Think about it for a moment: Do you realize that your old content has more inherent value than your new content?
You might be wondering how it’s even possible. Here’s a chart showing the “before and after results” of an old post. In fact, by updating older posts, HubSpot increased organic traffic by 106%.
Unless your new posts generate thousands of readers and potential leads instantly, your old posts already have an advantage. They have already been crawled, generating consistent traffic from search engines, social media channels, and even direct referrals.
If you’ve been blogging for a while, I’m sure you have tons of valuable published content. Let’s assume you have 50 old posts. Imagine that you had a way to generate 100 additional visitors per month from each of these old posts — that would be 5,000 additional new visits to your website.
In this post, I want to share with you a few of the tips and tricks that I’ve implemented to rework and revive old content and generate substantial web traffic.
Switch from seasonal topics to evergreen topics
If you want to revive old content and use it to boost your traffic across different channels, then you need to focus on evergreen topics.
In other words, you have to make your seasonal content evergreen. Here’s a good example of an evergreen content:
The term “evergreen content” means the content is useful year-round. It doesn’t lose its value—the information is timeless, it never goes out of style.
Here’s a case scenario:
If one of your old posts deals with this topic “web hosting companies in 2013,” you’ll agree with me that even though the topic itself isn’t seasonal, the appended year makes it so. In this case, you can remove the “2013” and the topic automatically becomes evergreen.
Repurpose old content
Going through your old content can give you insights on how to repurpose some of the popular posts on your blog.
There’s no set rule for repurposing your content. However, pay more attention to old posts that did well. You can repurpose a particular content into several forms and get access to several distribution channels that will send you loads of qualified traffic.
Check your Google Analytics account for Landing pages that generated the most traffic. These are potential candidates for what you intend to do.
You can design an infographic out of the tips and data you shared on your old popular posts. Then share the infographic with new audiences. Better yet, use the infographic to build credibility and guest blogging opportunities across authoritative blogs in your industry.
Aside from infographics, you can repurpose blog posts into slide presentations and upload to SlideShare.net, then convert the slides into audio clips (which is basically a podcast). You can voiceover the slides to make a video presentation (and also host a webinar). Submit the videos to YouTube, Vimeo, among many others.
Go in-depth: Increase content length
Google and search users love comprehensive content.
Gone are the days when a 300-word article can easily rank in Google or gets shared. Unless you’re Seth Godin (whose post is less than 100 words in most cases), you should avoid short-form content.
The average post that ranks at the bottom of the first page contains approximately 2,000 words, according to a study by Brian Dean.
All things being equal, this fact tells us that, in order to compete with the big guys and rank within the top #5 positions, you need to increase content length to 2,500 words or more.
Exclusive research by the team at SerpIQ revealed that the page that ranks #1 in Google contains approximately 2,450 words.
That being said, you can revive your old content by increasing its length. Since facts don’t lie (in most cases), this means that you could eventually climb to #1 position on Google.
Optimize page with a long-tail search phrase
If you’re a lead generation agency, would you be excited to rank #1 for the search term “lead generation”?
I bet you would.
Why? Because that term alone has 10,000+ monthly searches.
But will it ever happen? How long will you continue to wait for such a rare ranking to happen? Why not follow the easy path?
Are you aware that long-tail keywords drive about 70% of search traffic? In fact, long tail searches generate prospects and customers that are “desperately” looking for your website or offer.
Personally, I’ve benefitted immensely from using long-tail keywords in my old content. Then it dawned on me that Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique can also be applied to your old posts.
The technique is really simple:
- Find content that’s already doing well
- Produce a better post in every respect (length, value, approach)
- Promote the content using the available media
I decided to apply the same technique to my old content. I started by conducting keyword research, and then found several long-tail search terms that I could use to improve my posts—and I did.
The results were significant, in just 30 days.
Here’s how you can rework your old content with long-tail search terms:
Craft a more clickable title and include your keyword: Your title is the most important element on your page. Therefore, it must be catchy, irresistible, and keyword-rich.
So, let’s assume your long-tail keyword is “Best driving shoes for seniors”, and your old content has this title: 7 Shoes for Seniors Who Enjoy Driving, let’s now craft better titles that would still go well with the content:
- 7 Best Driving Shoes for Seniors Who Enjoy Driving
- How to Choose the Best Shoes for Seniors and Save Big
- Best Driving Shoes for Seniors: The Definitive Guide
As you can see, each of these titles contains the keyword phrase that you’re targeting—they are catchy, fun, and have the power word “best” in them.
Deep link using keyword-rich anchor texts: This one is straightforward. Open your old post in WordPress editor, and use your long tail keyword as an anchor text to interlink your new posts.
For example, you can use the anchor text “best driving shoes” to link to a new post about ‘Tips for driving with shoes.’
Relaunch old “popular” content
You don’t just want to relaunch old content just because it used to be popular. This time around, you want to rework it and make it better. Here are simple steps you can take:
i). Delete spam comments: Being an old content, there’s a chance that you have generated spam comments. Delete all of them. If you’re worried about fake comments, you can use the Akismet WordPress plugin to isolate them.
ii). Proofread for spelling and grammatical mistakes: There’s a difference between “you’re” and “your”, “affect” and “effect.”
Look out for spelling mistakes in your old content and fix them. For example, you may have written “recieve” instead of “receive.” The former is an incorrect spelling, but it may not be obvious. That’s why proofreading is critical before relaunching your post.
iii). Fix broken links: There’s nothing wrong with having a few broken links on your website. It’s normal, and Google wouldn’t frown at it.
On the flip side, if your old content has 7 dead links out of the 10 outbound links you referenced, or too many dead links on your domain, you need to do something about it. Because it could get you penalized.
Find broken links using the Screaming frog broken link checker.
iii). Change the “published” date: The date on your post will either encourage or discourage your readers. I wouldn’t even link to a post or research study which was conducted in 2011. The target audience expects your content to be relevant and valuable despite the “published” date.
This whole process takes about 20 minutes but it’s still a fraction of the time it takes to create a new post from scratch.
This is a home-run because it takes about 3 hours to complete a 1,000-word article. That’s about 6 hours to create a 3,000-word long-form content.
There are other proven ways to rework and breathe life into your old content, such as adding current data and statistics, formatting the content using subheads, bullet points, and more, as well as adding screenshots and Pinterest-friendly images.
Because the majority of your traffic will come from Google, here’s what you must keep in mind: Google takes keywords into account, but they care more about user engagement.
Therefore, producing engaging and a variety of content should be your focus. Don’t allow your old content to sit in the archive and collect dust—use the tactics here to improve it and bring more traffic to your website.