Did you know that you can actually gain more traffic with the content you have already written than by writing new content? If you’ve been blogging for a while and have an archive of old posts saved up, you are practically sitting on a gold mine of potential traffic. All it would take for you to dramatically increase your page views is reviving that old content and giving it new life. When I started blogging 4 years ago, my main focus was getting as much new content on my blog as possible. It was important to give as much variety of content to my readers as possible to get my blog off the ground and attract visitors.
Unfortunately, I ended up completely neglecting the posts as soon as they were published. Some of them gained traction and brought in page views, but many of them ended up not being read by anyone. It took me a long while to realize the err of focusing only on new posts. Always spending your time writing new content is just like crumpling up your old work and throwing it away. Why would you want to do that when it can easily be revived?
The Many Benefits of Updating Old Blog Content
It is very much to your advantage to revive and revamp your old content to include great SEO (which we teach step-by-step in our SEO the Easy Way course), and to make sure your post stays on top of the search results. We’ll explain why below, as well as show you a few ways you can update your old content.
Reason #1: More Traffic and Opportunities
Much of your old content probably didn’t have good SEO implemented, so no one reads it, it can’t be found in search engines, and it’s not up to current content standards.
Just spending a bit of time updating it to include SEO and up-to-date information could result in an incredible amount of new traffic to that article.
Strategically improving your old posts and pages brings new eyes to every article and maximizes your chance to monetize through ads, affiliates, press/FAM trips, product reviews, and sponsored posts.
When I started reviving my old content in early 2017, I used our advanced techniques for reviving old content and I updated around 30 of my old posts that were already getting a good bit of traffic.
From this work, I saw a 142% increase in organic traffic within 6 months. It took some time to update each post, but it was well worth it.
During that time, I didn’t publish any new posts, I only updated the old ones. The traffic increase I received was way more than I would have from just publishing new content.
The next chunk of content updating I did earn me a 158% increase in traffic in 6 months. Clearly, this strategy works to increase your traffic, using just the content you’ve already written. So why are you still wasting time writing all that new content?
Reason #2: Freshness Factor
Another reason to keep your old post as up to date as possible is Google’s Freshness Factor.
The Freshness Factor is just a small piece of Google’s search engine algorithm, but it’s an important piece that you don’t want to overlook. It prevents old, high-ranking pages from appearing at the top of the results when new content is fresher and better.
We all know that Google’s main concern is giving the absolute best search results. Oftentimes, the best results are the newest ones.
Because new posts generally adhere closest to cutting-edge best practices. SEO changes rapidly and what worked yesterday no longer work today, so a newer post that is utilizing the latest SEO will likely outrank your post that was written 2 years ago.
New posts also contain the most up-to-date information on the topic, and if the latest info is important to that subject, the newer post will come out ahead. Google puts it well on their official blog. “Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh.”
In order to stay on top of the freshness factor, you need to regularly be updating your post with new SEO techniques and up to date information. Then Google may see fit to keep your post at the top of the search results.
If this all sounds alien to you, start your SEO journey by reading our free guide to SEO for Bloggers.
Reason #3: Boost Your Rankings
We spoke about gaining more traffic in reason #1, but there is another really important aspect of updating your old posts that will lead to more traffic, and that is to boost your rankings.
What do I mean by that?
Each of your blog posts stands alone in the search rankings. But you may not realize that they also act as a whole to influence your search rankings too.
If you have 100 posts and only 10 of them get any significant traffic, the other 90 are dragging the others down.
If you update your posts regularly and make sure you’ve included great SEO so they are all ranking well, those 90 will no longer be dragging you down, but catapulting you forward. In our book, Revive Old Content, we show you an easy way to make the most impact on your traffic by updating what we call you “low-hanging fruit” first.
However, you really can’t stop there. You need to also update the bottom feeders, so you no longer have those low-ranking posts dragging you down.
To improve your rankings it could be something as simple as tweaking your headline to make it more captivating (read how here) or a more in depth re-write to ensure you are meeting user intent and keeping Google happy.
You won’t know until you do a thorough Revive deep dive though. The data will determine the best options for moving forward.
There is something really therapeutic about reviving your old content!
Reason #4: Show Your Readers You Care
Just because it’s listed as the last reason, but doesn’t mean I’m not saying your readers are the least important reason to keep your content up to date.
In fact, your readers are your lifeblood. You want to keep them happy and well-fed. Updating your content regularly will show them that you care about the integrity of your content, and about giving them the best user experience.
For this reason, I have changed the way the date is shown in my posts. Instead of displaying a published date, which could be quite old, I display an updated date.
Now every time I update a post, the date gets refreshed to say “updated on”. To be fair to your readers, you should be making substantial updates to a post when you update the date. I’ve seen people change one thing in a post and save it only to update the date. Obviously, that’s not the point.
How to Update Old Content
Gone are the days that you can publish a new post and then forget about it and start working on the next one.
Now, especially with so much competition from other bloggers (you can blame us, sorry about that!), it’s more important than ever to regularly revive your old posts.
There are many ways to go about updating your old content, and all of them will have some impact on your results. But if you want to see the absolute best results, you need to be a bit strategic about the way you update and what changes you make.
Our ebook, Revive Old Content, goes in-depth to show you where to start and which posts to edit first for the biggest impact. It also shows you the smartest ways to approach updating.
We always recommend using Google Analytics and Google Search Console data to understand the way users are interacting with your site before you make any changes.
We always recommend starting with a solid understanding of SEO and how to apply it to your posts.
You will also want to learn how to research good rankable keywords to add to your post.
Then you can go a step further and find additional keywords that will allow you to attract even more traffic.
You can even “borrow” the keyword strategy of your top competitors to outrank them.
You can use your stats to examining your bounce rate and click-through rate to see where problem spots lie.
Another very important aspect of updating your old content is marketing it again after you’ve updated.
Just making some changes to a post may not be enough to give it the jump start it needs.
You should market it on Pinterest and social media, send it out to your subscribers again, share it in Facebook sharing groups, etc.
Check out the 10 Make Traffic Happen advanced SEO techniques in our 93 page ebook, Revive Old Content.
We show you how to do all of those things in our book, Revive Old Content. If you want to take advantage of all the years of experience and research I’ve put into growing my own blogs to over 150,000 page views per month, purchase the book and spend a few weeks to update old blog content. The impact this will have is guaranteed to be much greater than if you spend that same amount of time publishing new posts.
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