The purpose of a good blog is to attract more traffic, improve your website’s conversion rate, and prove your credibility to your online users. We know that, and to that effect we are all busy creating the best content we can. However, the power of inbound marketing is such that your old content continues to generate results even when you aren’t doing anything new.
Are you harnessing that power?
HubSpot found earlier this year that the majority of their traffic/conversion was made possible by the old posts on their blog: “76% of our monthly blog views came from ‘old’ posts (in other words, posts published prior to that month),” and “92% of our monthly blog leads also came from ‘old’ posts.”
Old content keeps showing up in search results. If you are not making it work for you, you are missing out on many potential leads. So while it’s important to push out new content each week, if not every day, it must also be ensured that your entire blog is in good shape.
At Imaginovation, we are doing just that and here is why we believe it is needed.
Our understanding of SEO has changed over the years
Businesses today are a lot more aware of the importance of good content on their blog than they were just a couple of years ago.
There was a time, before the Penguin update, when keywords were being abused by marketers a lot. Bad links abounded and keyword stuffing was common.
Google has been quick to check bad practices; this is known as “Black Hat SEO”. It kept updating its algorithms to filter out content blatantly made to fool its search engine and to rise to the top of its rankings. This forced marketers to focus on genuine content instead of trying to cheat Google. Suddenly the quality of content improved.
If you began blogging a few years ago, your old content may not be as good as that which you have been pushing out lately.
Return to those posts and fix them up – edit them for grammar and style, weed out bad links, and update them with new research. Introduce calls to action. You will have better quality posts that can start generating leads for you (if they haven’t been doing so already).
Your conversion keywords may have changed
For the oldest entries on your blog, you must have used keywords that would have brought in business at the time. But are you sure they are still relevant?
Now would be a good time to clean up the old content of keywords that don’t serve you anymore. Your analytics report will tell you which keywords have been attracting traffic and leading to better conversion rates over the past few months. You may even discover new (high) conversion keywords in the process.
Your goals as a business may have changed
Two or three years is a long time in the life of a business, especially an online business. If your goals or objectives have changed over time, or if the services offered now are different from those given originally, your blog must convey that.
It’s annoying for a reader to enjoy a blog post only to find that it is all outdated information now. Your blog must at all times reflect the true essence of your brand. Don’t confuse the readers by mentioning anything on the blog that you don’t offer anymore.
So where does one start… and stop?
If you have hundreds of posts on your blog, does this mean you should have your team update them all? Editing old posts, after all, is hard work.
Some ways you can make this process slightly easier and more effective:
Find out your best-performing posts
Make a list of the posts that have generated the most buzz, garnered the most shares, and/or attracted a good number of visitor comments.
Start by sprucing them up. Make sure the research mentioned is relevant and up-to-date. Optimize them for conversion keywords.
Delete posts based on obsolete research/ideas
There is no point in leaving outdated and irrelevant information on your blog. Not only will it not help you, it will also dent your credibility. Imagine an old post showing up in someone’s search results, only for them to click on it and find that it is all quite beside the point now? They might feel disappointed and not even check the rest of your blog since you’ve already wasted their time.
When a post requires too much rewriting, ask yourself if it’s worth it. If not, consider deleting it or leaving a note/link in the beginning, indicating to the readers that there’s an updated version available elsewhere or informing them that the research used in the post is dated. Be sure to take care of any subsequent dead links.
On the Internet, as in life, your past continues to affect you, for better or worse. Thankfully, it’s a lot easier to clean it up on the Web than it is in real life. It will be a time-consuming endeavor, but look at the positives. You get to improve the overall quality of your blog, bringing it up to speed with the latest in your field, and you are also able to make the old content work for you, earning recurring returns in the process. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Have you ever considered updating old blog content? How did it go, and in what ways did it help you? We’d love to hear your thoughts!