Those posts have earned me a decent following in the world of freelance copywriters and helped my SEO. I’ve managed to obtain page 1 rankings on Google for most of my chosen keywords.
The high rankings deliver traffic to my website and make my phone ring with new business prospects. But I recently realized that even though I bill myself as an SEO copywriter I was missing out on an obvious SEO opportunity.
Part of your online marketing strategy should be keeping your blog relevant with useful, current information.
I was so focused on creating new blog posts that I’d never gone back and refreshed my old ones, even though they remained on my copywriting site where anyone could see them. They still had SEO value and contained worthwhile information, but some of them were no longer accurate and any recent developments weren’t mentioned.
Look for opportunities to add new information, links and pictures as part of your content refresh.
If you too, find yourself with old blog posts or web content that might benefit from freshening, here’s a list of 10 simple steps you can take to update and upgrade your copy:
Update any facts that are no longer current or relevant. Do some research and find out what’s new and exciting. If you quote any statistics, check to see if more recent numbers are available. It helps if you can add the reference to those stats and it’s the current year. If there’s a new expert in the field, add in a quote from him/her.
Switch out any stock photos that look dated for shiny, new, eye-catching pictures. It doesn’t take long for hairstyles and clothes to look outdated. And any type of technology changes even faster, so no pictures with flip-phones or manual credit-card machines in them.
Check the caption and alt text for all photos and rewrite if they can be improved. Everybody reads captions, even more than they read subheads. When a photo catches your eye, you can’t help but peruse the caption. So make your caption interesting and not a statement of the obvious.
Make old headlines more SEO-friendly by using keywords. Maybe it’s time to refine those keywords, make them more specific or possibly even target different keywords. Even minor adjustments can sometimes result in significant improvement in rank.
If you don’t have subheads, add some to break up big chunks of text. You should have no more than five lines of text in a paragraph, and no more than four paragraphs beneath a subhead. The resulting page will be easier to read and even folks who only scan the subheads and captions (see item #3), should be able to get the gist.
Evaluate your title tags and meta descriptions for keywords and accuracy. Do your tags match the content? Are they targeting the right keyword phrases? Are your descriptions effective in getting searchers to click on your site? If any of those questions got a no, then work on improving them.
Add keywords into posts that seem lacking. If you haven’t optimized each post for a few specific keywords, you’re missing out on opportunities to improve your ranking and get found by searchers. Keywords in content are critical, but be strategic so sentences don’t sound awkward.
Check old links to be sure they’re still functional and add new links that are relevant. Websites come and go. Linking to a page that’s gone dead frustrates visitors and also suggests your own website may not be up to date. Additionally, if new or more relevant sites have come online, you’ll want to sub them in.
Lengthen posts by adding more information as Google favors longer, fact-filled pages. Be sure to add only useful, relevant and interesting information, as you don’t want to bore your reader. The sweet spot is around 1,500 words, which is a lot of copy but does demonstrate to Google that you’ve written a comprehensive post on your chosen subject.
Proofread with care, making sure old content blends well with new. Smooth transitions and check for mistakes. Also avoid redundancies. You don’t want anything to detract from your professionalism.
If you’ve ever lived in a home for more than a few years, then you know how dated your furniture and decor can look. But you don’t throw everything out and start with a clean slate, unless you’re incredibly wealthy (and wasteful).
Change out content much like you’d change out a few items in your home’s decor if they looked dated.
Instead you give your rooms a refresh. You change out a few items and perhaps introduce some new ones, and voila, a whole new environment emerges, one that you can be proud to show off to friends.
Applying the same philosophy to the content on your website or blog can pay big dividends in terms of SEO and online visibility. Plus it’s a lot easier than creating all new content from scratch.
A recent article on “How to Update Old Blog Posts for Improved SEO” suggests prioritizing your blog posts that rank on page 2 or 3. “What we’re really trying to do is find something that’s doing well, and help it do really well.”
Sometimes a quick update of the facts is enough to move your blog post from its ranking on page 2 or 3 all the way up to page 1. Then watch your web traffic increase!
Don’t worry about whether readers will complain if you republish an old post. According to Problogger, “they may well thank you. New readers probably haven’t dug into your archives and found some of your best posts. And old readers may have forgotten them. Even readers who keep returning a favorite post over and over again will be glad you’ve updated it.”
So, start going through those old posts and rereading those pearls of wisdom you once crafted with care and look for ways to breathe new life into them to improve your SEO and drive more visitors to your site.