Small businesses in particular will know that creating good quality blog content takes time and keeping up with a demanding content schedule can be tricky.
Alongside creating evergreen content (content which stays relevant and valuable for longer periods of time), another tactic that can not only help your small business produce fresh content quicker, but can also boost SEO and website traffic is updating and republishing existing blogs.
As well as looking at why this technique can be so effective for small businesses, we’re also going to share six top tips to help you get the most from the tactic. It’s worth noting for the purposes of this article when we’re talking about content we are referring to web blogs and articles.
If you’ve seen success with particular blogs in the past, perhaps through lots of shares and engagement on social media, why not extend the lifespan of this content and give it another boost?
Coming up with blog ideas, researching keywords, writing, uploading and promotion can all take time. Updating content that you’ve already written allows you to work from solid foundations and improve and optimise what you’ve already spent time researching and writing.
Updating and republishing your content can actually help its rankings in search engines. As some of Google’s ranking factors are based around the ‘freshness’ of content, the search engine uses this information to help determine the quality of a site. Google favours fresh content, looking at things such as the frequency of page updates and giving newer pages and blogs a boost for certain searches.
You could also find a blog seeing a boost in click-through rates after a refresh or update. Most of the top results within Google’s search are often blogs or content that have been published within the past year.
Searchers are generally more likely to click on articles that are published more recently and the more people clicking on your content, the higher up the search results it could climb. So make sure that you republish or update your publication date on any refreshed content.
While updating all your site content could be a viable plan in the long run, focusing your efforts on one blog at a time is the best approach. It’s not just a case of choosing your oldest blog post however, doing some research beforehand is key.
Ideally, you want to choose to update content that is, or has, shown some strong performance in the past. Perhaps it’s getting steady traffic or has been one of your top performing blogs for a while.
The best place to start is to head over to Google Analytics (if you’re yet to set up an account, the platform can tell you heaps of helpful information about your website performance). Within the ‘Behaviour’, ‘Site Content’ and ‘All Pages’ section of Google Analytics you can see which of your blogs are bringing in the most traffic (page views or sessions), plus which articles have the lowest bounce rate and how long people are spending on each.
The content you want to choose should be one of the following:
2. Take another look at your keywords
Sometimes blogs can perform well for keywords that weren’t originally chosen or thought of in the creation stage. It could be that your content isn’t focused to target a keyword at all. Either way, as part of the updating process, it’s a good idea to revisit your keyword strategy and see if there are any potential opportunities to improve your ranking for a particular word or phrase.
Keyword research revolves around finding and including keywords, terms and phrases that people commonly use in search engines within your online content, with the aim to improve your ranking, or position in SERPS (search engine result pages).
You may need to update your keyword focus for your refreshed blog, or perhaps there are more keywords you can target. If you use Google Search Console you can see which keywords you’re currently ranking for. It’s also a good idea to look at what keywords your competitors are ranking for to help you decide what to target.
3. Make your blog more valuable
The key to updating your content is to add more value, it shouldn’t just be about adding a couple of extra keywords and some new images here and there.
4. Review the call to action (CTA)
Alongside checking any links within your blog, it’s a good idea to check any call to actions (what you want the readers to do next, such as click a link or fill in a form). Perhaps the blog you’re updating is from a previous campaign or from a time where you were running a special offer or services which are outdated now.
5. Consider key on-page SEO principles
On-page SEO revolves around what you can do within your website’s pages to improve your SEO efforts. Revisiting some of the key principles and making improvements will give your content a better chance of ranking higher.
6. Get promoting!
Don’t be afraid to treat your updated blog as fresh and new when it comes to promotion. By refreshing your online content, you’re adding something of value for your audience so it’s time to get it back in front of them.
As we mentioned throughout the article, it’s worth noting that to get the most benefit from this technique, you’ll need to republish or update the publication date of the content piece.
Next up is to get sharing on social media, through email newsletters and any other channels you have available. Don’t forget to make a note of the date you updated and republished your blog so you can track its performance over time to see whether you’re experiencing any uptakes in search traffic, rankings and performance.
Look back at any previous promotional campaigns you originally ran for the content too. Is there anything that worked well last time you shared this blog so you can optimise its performance even further?
Taking advantage of content you’ve already spent time and effort creating and promoting by refreshing it can be a great tactic for small businesses. Not only can it help to save time and optimise content and campaigns that have already shown success, it can have a positive impact on your SEO too.
Most importantly, remember that any updated content should offer even more for your audience, the aim of the process is to refresh content to make it even more valuable and informative.
© Nominet UK 2021