If you've been publishing content for a while, eventually you'll have some content that could be called 'old'. Rather than letting old content sit stale on your website, you could employ a strategy that can help you improve the SEO of your website.
This strategy will see you 'refreshing' your content; taking what's old and making it new again.
So without further ado, let's start refreshing your content.
1. Optimize Keywords
When you're writing new content, you may have one target keyword in mind that your new blog is optimized for. An excellent way to update old content is to check your search competitors and see which keywords they are ranking for.
This can be done through Moz's Keyword Explorer.
The first step is to Google your original target keyword. From the search results, copy the top 3 URLs (excluding yours) and input them into Moz's Keyword Explorer. From there, you can see which keywords your competitors are ranking for and any overlap between their pages.
Use this information to inspire the additional keywords that you can include on your page.
2. Update With New Information
Over time, your field of specialty will go through some changes (I know SEO certainly does). It is an opportunity to go back and update old content whenever there are changes in your industry.
Perhaps some new stats are available.
Maybe commonly accepted best-practices have changed.
There could be updates to algorithms, legislation, or rules.
Whatever has happened, use it as a chance to go back over old blogs and turn them into fresh content.
3. Add More Media
I'm a big fan of this strategy. If your blogs are predominantly text-based, then there is an opportunity to go back and create new media for your old content.
Create fresh content but in a different format. Create a video explaining the topic. Design an infographic highlighting the main points of the material. Embed an audiogram of an audio grab of you talking through aspects of your content.
Once you have this new media, embed it on the original post then syndicate the latest content across the internet.
The video goes to YouTube.
Infographics go to Tumblr, Flickr etc.
Audiogram could go to Soundcloud or another audio hosting platform.
Remember that your website needs to pass the mobile friendly test, so make sure the new content formats do not slow down your website too much and are optimized for mobile.
The blog you're on right now has a strategy in place where we will be going back over every blog and systematically creating new media formats for every post. Check back regularly to see that strategy unfold.
4. Fix Grammatical Errors
We all make mistakes. Just today I looked back over a blog I wrote last week and spotted a spelling mistake.
Having a systematic approach to refreshing content is a great way to spot spelling and grammatical errors. Don't leave them unchecked, fix errors up as you are updating old content.
It's important to know that spelling and grammar don't appear to be an official ranking factor in Google's algorithm, it still impacts the user experience. It's a good rule of thumb to avoid anything that detracts from the user experience.
5. Improve Site Structure
As you create more content, you will have more opportunities to link back to existing content. This can be done via internal links. We structure our content in Content Clusters, which is where we have a pillar post surrounded by supporting posts. For example, this is a supporting post for our 'How To Improve SEO' pillar post.
However, not everything will fall into perfect content clusters. Or you won't have enough supporting content to link across to other supporting posts.
An example of this is the term Content Cluster. Even though we structure our content around this philosophy, we have not created a post to explain it yet. So in this situation, we can link out to HubSpot's article explaining Content Clusters.
When you have a content refresh strategy in place, you can go back and link to newly created content that improves your site structure.
Bonus: Planned Upgrades
This is an extra tip that I came up with while I was halfway through this post. Sometimes, you won't have enough information (or time) to cover the topic of a blog fully. This is an opportunity to publish a Minimum Viable Post, which is a post that includes the bare minimum, with a scheduled time to come back and add to it later.
Our entire blog is built around planned upgrades. We exclusively start with written blogs; however, we will be circling back around to add video, audio, and infographics.
However, you could start with a written blog and come back to write extra at a late date. Perhaps, I could go back to this blog and add additional tips to refresh this content when it gets 'old'...
This will allow us to check over our content and follow the tips above.
Now that you know how to refresh your old content, it's time to take some action. If you've got some old content that could do with a facelift, organise a time for you or someone in your team to start working on it.
It's also a good idea to schedule an ongoing strategy for reviewing your content. This could be in the form of a quarterly refresh review or something similar. Either way, intermittently casting your eye back over old content can help you improve your SEO.