Search for the keyword your content is currently targeting and see if there are related or new terms you may want to include in your piece to enhance its relevance. The “People also ask” results can also provide ideas on new sections or related terms to cover.
Target related terms
Even better than supporting quotes is supporting data. Discussing how a particular clean energy appliance saved one of your customers $X in electricity will speak for itself.
Try out new adjectives to express unique value. Do you use “effective,” “creative,” or “useful” a lot? Try switching it up with “unusual,” “brilliant,” or “that you haven’t thought of.”
7 ways to refresh and reoptimize old content for better SEO
Second of all, if the piece is truly evergreen, it has accumulated quality traffic and backlinks over time. It’s better to build on what you have than to start a new post from scratch.
1. Revisit your keywords
Add real results
In the SERP below, the headlines contain numbers, dates and descriptive words to catch the reader’s attention.
One final idea is to make adjustments or include a new section in the post that caters to emerging trends. This idea, of course, comes from the current times. So much has changed in the last year due to the pandemic, and consumer needs are shifting, so your content may gain more traffic if it is refocused on new priorities.
Second, go through your newer pieces that are performing well and link to the post you are refreshing in the content.
Readers often like to scroll through a page first to assess whether it’s worth their time to stay on it, and if it’s just paragraphs of text, they can’t do this quickly. If your post isn’t getting a lot of traffic or engagement, go back in and break up the content into sections with clear headers (that target long-tail keywords). Also, enhance each section with bullets, lists, key takeaways, and examples to highlight your main points. Not only will this affirm for your reader that this is the right page for them, but it will also keep them engaged longer. Furthermore, this type of formatting can increase the chances of your post’s content becoming a featured snippet or other rich result on the SERP.
Most importantly, can your title use some more compelling or eye-catching copy? Coming up with interesting titles is a bit of an art. Here are some improvements you can make when refreshing your titles for better SEO:
Even just adding a key takeaway element to each section that provides the short version or a brief list for the information provided can be helpful here.
One last tip is to enhance the content with actionability. If your content covers the benefits of a particular strategy or method, talk about how to get started with it. If you’ve provided a roundup of products, include links as to where these products can be found.
Make the title actionable so that readers can be assured that they’ll get value from the content. For example, “8 Benefits of Green Tea” could become “8 Reasons to Try Green Tea Now.” With some action and a little bit of urgency, you can appeal to that instant gratification we all love. An even simpler strategy is to add on to the title phrases like “(+ How to Do It)” or “(Plus Tips from the Pros).”
Additional headline words to try:
Quick recap on refreshing images:
Shift the focus onto a trend
Build new links to the page from new content
For tools and resources posts, double-check each resource you’ve mentioned. Some platforms go cold, get renamed, or outperformed by better ones. Do your research and see if you can take any old resources out of your list and add any new ones.
Readers like to be able to have some predictability in the content they consume, and also like to feel a sense of accomplishment as they read.
First, if you’ve been steadily creating blog posts and guides, add in links to your newer content. Internal links help to keep readers on your site longer, and also create more pathways by which Google can crawl your site. The more easily it can scan your site and understand how the pages relate to one another, the better your SEO.
And finally, because Google prefers accurate and fresh content. This is nothing new—it’s been around since the “Freshness” Update way back in 2011.
Get more specific
- If you notice that a particular content piece has decreased in ranking, take a look at what the top ranking pieces are saying about the topic to make sure you’re covering the right concepts.
- For announcement, milestone, and data posts, it’s best to keep the content as is, as a historical record. If you have new updates or announcements, you can publish them as new posts and refer/link back to the previous announcements to keep the story cohesive.
Check for breaks
Add in new strategies
There are a few different ways you can use links to refresh your content.
There are many elements to an evergreen blog post or guide that can be improved to help you get more mileage out of your content. Here are seven of them you can try.
The meta description is the small description of your page that appears in the SERP. It provides a brief summary of what the article is about, which, depending on the copy, can encourage searchers to either click or skip your post. If you’ve followed the steps above and upgraded your content, it’s likely that your meta description may also need a refresh.
- Add videos and infographics too (or screenshots from them).
- Check size, file name, alt tags.
- Update old interface screenshots.
- Replace stock photos with real photos.
- Prioritize image replacement for top-performing posts.
4. Diversify your format
This is also a good time to test out the existing links in your content to make sure they aren’t broken. Google doesn’t like dead ends!
A third way to strengthen the targeting of your content is to target the same keyword for different themes. For example, if you’re an accountant and have written a post on general tax tips, you could add in sections that target vertical-specific terms in line with the types of clients you serve, such as with “tax tips for real estate agents,” “tax tips for lawyers,” “tax tips for for senior citizens,” and so on.
Two additional notes on refreshing the information in your content:
5. Tweak your titles
First of all, it doesn’t make sense to write an entirely new post on the same keyword. Those two posts will then compete with one another and dilute each other’s SEO “juice.”
The best content to create for SEO is long-form content (1200 words or longer). Having a sufficient word count of quality content gives ample opportunities to reinforce to Google that your article thoroughly answers the questions that people are seeking when they type in the particular keyword you are ranking for. However, Google isn’t just interested in how much information you provide. It keeps track of how long readers are staying on your page as well.
Include a number
If your content contains solid information but isn’t targeted at a particular word or phrase, do your keyword research and identify a keyword you can target. There are plenty of keyword research tools to help you identify popular and relevant terms. Once you’ve identified a keyword to target, include it in the title, subheadings, and image tags of the post to signal to Google what you’re trying to rank for. If you’re already targeting a keyword, there are still adjustments you can make when refreshing your content. For example:
Once you’ve refreshed your content, be sure to share it on social media and in your email newsletter to give it an additional traffic boost!
For tips and strategies posts, see if you can add a new strategy or two in. Technology is always evolving (digital and physical), and your offerings may change. For example, if you run a roofing company and you’ve written on must-have tools for roof repair, you may want to add in a new material or method you’ve added to your arsenal.
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For just about any post, you can always add stats to support the information you are providing. New studies are coming out all of the time, and it can be beneficial to your site to link to other sites with solid credibility.
Make it actionable
Provide action items
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6. Change up your meta description
Change out adjectives
- Have you made the post more actionable? Talk about what the reader can take away from the post.
- Have you added in related keywords? Add those to your description. This is especially important since Google bolds the keywords you searched in the meta description.
- Is the description too short? List out a few of the bullet points in the article to give a preview of what you’ll cover.
7. Edit your links
Whenever possible, try to encapsulate your content into something quantifiable. For example,
There are a few reasons why your blog post title might need some work. For one (and most obvious), if you’re adding new tips or taking away irrelevant ones, you’ll need to change the number in the title. This is simple enough, but is the title of your blog post overlaid on the feature image? Make sure to change that. Is it in the URL? You don’t want to change the URL, since you’re trying to preserve traffic data and measure the impact of your improvements—but what you can do moving forward is make sure you leave the number out of the URL. This way you can prevent a mismatch of the URL and title in the SERP.
Fix broken links
First and foremost, if your content does not contain images, add them! This is one of the best things you can do to revive old content. Aside from having images, you may want to try adding in a video or infographic to encapsulate the post as a whole or even one part of it. You can then update your title with (+Infographic) or (With Explainer Video) to make the content stand out. If you already have images in your content, you’re not off the hook. Read on.
Evergreen content is a staple in good SEO. A post or guide that targets a solid volume keyword, contains tips that remain relevant over time, and includes helpful images can accumulate more and more traffic to your site each year. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Keyword targeting is the practice of catering a piece of content around a particular word or phrase—namely, one that your ideal customers are looking up when in search of your products or services. This allows your business to get in front of them when they have intent to learn, engage, or buy.
Add new links
- Revisit your keywords
- Add (or remove) information
- Check your visuals
- Revisit your format
- Tweak your titles
- Edit your meta description
- Add in new links
Your next step is to check to make sure your existing images are optimized. Are they displaying properly and correctly sized? Content management systems upgrade to new versions and sometimes images get lost in the shuffle. Large images can slow down page load speed and hurt your ranking. And also because there’s no better way to tarnish a solid piece of content with broken image icons that display only the alt text.