Content Marketing, SEO

How to Update Your Old Content to Get Better Rankings?

Note: This is a guest post by Abhijit Panda. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of...

Written by Deepanshu Gahlaut · 5 min read >
update-old-content-for-better-rankings

Note: This is a guest post by Abhijit Panda. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.

Business owners are consistently trying to increase their rankings to get more visibility and traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, etc.

You can increase your website’s search engine visibility by publishing fresh and long-form content at regular intervals. You also have to invest time, effort, and resources to maintain a content calendar. 

But you must remember that there are hundreds and thousands of websites out there, who are putting continuous effort to get to the first page of Google. The statistics from the Hosting Tribunal study shows that there are 2.75 Million posts published in the WordPress platform per day. 

Google has officially mentioned that it gives more importance to fresh content. The search engine traffic to your top ranking content decreases gradually as the content decay starts gradually. You can restart the lifecycle of the outdated content by updating the blogs or articles.

The updated content will contribute towards attracting more search engine traffic just like fresh content. However, you must focus on updating the right content in the right way to get SEO benefits.

How to Choose and Update the Right Content?

While deciding which content to update, you must keep in mind the important stages in the content lifecycle – ideation, creation, contribution, storage, versioning, publication, and maturity.

The decline phase varies from the type of content and nature of business you are in. Normally, the content decay process begins 6 months to 12 months after the publication date.

You can easily restart the content’s lifecycle by updating and refreshing the blog posts. However, you must keep in mind a slew of factors while updating an old article or blog post – publication date, number of backlinks to compete with other websites, and your current search intent.

Also, you need to choose an article or blog post that was receiving visitors regularly immediately after publication, but the numbers have reduced a lot, at present.

10 Hacks to Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking by Updating Existing Content

1. Focus on Extending Article Length

The long-form content these days gets higher search engine ranking than short-form content. While updating an old article or blog, you must increase its length.

As per the research conducted by Brian Dean of Backlinko using data from Ahrefs, the average content in Google’s first page of results contains 1447 words

However, you must not increase the length of the textual content simply by stuffing irrelevant words or paragraphs. It is always important to add information and data that make the old content look relevant and trendy.

At the same time, you need to ensure that the updated content is 100% accurate.

2. Fix Readability, Spelling, and Grammar Errors

While updating existing content, you must focus on keeping the readers engaged. Google currently does not consider spelling and grammar errors while ranking websites. But the website’s user experience will be affected if the readers notice spelling and grammar errors in the content. 

Many bloggers have received more search engine traffic to a web page by fixing all grammar and spelling errors. You can easily identify and fix the spelling and grammar errors in the content using a reliable online tool like Grammarly.

You also need to check the readability scores by checking the Flesch readability score.

3. Choose and Include the Right Keywords

While enhancing content freshness, you get many opportunities to include the right keywords. You can use any keyword research tool to identify the most relevant keywords and keyphrases for the content.

You can easily embed the keywords in the content by adding words. However, you must insert the keywords naturally in the content to make it rank higher.

4. Embed Multimedia Content

According to RedSEO.co.uk, “Having a variety of media on your web page can assist on-page SEO by providing additional signals to Google including the length of time spent on the page, clicks, and shares.

While updating the existing content, you can easily enhance content diversity by complementing the textual content with images, videos, infographics, and PDFs.

However, you must choose the right form of multimedia to illustrate and extend the textual content. Also, you must optimize the multimedia content for search engines by embedding the right keywords in their titles and descriptions.

5. Include both External and Internal Links

Major search engines understand your website’s structure based on internal links. While updating the content, you must explore ways to create internal links by interlinking it to other web pages based on particular topics or keywords.

Likewise, you must include high-quality external links by linking the content to authoritative websites. You can easily improve the URL’s internal and external link structure by linking the content to better and newer resources.

6. Repair the Broken and Dead Links

While writing fresh content, the writers always link it to the most relevant links. But the linked URL might change and the website might shut down after the content is published.

While improving the page’s link structure, you must focus on removing the dead links and replacing the broken links. You can easily identify the broken and dead links using several free online SEO tools.

These tools further help you to repair the broken links and remove the dead links without putting extra time and effort.

7. Focus on Creating Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is based on topics that remain relevant to the readers irrespective of the time of the year, news, trends, etc. Evergreen content simply does not get out of date.

Some examples of evergreen topics are – “How to prepare a Pancake” and “Gifting Ideas for Women”.

Let me also give similar examples for the non-evergreen content so that you understand the difference. Examples of non-evergreen topics can be: “How to prepare Christmas cake” and “Gifting ideas for Diwali”.

You should understand here that the evergreen content like book reviews; movie reviews, workout tips, and historical lessons remain relevant over a longer period of time.

So you should choose some good evergreen topics in your field and create content around the topic to remain relevant for your readers for a long time. 

Check out this interesting piece from Ahrefs, how they have been using evergreen content to grow their traffic from 15,000 visitors per month to over 200,000 visitors per month.

8. Don’t Forget to Change the Publication Date

Most search engines these days display content publication dates on their results pages. The publication date helps searchers to get up-to-date information by clicking on the relevant date.

After updating the content, you must modify its date of publication to achieve higher visibility in SERPs and hence click-through rates (CTR). The CTR will contribute to increasing your website’s search engine visibility over a period of time.

9. Fix All On-page Issues

In addition to updating the existing content, you must optimize the web page or blog by fixing all on-page issues. My suggestion here is to have a checklist ready.

Here is a complete on-page SEO checklist for site owners, I suggest you apply this checklist for all the website pages and blogs you publish. These on-page optimizations will make the updated web page rank higher on search engine results pages.

10. Promote the Updated Content Just Like Fresh Content

According to SearchEngineJournal.com, “Studies and data indicate social media can help your site rank better, but Google says social media isn’t a ranking factor.

You can easily get more search engine traffic to the updated content by increasing its social media visibility. After updating the old content, you must promote it aggressively on various social networks to get more social signals.

Also, you must embed social media sharing options on the web page to get more likes and shares organically.

While implementing an SEO strategy, you must focus on publishing fresh content regularly and updating old content periodically. You can save both time and resources by updating existing content instead of generating fresh content.

However, you must update the existing content in the most effective way to diver more search engine visitors to the website in a short amount of time.

About Author

Abhijit Panda has the advantage of being in the digital space since 2009. He is a Business Savvy Marketer with over 11 years of Integrated Marketing experience specializing in B2B Lead Generation, Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Product Positioning & Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Management.

He works as the AVP, Marketing at an HR Tech SaaS startup Xoxoday currently and loves to write on marketing strategy at https://www.abhijitpanda.com/blog/

Written by Deepanshu Gahlaut
I write on SEO, content marketing, latest technologies, and social media. You can find me online, or at home watching sci-fi movies, listening songs, or sleeping. In addition, my latest obsession is creating, collecting and organizing visual content on my new blog - Infopixi, to help bloggers, marketers, and businesses. Profile
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