No one wants to work harder than they have to – and why should they? Why pour five hours into Plan A when Plan B takes half the time and can be twice as effective?
While that might seem like common sense, many companies waste a lot of time churning out new website content, when they should be revamping their existing blog posts and landing pages instead in order to increase organic traffic.
Why? The answer makes a lot of sense when you think about it:
Search engines (especially Google) are unpredictable. No matter how adept you are at using the AdWords keyword planner or how targeted your SEO strategy is, you can never be completely sure which of your blog posts or even your landing pages will perform the best — and which keywords they’ll rank for when they do. You’ve got to hit publish, then wait to see how the results shake out over time (and it can take months for a post to gain, or not gain, the traction you’re looking for).
You could spend a week researching and writing a 3,000 word in-depth guide only to find that in a month its traffic is being eclipsed by a 300 word blog that took you one tenth of the time to write. That little gem could start ranking for some pretty valuable keywords – even if you never planned for it to.
Give it a makeover and you’ll see your rankings on SERPs (search engine results pages) and organic traffic values soar. Here’s an example of what can happen when you strategically revamp a page of content to improve its SEO:
This chart shows the results of revamping a blog post for a client. In JUST THREE WEEKS after posting, these were the results:
- In May this post ranked for 165 keywords, 51 of which were in the top 10.
- As of June 14 this post ranks for 399 keywords, 127 of which are in the top 10.
- The value of the organic traffic increased by 254% – it now generates $12,000 worth of organic traffic each month.
This revamp is still very fresh, and we expect these numbers to keep climbing. If you’re looking for ROI, content revamps are where it’s at!
“Looking for quick movement up the SERPs? Revamping existing content is the low-hanging fruit of #SEO success.” – The Content Factory
We’ve seen this strategy work with both our clients and our own website. Big bonus: it’s actually an easy strategy to pull off. Here’s how:
How to Choose the Best Pages to Revise to Increase Organic Traffic
Not every existing blog post is worthy of an overhaul. Here’s how to figure out which ones are:
1. Log into Google Analytics.
2. On the left-hand menu click on Acquisition.
3. Click on All Traffic, choose source/medium and select Google (organic).
4. Now, click Secondary Dimension…
5. …and from the drop-down menu select Behavior and then Landing Page.
Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be looking at your top landing pages for organic Google traffic. In other words, when Google leads users to your website based on anything they’ve searched, these are the pages they land on most often.
Check out the top 100 results. You’re now viewing the blog posts which are earning the most organic traffic from Google. Review these and ask yourself:
- Which pages on your website have relatively little content, but earn a large amount of search engine traffic?
- Which recent posts are already earning a lot of traffic?
- Can the posts I’ve identified contain more detail, more tips or additional information?
In all of the above cases, you’ve potentially found a page on your website that could turn into a keyword monster with a little extra content and keyword integration. Although we’ve discussed blog posts in this guide, don’t completely overlook the other pages on your website – these tips will work to increase organic traffic on all pages, not just individual blog posts.
As you look through the pages on your website that are the most popular, you might find that some aren’t blog posts at all – and that’s totally okay. If you find that your About Us or Services page is ranking decently well for a series of keywords, you might want to go back and beef up that page, just as you would a blog post.
Now that you’ve located your targets for additional content in improved positioning in SERPs, what’s your next step?
How to Edit Old Blogs to Increase Organic Traffic
Locating the most popular pages on your site for organic search traffic is just the first step — now you’ve got to figure out what you can do to make them even juicier for search engines so that you can soak up as much of that sweet, sweet organic traffic as possible. Here are three ways to do just that:
1. Bump up the word count.
If the blog post you’ve selected has less than 2,000 words, one simple way to increase organic traffic is to increase the word count — but don’t just fluff it up. Make sure any content you add also adds value. Instead of watering down paragraphs, add completely new sections that cover points you haven’t introduced yet. Chances are, the added word count will allow you add additional keywords. Speaking of…
2. Increase keyword density.
Input your post’s url into SEMrush to discover the keywords that it’s already ranking for. Are you ranking just off the first page of the SERPs for any specific keywords that have a high search volume?
Take a look at keywords which are ranking in positions 2-10 and try optimizing for these first — moving from third to first position for a term with high search volume can drastically increase organic traffic. Plus, it’s easier to bump a page up the SERPs when it’s already ranking for that keyword.
Once you’ve identified a relevant keyword target, add in it — but don’t stuff the page. Only use additional keywords where it makes sense.
Don’t forget to hyperlink these keywords to other relevant blog posts you’ve written, and incorporate them into headings and sub headers (use those H2s!) for increased SEO oomph. If you need some additional help here, check out our guide on how to write a blog post that ranks well (and converts!).
3. Target similar keyword strings.
If your page is ranking for a keyword like “social media management,” you might want to look into similar long-tail keywords, such as “social media management pricing” or “social media management tools.” Chances are, adding in sections that address these subjects will be fairly easy. Additionally, by adding in a few extra long-tail keywords, you’ll have the added bonus of increasing the total keyword density of the page.
Watch Your Website Rankings Improve (and Your Organic Traffic Increase)
As with any content marketing strategy, revamping your old blog posts works best if you continue to monitor your results over time. As you do, you won’t just learn how your efforts have paid off – you might also get ideas for future posts, or even ways to once again optimize your renovated pages to increase organic traffic.
Over the next few months, keep an eye on your revamped posts and use SEMrush and Google Analytics to track:
- Changes in organic search traffic
- Changes in bounce rates and time spent on site
- New ranking keywords
- Total number of ranking keywords
- Position changes in ranking keywords
How often should you go evaluate posts on your business blog? If you post multiple times a week, checking once every three months is a good rule of thumb. If you post only a few times a month, evaluating twice a year should do the trick.
Remember, search engine algorithms evolve and change – and so will your keyword rankings, so set a calendar reminder for yourself or your online marketing manager to dig deeply into your search traffic and keyword rankings so you know exactly where you stand and where your biggest opportunities lie.
[bctt tweet=”#SEO #ProTip: set a calendar reminder for yourself or your marketing manager to dig deeply into your search traffic and keyword rankings every 3 months. Revamp content accordingly.” username=”contentfac”]
If you’ve done all of this, and you’re still not getting the traction you’re looking for… you may need to take a closer look at the other aspects of your digital marketing strategy. Specifically, ask yourself these questiosn:
- Are you using creative content marketing ideas to send positive signals to search engines about your content?
- Are you leveraging your social media accounts to send a steady stream of traffic to targeted pages?
- What’s your backlinking strategy?
- Are you using tools like HARO to earn valuable backlinks to your optimized content?
Each of these questions will give you one piece of the strategy puzzle. A fully developed strategy always produces the strongest results.
Need some expert advice on how to improve your SEO strategy and increase organic traffic? Contact us and we’ll help get you on the right track.
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