How to Update Your Blog Content for SEO

How to Get An Instant Traffic Boost From Google (and Without Paid Ads)

Google loves it when you update old content.  Why? Because the internet is full of content, making it harder to stand out from vast amounts of content. This makes the SEO aspects of content harder.  That is why it’s so important to update your old content regularly. Show Google you care about producing quality content by consolidating, optimizing, and refreshing.

Why Refreshing Content is Effective

Refreshing content will help old blog posts perform better and realize their true potential.  That said, let’s have a look at the key elements in a content updating strategy.

Relevancy

Search engines like Google love to serve fresh and relevant results to its users.  And here’s the kicker: this step becomes more important for older pages.

First Step

Check each of the links on all of your pages.  Take an audit of all the links on your pages.  Look for broken links or links that are directed to pages that are out of date.  If so, link them to more recent and relevant pages.

Second Step

Take the same approach with embedded pics and videos.

Third Step

Next review the subject matter in each post – how up to date is it?  If it references old studies or citations, update them.   The same comment applies for dates – update years.

Bottom line – anything that tells Google that the page is old content needs to be updated.

Primary Keyword

Take care to ensure that your primary keyword is featured in the page title, headline, and meta description.  As always with keywords, weave them naturally into the body copy once or twice.

Finally, give images a boost by including variations of your primary (or secondary) keywords in the image alt text.

Related Keywords

More keywords are better than less.  Many people are focused on the primary keyword, but the problem with this approach is that you miss out on ranking opportunities for keyword variations.

Therefore, your objective should be to boost the total number of keywords for which each page is ranking.

Ranking well for 20 to 30 keywords is usually better than scoring a page one ranking for your primary keyword.

Here is a simple way to find other keywords:

  • Google your primary keyword and take note of the FAQ snippet in Google.
  • Type your primary keyword into your fav SEO tool.
  • Look at the related keywords and queries that people are searching for.
  • Use this data to create new content snippets which you can include in the page (blog posts or other web site pages).

Post Structure

As with most things, the structure is important. When it comes to website content, headlines are very important but not just from a copywriting point of view.  Yes, you want to grab people’s attention so they stay on the page and read the content that supports the headline.

But you also need to satisfy the Google God.  A well-structured headline gives Google clues as to what your content is about.  The better they can do that, the more likely it is that The Big G will serve up the right content for their users, based on their search queries.  Therefore a clear headline structure – H2’s with related H3’s, will make it easier for Google to recognize and locate relevant content.

When appropriate, frame your headlines as questions

Google your primary (or any related) keyword and one of the first things you’ll notice is the FAQ snippet somewhere on the top half of the page. When you’re addressing common queries in your post, framing the headlines in question form is effective in helping Google understand that, yes, this post does indeed answer the questions people ask in search.

Why? Again, headlines aren’t just for skimmers. They help Google “skim”, too. BY framing your headlines in question form, you’re that much more likely to have your answers surfaced in search results.

All Posts – Include a Table Of Content

Once again, you need to be crystal clear about Google and how it works.  Your objective should there be one of facilitator – make it as easy as possible for Google to understand how your post is formatted.  So, create a table of content for your blog posts.

You can go further than this by adding jump links to any table of contents in your article.   If they’re relevant to specific keywords, Google will add the jump links to your search listing in Google. This will help your Google rankings, but there is another benefit – because more links will be displayed it will often boost your click-through rate when people see your Google listing.

SERP Features

SERP or Search Engine Results Page will display various features associated with your primary keyword.  Make it your business to check manually or with a tool such as Ahrefs.  Ranking factors can include images, audio, infographics, video carousels, and FAQ snippets.

If your post doesn’t include some of these rich media elements you may find it harder to rank on Google.

Therefore it makes sense to include at least one of these rich media elements in your content pieces.  This will boost time visitor’s on-page and will help improve rankings.

Audit Links

Check other pages on your site.  If you find one that is relevant and preferably with good page authority, consider linking to it from your blog post.

Use site search functionality in Google to find the most relevant pages around specific subjects and consider cross-linking between them to increase the authority of not only your updated page but all the pages in the topic cluster.

Another thing you can do is to conduct an audit of current outbound links on your page.  If broken or redundant replace or delete them.

Once again this sends a signal to Google that your content is fresh and relevant.

Image Alt Text

This is often one of the most overlooked elements in a content updating project.  All images on your page should have relevant alt text included.   Where practical to do so, include your primary and related keywords in the alt text.  This will boost your chances of getting them ranked in the search engines (Google image search as well as generally for your content).

Importing Content From Dead Posts

If you have other content items about the same topic you can cross-link between each of these posts, including the post you’re updating.

If these posts are underperforming and you don’t plan to update them consider extracting relevant snippets for the post you’re updating.

This will help make your post more interesting, relevant, and boost the chances of your updated post ranking for related keywords.  Once completed, you can delete the old post.  This small but important change will help keep your domain ‘clean’ which may further help you improve your overall ranking.

When you’ve completed these changes, republish it on the current date.

Google will likely display the updated post quickly, but if not you can instruct the  Google Search Console to re-index your post.

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