Increasing Your SEO and Reader Engagement Might Be as Easy as Revamping Old Content
You work hard to get your business noticed. But if users can’t find you on the wide world of the internet, all your efforts are in vain. That’s why you, being a savvy marketer, know all about search engine optimization, content creation, and blogging. (And if you DON’T know about it, read more about the importance of blogging HERE). However, if you want to increase website traffic, you’ll need to do more than post a blog and then let it fade into the cyber universe.
Updating old content can have dramatic impacts on your website’s readership. Taking a few hours each month to identify and revamp your blog posts increase website traffic, rank your website higher on search results, and ultimately lead to more sales.
Website Content and Search Engine Results
Before we dive into updating your content, let’s examine why website content is important.
Let’s face it: we live in a fast-paced digital world. Consumers go online for just about everything: cute dog pictures, vegetarian recipes, and, yes, information related to real estate and other business decisions. But in a nearly infinite pool of search results, how can you get your business noticed?
In short, it’s all about search engine optimization or SEO for short.
Learning More About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google and other search engines use automation to scan websites and determine what they’re about, whom they are intended to reach, and whether or not they are reliable. When users search for a specific term (like “first-time homebuyer” or “is a Realtor worth the cost?”), Google uses an algorithm to determine which websites are the most likely to meet the user’s query.
As a business professional, you obviously want your website to rank among the top. That’s because most users don’t venture beyond the first page of Google search results. In fact, 75% of Google’s users never click to the second page of results. And if you’re on the third, fourth, or fifth pages of search results? Well, you can almost guarantee you’re stuck in a virtual no man’s land, where readers will never find your post.
However, by learning how SEO works and updating your website’s content accordingly, you can rank higher on search results, increase website traffic, and drive more users to your business. Ultimately, the time you spend revamping outdated content could dramatically boost your sales.
Why Blogs Matter for SEO
All written content on your page matters, including your landing pages, product pages, and blogs. But blogs are the content you’re most likely to update and add regularly. Therefore, this is the content Google and other search engines tend to scan when determining whether your site is relevant for users.
The more content you generate related to a specific topic or theme, the better Google and other search engines will understand your site. As you continue posting blogs, search engines learn more about your site through keywords, metadata, and the overall content on your blogs. Using that information, Google will suggest your site to users searching keywords related to your content.
You can further increase website traffic by optimizing your blogs according to the readership you want. That is, you can perform keyword research, do an SEO audit of your site, and do research on SEO best practices to help boost your rankings.
Still, the best way to increase website traffic organically is to put out new content regularly. Well-crafted, relevant blogs will keep bringing in new readers and keep those readers on your site longer.
Why Do I Need to Update My Content?
One crucial factor impacting your SEO ranking is how long users spend on your page. Suppose a user clicks on a link and immediately finds outdated information. In that case, that user will likely return to the search results page within a matter of seconds, leaving your site behind. This is really, really bad for your search engine results ranking.
The time a user spends on your site (called the “dwell time”) indicates to search engines whether or not your website is credible and informative. If users click off your site quickly, that indicates to the search engine that your site isn’t a good fit for the particular search phrase. On the other hand, if a user spends many minutes on your site, the search engine will boost your ranking because it assumes readers are getting the answers they’re looking for on your page.
All that is to say, relevant and informative content will keep users on your site longer. And the longer they stay, the better it is for you, your business, and your place in the search results.
5 Ways to Increase Website Traffic by Updating Content
Now that you understand why you need to update your website content, it’s time to focus on how to update your content. Of course, there are many ways to revamp your site, but these are a few easy methods to get you started. When done effectively, updated content can increase website traffic by 100% or more within only a few days.
1. Update Your Highest-Ranking Posts First
Some marketing gurus say you should start with your oldest content first, but it’s generally a good idea to start with the highest-ranking posts. That’s because you already have a good SEO head start with these topics, and updating them will likely increase website traffic more effectively.
To determine which of your pages and posts see the most organic traffic, use a tool like Google Analytics, Moz, or SEM Rush. Most of these products have free trials that will allow you to do a basic audit of your top-performing pages.
Once you’ve determined your top ten posts, go to the oldest of those first. Using the tips below, start revamping the content and update it for the current year.
2. Expand Your Word Count
SEO best practices are continually changing. However, current trends suggest that longer content is better. Remember the “dwell time” we talked about earlier? Content length plays into that. The longer your post – and the more detailed and well-researched – the more time users will spend on your site. Not only will that increase the chances of your reader engaging with your business, but it will also increase your spot on the search engine results.
How many words should your blog contain? There’s no black and white answer. There is data to suggest that longer articles tend to have the most post views and engagement (7,000 words or more). But shorter posts between about 900-1500 words receive the most backlinks and shares.
In general, adding more content to an outdated post is worth the effort. You can build onto an existing blog post, expanding it to be more comprehensive and in-depth. Don’t just add words for the sake of a longer blog, however. New content should be worth the reader’s time.
A note here: while lengthy content can be extremely beneficial for SEO, it’s also important to make these articles easily readable. Therefore, break up this content with website-friendly headlines, add plenty of images, and optimize your post for mobile devices. Google also takes readability into account, so don’t post a solid block of text.
3. Make Your Content Relevant and Timely
When updating outdated blog posts and website pages, take a look at the data and information. If it’s been a year, two years, or more since the post was initially published, there’s a good chance much of the information has changed.
Have CEOs changed companies? Are there new real estate laws in place that didn’t exist before? Is there new information relevant to your industry? Change any outdated or incorrect facts to give your readers the best information. Remove any mention of businesses that aren’t around anymore or aren’t leaders in the industry. And wherever possible, update dates and times and remove or change pop culture references that feel outdated.
4. Remove Broken and Outdated Links
Broken links signal to search engines that your site isn’t relevant, which will hurt your SEO ranking overall. Check all the links in your top-performing posts to make sure they still work. And while you’re at it, make sure each of those links is relevant as well.
If you’re linking to pages that contain outdated information, consider changing the link to a new link that is more recent.
5. Reshare Updated Content on Your Channels
After you update your content, it’s time to share the new information with the world. Update the publish date on your site and share the blog post with your various media channels. It’s perfectly acceptable to share the post as if it’s brand new or mention that it’s been updated for the current year.
Sharing this information on social media, via email campaigns, and through your other networks will immediately increase website traffic, which indicates to Google that your page is rejuvenated and ready for new eyes.
Businesses of any size can benefit from revamping old blog posts. Taking the time to identify your top-performing pages and posts – and then updating that content to give it a fresh spin – can dramatically increase website traffic and lead to new sales.