Sometimes, well-performing posts lose steam. This happens due to the content getting less relevant over time or the declining search volumes for your main keywords.
Other times, you post genuinely good content that doesn’t end up yielding the results you think it deserves. If an otherwise well-researched and well-articulated post isn’t getting enough traffic, then something must have gone wrong with your on-page optimizations and off-page promotions.
Here are a few tips on refreshing old content and boosting them on the SERPs:
1. Replace Old Keywords
You should always do a fresh run of keyword research. This is because keywords can lose popularity over time.
Keyword search volumes are dependent on how frequently users type them into the search bar. Therefore, if people start to change the specific terms they use for their searches, the keyword rankings will also change.
Once you have an updated keyword list, look for outdated keywords and replace them with new ones. This will recalibrate your blog post’s rankings once crawlers pick up on the changes you make.
2. Check for Outdated Posts
Information can get outdated. Depending on technological developments, changes in legislation, or significant socio-political events, the content you write today may not be beneficial in three months.
For content to be beneficial to readers, it needs to be relevant. So, for example, if you wrote a tutorial on troubleshooting a laptop, it shouldn’t feature information on how to do it on defunct operating systems. Likewise, if your post is all about business litigation, it should be updated on current laws and policies.
3. Add More Information
Check for possible thin content. There’s no definite word count that magically gets you a higher ranking in the SERPs, but your blogs need to be both informative and easy-to-understand. Anything that’s too short can be unhelpful, while anything that’s too long can be rambling and hard to digest.
Oftentimes, one-paragraph blog posts don’t offer much value. Likewise, people get disinterested if you keep rambling about one topic, go on unrelated tangents, and take too long to get to your point. Both can be unhelpful to readers.
For blogs that are too short, add FAQs, include examples, and flesh out the tips to be more thorough and easier to follow. For unnecessarily long posts, cut out any irrelevant details and ramblings.
4. Check for Readability
People can find a blog post in the SERPs, click to your blog, and leave seconds later. When users immediately leave, it’s either because they got what they need from those few seconds on your site, didn’t like your content, or found it hard to read.
Take a look at your blog post and see if it’s in any way hard to read or understand. If you don’t know what to look for, here are some helpful tips on readability:
- Avoid custom and fancy fonts. They’re appealing as titles and headings, but it’s best to avoid using them in your entire blog post.
- Look for unexplained niche terms and specialized language. Try to avoid the use of niche and complex terms that newbies may not be able to understand. If you have to use them, briefly explain them upon their first mention.
- Break up long paragraphs. Walls of text are intimidating, crowded, and hard to skim through.
- Use white spaces. Speaking of breaking up your paragraphs, make sure there’s enough space between them. White spaces make your pages look less cramped.
- Use heading tags. Another way to break up walls of text is to separate the sections with headings. This makes it even easier for people to find the information they need.
5. Link Older Blogs to Newer Content
Sending more traffic to an old post can help pull it back up the rankings. If you see a post that’s a few years old, promote them on social media posts and newsletters.
You can also add citation links to the text of your newer blogs. However, these links should be organic, so don’t link them to irrelevant keywords and blog posts.
That said, make sure you check for the other items in this list before promoting or linking them. Update the content, change old keywords, add new information, and check for readability. Even if you actively promote an old post, people still won’t read it through if it isn’t valuable.
You don’t have to delete old content when it’s performing poorly. Doing so might cause you to lose organic links and create error pages. Instead, you can reoptimize, update, and reformat old blogs to make them more appealing to users and search engines.