Don’t Throw Your Old SEO Content Just Yet
This is an article “Don’t Throw Your Old SEO Content Just Yet” by Marc Primo Warren
Constantly increasing your rank on Google Search and maintaining pole position require a lot of effort for every digital marketer performing search engine optimization (SEO). Google’s algorithms change frequently and not keeping up with those changes can sink your rankings to the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP), leaving it pretty much useless.
But before you delete your old content posts that didn’t rank, you should first try other strategies that can still make use of them by simply applying a few updates that could make them relevant to your objectives.
Though Google’s algorithms might tag your old content posts as ‘unfresh’ and low quality for users’ search intent, there are still ways you can make them SEO-efficient for a boost in your online traffic with just a few tweaks that will make your old content posts relevant again.
How does Google know when your old posts are stale?
Your old content posts are pretty much like eggs. If they have been posted without any updates for months, Google’s algorithms will consider it as stale SEO that has degraded and won’t matter much to user queries. The best thing to do is produce newer eggs, but from the same hen which means that you could update your content to send Google Search signals that you have fresh materials that can help spike your site’s traffic.
Updating your old content posts need not be too tedious. That is, if you know which elements of your old content posts need updating. Using Google Analytics and determining which pages are less visited with lower session averages is the first step. Choose the posts that are not performing too well and update aspects of your content that do not seem to work.
To help you identify which parts of your old content posts to update, here are some factors worth looking at:
If you do a quick search on Google, you’ll notice that most of the top searches have been published just months from the present which tells you that your content’s shelf-life is just a few months long. This is because no matter what niche you’re in, user queries on topics change at a rapid pace, making your SEO efforts less accurate than when you first posted your content.
Even if your content post has great SEO and ranks on top of the SERPs, users may still find them useless if they see that you haven’t touched your material in two years. Just imagine searching for news about COVID-19 by entering the term ‘coronavirus’ on the search box and finding a high-ranking reference material that is dated all the way from 2010. Though the user may find content on the landing page that’s about coronavirus, it certainly won’t be about COVID-19 which only emerged in 2020. That makes the users’ search and the content useless.
Regardless of what niche you’re in, updating your content and making them evergreen with relevant information, fresh long-tail keywords, more appealing headlines, and recent publishing dates can do a lot to boost your click-through rate. Efficient headlines are usually those with focus keywords on the title with just about eight words or 70 characters long.
Google considers your headers, meta descriptions, and title and H1 tags important in their SEO ranking reviews so make sure your content is clear, concise, to the point, and evergreen that they easily satisfy user queries.
Today’s SEO algorithms use artificial intelligence (AI) as their foundation to detect bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Once these algorithms deem your content incoherent and difficult to understand, red flags will fly up faster than anyone can read your post.
For example, Facebook, the king of social media, flags bad grammar, all-uppercase titles, and just plain horrendous layouts from paid ads so they don’t appear on the platform. Worse, marketers can see their ad accounts being suspended if these bad content elements become more frequent both in their ad copies and landing pages.
The same goes for Google Search’s algorithms, though it’s not the ‘be-all and end-all’ of their ranking factors. Yet, once it detects cringe-worthy fluff, it can quickly dismiss the content as irrelevant to a users’ search intent and may never appear on any of its SERPs.
However, this simple problem can be dealt with easily. By simply taking the time to review your old content posts and check for grammar or spelling mistakes, you can refresh your materials and give it a fighting chance for higher rankings. In fact, even doing some minor corrections and a bit of optimization can increase your traffic by nearly 500% as Ahrefs’s Tim Soulo did.
Always remember that platforms such as Google or Facebook are all about providing positive user experiences, and poor grammar and spelling are just too easy to bounce out of and move on to other online source materials.
Keeping abreast of the many and frequent Google updates that come along helps you improve your content’s accuracy for better SEO. That means aside from keeping tabs on algorithm updates, you should also follow developments on the topics you are writing about so you can also make your content evergreen and more helpful to users.
Making your old content posts accurate to the present simply requires thorough proofreading to help you decide which information is still relevant and which new ones you can add to refresh them. And there’s nothing wrong with stating that what you are re-publishing are updates of old content posts as this gives you more credibility as a thought leader who is keeping things in check in terms of a specific topic. Most news reports that follow a hot topic story do this creating better link building in the process.
It’s all about user experience
Aiming for higher search rankings doesn’t end in improving your old content posts. You’ll still have to update all the elements of your site that contribute to improved SEO such as site and page speed, device adaptation, and technical SEO, among others.
By improving your overall user experience starting with relevant content that is upgraded regularly, you can achieve higher SERP rankings and more efficient SEO as you add more content to your site.
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