One of the most frustrating things I can think of when it comes to content creation is having to come up with new ideas all the time (more on this coming soon). What many people don’t realize – and I was one of them until recently – is that while search engines tend to reward fresh content, they also reward content that gets a lot of traffic. And one of the best ways to get fresh traffic without having to create all new content is to refresh your old content.
I’ve always thought it was a bit of a waste to write a blog post, promote it once, and then move on to the next one. Especially if you’re blogging daily. You have a ton of content at your fingertips that’s just crying out for more traffic.
In this week’s installment – the very first! – of Ruthie’s Friday 5, let’s take a look at five ways you can refresh your old content to make it new and relevant again.
1. Improve your readability score.
How readable is your content? It’s no fun reading a post that’s just one long block of text. You can give your old post new life by breaking up the content with headings, sub-headings, images, and different text styles (bold, underline, etc.). If you use the Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress it will even give you a readability score and tell you where you need improvement so you know exactly what to fix.
2. Update your post titles.
You know the secret to all good copy starts with the headlines, right? It’s the same with your blog posts. Your old content may be perfectly fine, but it’s not getting the attention it deserves. Try changing the title and see if that makes any difference. Use this headline analyzer to figure out the best headline possible for your post.
3. Link to your other related content.
Search engines love internal links. This is when you link from one page or post of content on your site to another. This simple step can reduce your bounce rate, keep readers on your site longer, and let them know about other relevant content. All of those things not only bring more traffic to your site, they’re also great for SEO purposes.
4. Expand on shorter posts.
The ideal post length changes with the times, and right now longer is definitely better. Posts of 1,500 words or more now deliver more traffic than shorter posts? This is a change from when I first started blogging and short posts of 250 to 500 words were the ideal. If you have a bunch of shorter posts, why not expand on them or combine similar posts to make longer 1500 to 2000 word posts. If you really want to go all out, bump it up to 2200 to 2500 words and create an “epic post.” A word of caution here: make sure you’re adding value along with the increased word count. No one wants to read 2500 words of fluff.
5. Refresh your graphics.
Refreshing your post graphics is a great way to give old content a new look. Just as the title and content itself may need sprucing up to bring it up to today’s standards, so too do your images need updating. Image sizes change frequently and if you’re using old images in outdated sizes they will look horrible on newer smartphones and tablets. Since more people now read blogs on mobile devices, it’s imperative that your site is optimized for them.
Re-share your most popular blog posts on social media. Remember how I said at the beginning that it’s a waste of a post if you only promote it once. Regardless of how old they are, re-share your old content on social media. Your most popular blog posts are popular for a reason. Each month, if you’re growing your business, you are going to have new audience members who have never seen your older posts. So give them some extra visibility and let them continue to work for you.
I hope you enjoyed this first edition of the Friday 5. If you found it useful, please share it with your friends!