How To Optimise Old Content

In this guest post for Superb Digital, LeadFuze founder Justin McGill takes a look at four simple tactics to re-optimise your old blog content and why this is such a powerful SEO strategy.

If you have a decent blog with more than 50 posts, it’s always a good idea to go back and evaluate things from time to time, regardless of how well you’ve optimised your content the first time around. In all of our posts, we use Yoast SEO (like millions of others). There’s always a sense of satisfaction when you see the “SEO” and “Readability” lights hit green. But even the most evergreen content needs help.

In this guide for Superb Digital, I will provide you with four simple but highly effective tactics to help you freshen up all of your content — boosting traffic and generating more buzz.

Tactic One: Erase Content

Google’s algorithms are not sentimental and sometimes less is more. That “our first blog post” that has nothing to do with the focus of your business is not helping your SEO. In fact, it could be hurting your rankings.

There’s a great post from Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation that teaches you exactly how he did his own “content audit” and the results he got from it.

Here’s the gist in three bullet points:

  • Look at Current Content: Find content that doesn’t speak to your core audience (things that aren’t ranking, aren’t getting shared, etc..)
  • Make Changes: Irrelevant posts should be removed and outdated content updated. Short content should be consolidated and increased to become a better resource on the topic. Content that doesn’t rank or has traction should be fixed.
  • Internal Links: It’s insanely common not to update internal links. Going through and taking the time to make sure all internal links are good, adding new pertinent ones and removing all the bad ones will make a huge difference.

Doing this will lighten the load of your overall content and improve the focus.

Tactic Two: Don’t Erase Content

Yes, that subtitle is for effect — but it’s also true.

Here’s what I mean.

On posts that get traction, meaning those that bring in traffic, you’ll likely not want to remove content from the page. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t update it, though.

Example: There is a post with a list of resources that went live a year ago. Now, there are 3 resources that are no longer good. Instead of deleting that content (which is indexed and possibly bringing traffic) strikethrough instead.

This is a tactic I first picked up from the Kissmetrics blog. You add a little text that explains what happened (i.e. company went under, etc.), then strikethrough the text that is no longer valuable to the reader.

Why This Helps: It makes your content truly more valuable. People searching for those terms will find out that they’re no longer good (and be thankful). You also won’t lose traffic. Win-win.

Tactic Three: Semantics, Semantics

Google’s bots won’t just search for formatting and keywords but will examine the general language of a page. This has given rise to what’s known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).

Example: Pretend you’re at a party and there are two groups, each surrounding a different person. One is using a few buzzwords regarding a certain topic, but another is clearly knowledgeable about the same subject.

Person one is a fraud. Someone who is trying to be cool by the water cooler, but has no real knowledge. Person two knows what they are talking about.

Google uses latent semantic indexing to determine if your site is closer to person one or two.

Now, assuming you are person two and know what you are talking about, here’s how to make sure Google sees you as the person at the party with the genuine knowledge to back up their chat.

Here’s a screenshot of the bottom of page one for the term “cold email tips”.

Google Related Search
Google’s Related Search

Terms like “cold email to a potential client” or “cold emails that get responses” aren’t likely to have a ton of monthly search traffic. Person one at the party won’t give these a second thought and they likely won’t end up in his blog post about cold email tips.

Person two, however, understands the topic so well that they will naturally employ this type of language in their writing.

You can use this to create an outline for new content, or just update the older posts to include the newfound LSI keywords.

Bonus Tip: You can go 2-3 levels deep here. Just click on the keywords until you’ve got a list that will help you fashion the perfect post that’s hitting all the right LSI keywords.

Tactic Four: Re-Release Your Content

Perhaps one of the best things we’ve done to improve and optimise content is to re-release older posts once they’ve been updated.

It’s surprisingly easy to do.

After all, you’ve already gone through the trouble of updating, striking through and adding newly discovered relevant keywords so it makes sense that your new and improved content deserves some attention. If you use WordPress all you need to do is change the release date to the day you’d like to re-publish it and hit “Update”.

Then, send an email to your marketing list.

We’ve done this for several posts in the past. Here’s a screenshot of the analytics for one of the latest – a piece on follow up emails.

Follow Up Emails
Analyse Traffic in Google Analytics

We re-released it in early February. You can see how it well it performed in comparison to the last 28 days of January (Feb is a short month).

“But that’s just that’s just the traffic from your list, right?” I heard you ask. Well, no. Here’s another screenshot showing the continued traffic improvement.

Follow Up Traffic
Watch The Traffic Grow!

We’re still enjoying more traffic for this post in April, too.

Let’s Recap

Content shouldn’t be fired out and forgotten. Even evergreen shrubs need tending to every once in a while. Doing this on older content virtually guarantees improved traffic and engagement.

Implementing things like LSI keywords on your new content will cut down on the maintenance down the road. Updating and re-releasing content is a great way to increase the number of blogs you put out without writing a completely new article.

For instance, the LeadFuze blog is about to roll out one re-release per week. This is in addition to one new post and a guest post. That’s 3 days a week with content — a lively blog with only one we’re writing.

Everyone wants practical ways to repurpose their content. Hopefully, I’ve given you four here that you may not have heard about. Here’s to using it and seeing results.

Are you looking to maximise your business’ SEO? Book in your free strategy call today to find out how we can help.