It can be hard finding time to write new blog content frequently, right? But have you ever actually checked what return you’re getting on all the effort you put in to blogging regularly? Recently I was at a conference and heard a fresh approach to content updating. The presenter was from a massively successful and highly-visited online recipe website and mentioned that each recipe was incredibly costly and time-consuming to create. Writing, testing, photography, editing of text and imagery, and eventually publishing to your business. This long-lead time is akin to the difficulties a business owner can have in finding time and worthwhile content to write about on a regular basis, to keep a website fresh and valuable to visitors. Over time it became apparent to this business that it was a much better use of time and resource to revisit existing content rather than continually create it new. In the case of the recipe website, rather than creating new recipes endlessly, they chose to revisit and tag all existing recipes to make them more filterable and searchable. e.g., they created tags to enable visitors to not only find recipes containing a particular keyword or ingredient, but also to exclude them. Very helpful if someone is allergic to eggs and wheat and is looking for something to bake…!
The point is – there was a lot of value available to be unlocked in existing content simply by revisiting it.
Why should you revisit and update your old blog content?
Here are some of the key reasons why you should review and update old blog posts to make them increasingly relevant to today: For many businesses, the majority of website traffic arrives at a relatively small number of pages. In recent research from HubSpot into historical optimization, out of 6,000 blog posts on their site, almost half their traffic (46%) was generated from only 30 blog posts!
As more businesses realize the benefits of blogging and content marketing, more businesses are creating content. As supply of content increases, so does competition for being found. Creating more and more new content doesn’t in itself guarantee more traffic. One of Google’s key ranking factors is freshness I.e., howe recently content was created. So, you might have an old blog post which still has value but if you haven’t touched it in years it could probably do with an update, so that Google sees it as recently updated and potentially improves its ranking. Even as a searcher, you are likely to find yourself clicking on results which are more recent than older results whenever you’re looking for something, simply because you feel that more recently created or edited pages are likely to be more accurate than older ones.
3 steps to update your old blog posts
Right, so there are many good reasons to look at updating your older blog posts. Here are 3 key steps on how to go about it: Review your analytics (e.g., Google Analytics) to view which of your blog posts are most viewed. This creates your initial hitlist of posts to revisit. Remember, it is likely that a lot of your traffic is coming to only a small number of pages, even if you have many. Identify what keywords people are searching for to arrive at these hero blog posts. The Search Analytics report within Google Webmaster Tools is a good way to find this info. Optimize each blog post by including its relevant keywords in the content text as well as in the calls-to-action you include in the post.
Next steps to get quick wins from your website’s existing content
Ensure Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are installed on your site Run the analysis of your old blog post site Run the most highly viewed posts first If it sounds good but you don’t know where to start, contact me.
Business websites are often updated out of a feeling of necessity rather than truly providing something of value to the visitor. So how do you know what’s of value to your visitors? Well, you need to know what they’re looking for. Not what you think they’re looking for, but what they are actually looking for. Using data, not guesswork. Business owners slot online often remember to set up (or request to have set up) Google Analytics for their site, to enable them to track visitor numbers, duration of visits on each page, etc. But Google Webmaster Tools is somehow often forgotten. Like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools is free – and provides you access to a wealth of information useful for the successful running of your website. Among many other things, Webmaster Tools contains a Search Traffic menu, within which you will find the Search Queries section. Within Search Queries you can see:What search terms have been typed in to Google which have resulted in a click through to your siteSearch terms which have driven traffic to your site, by individual pageSearch terms which have resulted in your site being displayed in a search result, but your link has not actually been clicked onThis information is invaluable. It takes the guesswork out of finding out what you’re doing which is of interest and resonating with your target audience. It also enables you to see what people are searching for which may not actually be resulting a click through to your site. This may suggest new areas of content to develop for your site, to ensure those needs are directly met next time. When your site appears in a search result and isn’t clicked, it also suggests you may need to review your page description tags i.e. the description you tell Google you would like shown in search results beneath the blue link to your page. In summary, if you don’t have Webmaster Tools installed and properly configured for your site yet – you should! Google Analytics is good, but not enough. A deeper dive into the data behind your website is needed to help guide future decisions and make the very most of your website and truly understand your audience, prospective customers and clients. For help getting Google Webmaster Tools installed on your site, or for help interpreting the data available from Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics, contact me any time