In many ways it makes as much sense to promote existing content on your blog as it does to create new content. Every site needs its share of new content to be successful, but it’s important to recognize many opportunities available to get more visitors to old content.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Optimization For Relevant Keywords Already Driving Traffic.
Look at a page-by-page breakdown of which keywords are bringing traffic to your site. With those keywords, you can determine where you already rank in the search results, and what the overall keyword volumes are for the terms. You can then improve the optimization of your content for these keywords by (1) improving on-page optimization with exact match usage of the keywords in the content and/or page title, (2) use internal links on your site to point to the page with the corresponding anchor text links for the keywords, (3) consider building backlinks to the page if search volumes or relevancy justify it.
- Freshen Up Content By Removing Aging Signs
When content is old, it shows. But old doesn’t necessarily mean outdated. You can prepare old content for new waves of popularity by modifying or removing many of the post attributes that say “old.” Doing so is likely to increase exposure and lifespan.
- Post dates: Many great posts I run across have publication dates removed both from the post as well as the URL. This may seem odd to a visitor at first glance, but this gives the content a greater opportunity to shine without the “recency bias.”
- Comments/Trackbacks: You may consider removing old comments and trackbacks completely if they allude to the age of the post.
- Dated references: (remove and update): You may have dated your content without realizing it just by what you’ve written. If it’s summer and you refer to the snow; or if you refer to a recent holiday or other event that dates the post, you may consider removing those references. You should also consider updating some references to refer to more current events.
- Make Your Old Post Titles More Boring (Functional))
I always face the dilemma of creativity vs. functionality when I write post titles. Somehow, I often end up more on the creative side. This usually means that the post ends up attracting readers that never would have come to the site otherwise. The dark side of this is that many of these posts will never be found organically.
Consider changing old post titles to include terms or phrases that people might logically search. Having looked at a lot of client blog analytics, I can tell you that the posts most frequently found by organic search have instructional titles because people are often searching for instructions, how-to’s, etc.
For example, a Search Engine Journal post titled “When Do You Pull The Plug On A Keyword?” is a great, creative title, but the title isn’t likely to correspond to what someone actually searches for. After an initial “newness” phase, I might consider changing the title to something boring, but more search-functional. After some quick keyword research, you might change the title to “How To Identify The Wrong SEO Keywords (So You Can Choose The Right Ones).” We’re not shooting for literary eloquence here. After all, isn’t it better to get your content read than let it go unfound?
But I Love My Old Content
Don’t be deterred by the prospect of changing things, even drastically, on old content. If you love your old content, you’ll stop treating it like scripture and start treating it like the business tool it was meant to be.