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How To Refresh Old Blog Posts And Get More Traffic

What is the best way to drive more organic traffic to your site? Blogging.

Yes, we all know that.

But what happens when you run out of topic ideas?

Repurpose your old blog posts

You read that right, many smart marketers are using this little-known trick to keep driving traffic to their site.

Think about it this way. You have invested a lot of time and money into your blog.

Probably hired freelancers to contribute content.

Given the investments, revisiting your old blog post and optimizing them again makes more sense.

Still not convinced, read on.

 

The best reason for refreshing old content

  • Same result, less effort

    A blog overhaul is not required. Simple tweaks like adding new information, presenting it in a new angle or with a new perspective are sufficient. Refreshing content is extremely time efficient. Tweaking requires less time than creating a new blog from scratch.

  • Reach multiple different audiences

    People take in information through various forms; some prefer reading the document while others are visual learners. Repurposing your blog in different forms is the best way to attract a newer audience.

  • Good for SEO

    Google loves fresh content. Even if it’s you repurposed older post. As long as you have added information or research that is useful to today’s audience, Google will consider it fresh. Thus rewarding you by a higher search engine ranking and new site visitors.

  • Expanding longevity

    Every blog created becomes stale over time and gradually ages. Repurposing them will give these blogs a second chance to generate more traffic.

 

The true power of repurposing can also be seen in an experiment of not publishing a new blog post for 30 days by Buffer.

By this time you must be convinced about repurposing old blog.

How to identify the blogs that need updating?

It’s a great strategy and requires meticulous attention to detail.

Before you undertake the process of making an old content shine like new, identify the best content that needs updating.

This is the very first step.

Browse through your archives and look for the following types of content:

#Evergreen content

Timeless and high-quality content is Evergreen Content. It contains information still relevant today.

Of course, you knew that! So resurface these posts with a little tweaking, if necessary, and promote them again.

Evergreen contents like How-to guides, frequently asked questions and knowledge expertise (breaking down basic in simple language) are repurposed most.image06 1

#Time-sensitive content

Have new statistics been released or new study taken place? Perfect time to update your old blog on the same topic with this fresh information. It adds a unique angle to your content.

Additionally, do you have an old blog that received a lot of controversies?

Update that blog with a new perspective. But be creative this time.

#Current trending content

If any of your previously written content is trending till date (check analytics using tools like Buzzsumo), revisit them.

Update them with the latest information and you are good to go. They will surely bring more visitors. It will also have a positive effect on Google’s freshness score.

#Previously trending content

These are blogs or articles that use to rank on the first page of search engines or were very popular with your audience.

Look at the analytics and you will know which post was popular over a period of time.

Be cautious – a content with high traffic and high bounce rate may not be ideal for repurposing.

Look at data holistically to get a clear picture. Pick content that was shared widely and delivered more conversions.

The classic example is the Buffer Experiment mentioned above. They went straight to their most popular content to repurpose. See what happened.

  • Keyword trending

    Refreshing old blog post with keywords that still have a decent search volume will generate great results. Use Ubersuggest to find good, easy to rank keywords.

  • Visually appealing content

    This might require a little in-depth research. Sometimes giving a new set of wings to original content may give your business an opportunity to target a different demographic audience. Like a blog converted into an infographic or a video into a slideshow.

Now that the content to repurpose is selected, roll up your sleeves and start breathing new SEO life into your post.

Below are actionable steps you can undertake for repurposing.

However, there is a marked difference between repurposing content and spinning content.

You will have to maintain high quality while rewriting the same subject matter such that the search engine will not flag it off as duplicate content.

There are many factors that go into optimizing an old post:

Some ways to achieve it

Headlines

This reflects the content of your post. Phrase it in a way people will find it compelling to click and read your post.

Focus on the needs of the buyer and don’t sell your product.

Also, use words that your audience would type in a search engine to find answers.

Why we are the best B2B marketing agency in the world

4 ways to find the best B2B agency

You decide which headline will generate more clicks? Take a little help if you want.

Links

Spice up your outdated content by adding helpful links.

Broken link and outdated links, whether internal or external, need to be changed immediately.

Internal linking has a positive impact on ranking.

Link new relevant blogs to it.

Follow the post panda quality guidelines and refresh your internal linking.

External links give a huge boost to your SEO.

Chances are you have come across some very good content after this old post was published.

Help your readers and link fresh content from high authority sites.

This gives a positive signal to search engines and assigns a bit more trust to your blog.

Educational sites, official government sites, CNNHUFFINGTON POST are high authority sites.

Content

It’s extremely important to make sure no outdated content is present in your refreshed blog.

Read through your blog and look for ways to update information.

For updating landing pages or informational pages add a real-life example, a testimonial from a client, reviews, opinions, or a video.

You have the concept in your hands, just make it better. Double check to be sure.

Keywords

The main reason for a blog to underperform is the choice of keywords.

Most content published online is optimized for wrong keywords.

While updating old content, check every keyword.

image02 2

Readability

Punctuation, white spaces, bullet points, grammar, bold text are elements that increase readability.

Your post needs to be eye-pleasing and easy to read or skim.

According to studies, 80% of readers don’t read the entire blog, help them gain relevant information quickly.

Have you checked the readability score of your post?

Images

Want to make your blog appealing, add images to it. You could also add graphs, infographics, GIFs, etc.

If the images are there in place see if you can better them.

And don’t forget the alt text in every image.
image05

Meta descriptions

It is not just the headline, catchy Meta descriptions are equally important to attract clients.

While refreshing your content, redoing Meta descriptions will be imperative.

Your old article is now ready!

This newly packaged content has the potential to reach more customers and get more organic search engine traffic.

There are many different ways you can make your repurposed content work for you again.

Where can you promote refreshed content?

Reformating Content

This is one of the easiest ways to repurpose existing content. Update your old post in terms of content. Input the latest information on that topic and convert it to a different format, catering to a very different medium.

It could be in form of images, audio or video; but do reformat the same content.

Infographics – the main points from your blog can be used to create an infographic.

This is an interesting way to showcase data, explain a topic in step by step fashion, or illustrate a story.

Use an infographic maker like Piktochart or Venngage to create the graphics.

Video – attract YouTube audience by converting your repurposed blog into a video.

You don’t have to be a professional to produce a compelling video.

Moving graphics and voice-over audio can help you make a good video.

Some video ideas are creating a skit around the main concept of your blog or interviewing industry experts.

Emails – create a newsletter out of your old long-form posts and email it to your audience.

Or perhaps you had created a series of posts on a particular topic; break them down into smaller email series.

One way is to email your audience the main points of your content and then ask them to download the pdf format of this post.

EBooks and free guides – compile in one place all blog post you have written on a certain topic, add the latest information and research to it.

Further add a table of content, index, and images to create an eBook.

These are more detailed with in-depth research hence considered a high-value piece.

Pro Tip – Offer this eBook to your audience free of cost in exchange for the visitor’s contact information like Hubspot did.

Likewise, you could turn it into course material and upload them on Udemy or similar sites.

Podcast – not everyone likes to read. You could read your refreshed content out loud, record and upload it on iTunes or Stitcher.

For a more in-depth topic create a series of the podcast.

Slideshow – create easy to follow slides and upload it to SlideShare.

Syndication

Post your blog in front of a new audience through the content syndication network.

These networks will recommend your content as ‘recommended reading’ below blogs related to your topic. Of course, it’s a paid service.

Some such networks include:

Quuu Promote – Quuu Promote promotes your quality content via real people. These people have signed up for content suggestions from Quuu.co and receive and share your content every day to their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. We use it ourselves and we recommend it.

Here’s a piece of content we promoted using Quuu Promote, it got over 347 shares in the space of 1 month, chances are you won’t have the same success organically.

 

Outbrain – one of the largest and best content discovery network. They promote content on sites like CNN.

They give you the privilege to recommend your own content and has been instrumental in bringing many lead conversions.

ZemantaTaboola are other syndication sites.

 

Republishing

There are numerous sites that allow you to copy paste your article URL and reach a larger audience.

Like Medium allows you to sign up for an account, paste your article and hit ‘publish’. Along the same lines is Examiner; but you will have to apply for an account.

On the other hand, we have Reddit. It offers user-generated news where audiences can vote and promote a particular story or post. And similar to Reddit is Hacker News which is solely dedicated to programmers and entrepreneurs.

Social Media

The very idea to promote your content via a social media platform should be to add value to your profile and build your brand.

Post part of your article on LinkedIn and add a “Read More” link.

The best way is to take a small citation or quote from your repurposed content and convert it into a social media post.

Adding images will attract more people.

A perfect example is to use your content snippet as a Facebook post. Or a small quote from your post can be tweeted.

Pinterest will allow you to pin images from your content to relevant boards.

Quora is another great place to promote your content. Simply search for a question related to the content topic and paste a part of your post as an answer with a link to the entire post.

Case Studies

Some of your posts will have an interesting case study. Highlight this study in a new post and add a link to your old post in this new article. Then promote your new post as necessary.

Case studies are a very interesting way of generating traffic and boosting conversions.

Optinmonster uses this trick to perfection.

Guest posts

We all know that guest posting is a great way to boost traffic.

But did you know you could republish a guest post?

You need to ask for permission from the blog owner and most don’t seem to have a problem as they were the first to publish your content.

While republishing a guest post don’t forget to mention where this post was originally featured and linking back to it.

Don’t forget

  • To create a strategy first.
  • To get your 301 redirects and 404 errors in order.
  • Repurposing should not be overdone.
  • You need to maintain the right balance between refreshing old content and creating new ones.

Duplicate content – according to Neil Patel there is no such thing as ‘Google’s Duplicate Content Penalty’.

We just have to be careful of excessively copying content in a manipulative manner.

Bottom line

Prioritize your efforts first by repurposing top performing old posts and then working down with a post that has not generated great results.

Once you have a good sense of the topic, maintain a high quality and rewrite on the subject.

Give additional information and tailor this post to a different format. Promote.

Over time this simple effort to dust off and revise old post will show better SEO results and more inbound links.

Alex T

Alex is the managing director of Breakline Ltd. He writes often on the blog and he'll be the one you will talk to if you need help with any of our services.