still asking for 20 instances of “good plumber cheap Miami” in a 200-word piece, most now know that best way to get people on your page is by offering well-written, well-researched, high-quality content crafted with actual human beings in mind. By revisiting your old content and reworking it to better reflect the standards used to rate and rank content today, you’ll give current readers a better product and search engines a reason to sit up and take notice.
What to Do – A Brief Look at Optimization
- Start With the Hits – Identify the blogs that are already getting the most traffic and (re)optimize those first.
- Edit as You Optimize – The quality of your content is just as important (if not more so) as the quantity of the people looking at it, so while you’re shoring up your SEO take the time to tweak any outdated data, smooth out awkward phrasing, and correct stray typos.
- Switch Up Your Images – Old images look dated; new images infer new content and may inspire people who’ve already read the blog to give it another look.
- Link it Up – Reference respected sources, link relevant anchor text to articles you’ve posted since the original piece went up, and make sure links in the original text are still active.
- Spit-Shine the SEO – Take a look at your keywords and note room for improvement. There is evidence that long-tail keywords are more effective; identify relevant terms and work them in only where it makes sense.
- A Dud is a Dud is a Dud….? – Blogs that were promoted and never received any significant traction back then might not be worth your time now. Blogs that are dated or no longer relevant might be best left alone, too. That means you, Top 10 Ways to Wear Parachute Pants.
Finding a Balance Between Old and New
Giving your professional blogger for hire a bit of a break is one thing; letting them go altogether in favor of SEO strategy that centers solely on piggybacking off old content is something else entirely. While you’re busy being smart and harnessing the latent power of your existing library of content, take advantage of your contractor’s experience and involve them in your website renovation. In between sprucing up your best and brightest entries from months or years past, they can dream up a few new pieces that continue to help build your brand into the shining star you want it to be.
BIO: Alana M is waging a one-woman war against the ravaging effects of autocorrect. When she isn’t hard at work writing all kinds of witty and engaging content, she enjoys long walks on the beach, lion taming, nuclear physics and lying about her hobbies.