So, you are running a blog full of compelling articles that offer value for your audiences with their useful tips and practical examples. But, you still can’t rank well in SERP or get enough organic traffic. What could possibly go wrong?
The bitter truth about content marketing is, no matter how incredible your content is, you can’t be a successful blogger if no one can find them on the internet.
It takes some time and a bunch of technical steps before you notice a significant change in your organic traffic. Unless you’re opting for a paid campaign, Improving SERP ranking will take time since SEO is a long-term strategy.
Writing new content and optimizing them for the right keywords will take a lot of time. Why not refresh old content and republish them? It can deliver a faster result while requiring less hard work.
Importance of Updating Old Content
You may be wondering why you should update your old content. What changes it possibly can bring in the ranking if you make some changes in the already published article?
SEO isn’t something that can be done in an hour or a day. Creating content, link building, and adding appropriate keywords don’t bring quick results. However, updating the old content is the quickest SEO strategy you can try to rank on Google, as well as get some more benefits.
Improves Click-Through Rate
Have you ever looked carefully at the publishing date of the search results for a particular term in Google? If yes, you may have already noticed that most of the top results are from this year or past year.
For example, if you search for “best content strategy,” you will see that most of the top results are showing publication dates from 2021, while there are also content on the same topic published in 2015.
Which one would you prefer to read? The newest one with all the latest information or the one published in 2015, which might not have everything you’re looking for? Of course, you will click the recent one.
The same goes for your content. The more refreshed your content is, the better chance for it to get clicked by the audiences. And the more clicks it will get the higher it will rank on Google.
Fixes The Mistakes
If you read your months or year-old blog posts, chances are that you will be horrified by the spelling and grammatical mistakes made while writing that piece of content.
While it’s okay to make mistakes, keeping them that way can negatively impact your ranking.
The reason is pretty obvious. Nobody likes to read an article full of errors. It creates a bad impression on your readers’ minds, eventually reducing your traffic.
Updating your old content gives you a chance to look into those errors and fix them. You will not only provide your audiences with the latest information but also improve their user experience by providing them an error-free content.
Google Loves It
This is probably one of the key reasons why you should opt for refreshed content.
If you have been in the SEO industry for years, you may already know how much the search engine giant loves fresh content. So, it’s no surprise that articles that are published recently rank top on Google, particularly for those keywords that change frequently.
While you’re busy writing new articles, chances that your old content will eventually get lost from the search engine ranking page.
So, take a look into your old content, edit them with the latest information and necessary keywords, and republish them with a new publishing date. You will see the magic in your ranking when Google crawls your site again.
Makes The Content More Accurate
To improve your rank on Google, you need to make sure your readers get the best user experience. Without them clicking to your site again and reading your content, it will be nearly impossible to improve your ranking.
Refreshing old content requires you to find out what your content is lacking, the smallest thing that prevents it from getting enough clicks.
You can then include additional data, add appropriate images and graphs where needed to make it more accurate. The more accurate your content is, the better is the user experience. And a good user experience will surely lead to a high traffic rate.
Improves The Freshness of Your Website
One of the biggest downsides of having an abandoned website is, Google will hurt the ranking of each and every page of it after realizing that it’s not being updated recently.
From the above fact, you can easily understand why a website doesn’t rank well if it’s abandoned for years. You wrote an article, published it, and kept it that way, thinking that you will make money out of it for your entire life.
This is where you made the mistake. Your website will only rank well if it’s fresh. And to keep it fresh, you need to update your old content and bring them back to life.
Helps You to Get More Backlinks
The backlink is one of the biggest ranking factors for any search engine and having a good one can surely improve your ranking. However, to get more backlinks you need to make sure you have high-quality content.
You already know that creating new content from scratch is quite time-consuming and it will take time to become visible in SERP.
However, if you already have relevant content, which ranked well before, you can easily edit and repurpose it. Since Google likes refreshed content, chances that your article will be visible to most of your target audiences.
The more visible your content is the more chances of others to link to your content, thus allowing you to get new backlinks.
Helps Google to Index Your Site More Often
If you observe Google’s characteristics carefully you’ll notice that it crawls the news sites more often rather than some static websites that publish or update content once in a month.
It’s because a news website publishes articles every hour, letting Google learn its frequency and update accordingly.
On the other hand, since a static website only publishes articles once or twice a month, the search engine knows the content isn’t fresh every time it crawls the website. So, it decreases the number of crawls.
When you update old content frequently, you let Google know there’s fresh content and make it crawl your site more often. The more it will crawl your website, the easier it will be for your articles to show up in the search result and rank higher.
How to Refresh Old Content
As you know how updating old content can benefit you to rank well in SERP, you must be planning to edit all your content and republish them, hoping that your website will be at the top of the search result overnight.
You are wrong!
Google is a pretty complicated thing to deal with. So, while freshness is a factor, there are some other things that the search engine considers to rank your page.
So, when updating the old articles, consider the following things to make sure you’re successful.
Select Which Content to Update
You may have more than a hundred content on your website. Are you planning to update them all? I would suggest you not to do so.
Why? The answer is simple. It’s time-consuming and unnecessary. Not all of your articles need to be edited and republished. That’s why it’s crucial to determine which of your content has room for improvement.
Google Webmasters can help you in that case. Simply log in to it and go to “Search Analytics.” From there, select “pages” and mark CTR, Impressions, Clicks, and Position.
Google Webmasters will show you all your pages with its position in SERP from where you can determine which content needs to be updated.
Add More Texts
This is one of the easiest ways to update your article, adding more content to it. While Google simply doesn’t rank you higher by looking at your content length, it can still help you to dominate in the search result page.
But, how can you determine exactly how many words your content should have? It’s quite easy to find out.
Put the keyword in Google you are planning to rank for. Click on the first three articles from the search results and check their word count. All you need to do is to add 10-15% more words compared to the average word count of those articles.
However, simply adding words will not help you to rank. You need to provide relevant information that will add value to your content, not make it chaos or unnecessary jargon.
Add More Keyword
When you search with a particular keyword, you will find some long-tail keywords, which you didn’t use in your content before.
Since you’re planning to update your existing article, adding those long-tail keywords appropriately will surely make it more keyword optimized. It will help your content to become more visible to your target audiences, and eventually get more hits.
Update Meta Description
This is a huge mistake most bloggers make at least once in their lifetime – not adding meta descriptions. Even if some people add them, they do it just for the sake of the content, not to add value in it.
Your meta description must provide context for the keywords your audiences are looking for. The click-rate on your page depends a lot on how well-written your meta description is.
When you’re putting a keyword in Google, read the first two meta descriptions. Find out which one you like the most and why you like it, what makes it so click-worthy and update your meta description accordingly.
SEO isn’t just about writing a bunch of new content and putting a lot of keywords to them. Articles published in the part need to be reconsidered as an asset, which you can update and make relevant for today’s search.
Besides, refreshing old content requires fewer times than writing a new one, and you will be able to update multiple articles within a short time. So, if you want to rank higher, look no further than editing your old content.
Sujan Sarkar is one of the co-founders of OneLittleWeb. He leads the agency with over a decade of experience.
In 2018, he founded OneLittleWeb, driven by a vision to fill a void in the industry, providing top-quality SEO and backlink services.
His impressive track record includes crafting over 25,000 backlinks for more than 1100 clients, generating over 1 billion in traffic. This has earned him a significant presence in the SEO realm.
He successfully leads a dedicated team of 65+ SEO professionals, focused on helping SaaS and Enterprises scale their organic traffic.
Sujan firmly believes that the best backlinks are not paid for but earned through high-quality content and strategic relationships.
Every day, he works tirelessly to position your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds, striving to elevate your brand’s visibility and authority.
His daily inspiration centers around securing client features on top-tier publications like Forbes, MSN, BBC, Yahoo, and many more. He leverages the right SEO strategies to achieve this mission.