One of the main reasons blog post optimisation is essential for SMEs is the increase in traffic it can bring to your website. Refreshing old blog posts will give them a new look that will better reach new audiences and re-engage with existing viewers and is a great way to gain traction with minimal effort.
Why go back to old content?
Updating old content is as important as adding new content, and it is undoubtedly cheaper to update and refresh existing content than continually creating new content. Optimising existing content will provide better value. It is a chance to update search engine terms to improve your website rankings on the search engine results page. A few simple changes will give new incentives to encourage viewers to click through, re-engage and feel positive about your business.
It may have been over a decade since Google highlighted the importance of keeping content fresh, but now it is perhaps even more essential. That doesn’t mean continually adding new stuff. It is proved that updating existing content improves search traffic.
What is content optimisation?
It covers a few areas besides updating blog posts, website and social media content to use the latest search engine optimisation standards.
If there has been a new development in the subject, then this is a great reason to refresh the article. It also includes updating facts and adding more detail, depth and developments in the subject. Add videos, new images or other multimedia content, and check that hyperlinks are still relevant and valid or whether there are more current links that will work better.
Language and styles change over time too, so it may be a simple rewrite to improve flow, update language or restyle it to be more current.
Outdated content could also damage your business, so content optimisation is something we should all take seriously.
Five key benefits of blog post optimisation
1. Improved SEO ranking
The main reason you create existing content is to reach an audience, so you must get its ranking the best it can be. Google and other search engines look for keywords and phrases, and their search profiles change from time to time, meaning you have to regularly view how your ranking markers are performing if you want to rank highly in search results. The freshness of content is an SEO ranking marker that will see your older articles and blogs disappear if you leave them untouched. Updating old posts will help you meet the freshness criteria and has the potential to double the traffic that sees your work.
2. Time and cost saving
It’s quicker and more cost-effective to update and optimise the content you have a good start with. A new blog post requires more in-depth research to find search term rankings, outline the topic, write and present the content, set the design style and add media. There is work with updating, but certainly less than constantly starting from the beginning for every blog post.
3. Build your business as an authority
You will only attract regular visitors to your blog if it is of value. Blog posts go a long way to building authority for your brand and business, but the content can quickly become outdated if you don’t regularly review it. Outdated content ranks lower, immediately leading viewers to pay less attention to the information. A simple update to older posts to optimise updated keywords to meet updated search engine algorithms is a quick fix to increase traffic and shares and improve your visibility as an authority on the subject.
4. Improve backlinking prospects
Backlinks build trust from search engines, so you should keep your content updated to attract more backlinks. Backlinks rank highly in search engine criteria, so old or corrupt backlinks damage your search positioning.
5. Reader loyalty
If readers only find outdated information in blog posts, they will quickly lose interest. You may have a regular supply of new content that brings in readers, but they will look back too. Keeping content up-to-date, refreshed and revitalised will keep them coming back. It shows you care and are investing time and effort in delivering helpful, relevant content that provides what your audience wants today.
Where to focus your efforts
Firstly, it’s important to understand that we aren’t advocating updating every piece of old content, every webpage or blog. There are areas you can work on that are likely to bring results more quickly, such as
Pages with the most traffic – find older posts attracting more traffic than others and update them to make them more relevant and improve the chances of them ranking even higher.
Pages with existing quality links – look for your content that features backlinks the most yet isn’t ranking very well despite the links. A more recent relevant article with high-quality backlinks already featured will help up your ranking results.
Pages with poor user engagement – If you have pages that show poor user engagement rates, these generally result from poor user experiences, damaging your brand. Whilst it could be due to website performance, it is equally as likely to arise from visitors being met with older content, and they head off to find something more recent. Refresh the content and then look more deeply for other reasons for low engagement rates and fix those too.
To sum up, any content optimisation strategy should be focussed on adding more depth and updating resources, media or the style of the blog or page. Refresh keywords and phrases to meet search terms better, or consolidate posts with others to increase page rankings. Sometimes fewer pages give a cleaner, easier-to-navigate user experience. Eliminate duplicate or similar subject blog posts into one newly refreshed article that shows the best from them all.