How to Refresh Old Content Marketing Posts to Improve SEO Rankings and Boost Traffic

Reading Time: 5 mins

Content marketing is an ongoing process, and it’s likely you have old content that still attracts traffic, or is still relevant and has been gaining less traffic as the months and years go by.

But what can you do to refresh your old content in order to boost the traffic to your website and achieve better search engine rankings? There are a number of valid SEO methods in order to utilise old content and get better results.

So what exactly can you do with old content in order to get the best results from your content marketing efforts?

Content writing on a laptop

Write new posts based on old content that performs well

One of the most straight forward methods is to write a new piece of content around a particular topic that performed well in the past.

If you have content from 2015 or 2016 and is still getting traffic from organic search, it’s likely that it is still relevant to some extent. Or at least, Google thinks it is still relevant.

However, there may be certain parts you think require updating or changing to reflect the current climate. Or, perhaps, the whole post needs an overhaul and you would be rewriting the whole thing.

The best thing to do here is to take the topic, and write a new post around it that is more relevant to the present time.

Then, you would simply link from the old post, and state (perhaps at the top of the old post) that there is a newer, more relevant article found within the link. The link equity from the old post will flow to the new post and theoretically help it rank quicker and higher for the relevant terms.

Make sure you use relevant anchor text in order to inform Google what can be found on the linked page.

Update an old piece of content significantly

One other method is to revisit your old content and update it to bring it up to date, however that may be.

If your content is still bringing in traffic, then at least the people landing on your page will be seeing up-to-date information. They won’t think it is old content and go elsewhere. It also means you don’t have to start from scratch in terms of rankings.

However, it’s worth noting that this is only worthwhile on really high-quality pieces of content where it isn’t too time-sensitive.

And a few lines of updating won’t do the trick here. Google will know if you are trying to game it by adding a sentence or two and claiming it is updated.

You should update the content by roughly at least a third of the content, or be adding to it significantly.

Then you can update the publish date to the current date, and reshare it in the relevant places, whether that is on social media or otherwise.

Reduce bounce rates and increase conversions

If a piece of old content continues to rank well and bring in relevant traffic, and it doesn’t necessarily need updating due to the fact it’s an evergreen piece of content that won’t go out of date, then readdress what is actually happening on the page itself.

What do you want people to do after landing on your page? Do you want them to fill out a form, or get in touch? Do you want them to download something? Sign up for a service? Sign up for a newsletter? Or is it a branding exercise?

Most pieces of content are written with a purpose in mind. If your content gets a good amount of traffic but isn’t turning the traffic into leads or potential sales, then you need to address this.

How can you turn this traffic into a profit?

  • Ensure your content has a solid call-to-action that inspires readers to engage with what you have to offer.
  • Ensure there are no barriers to ensuring people complete the task you want them to complete.
  • Make the content more readable and ensure it isn’t too long for its purpose.
  • Make sure you use formatting and imagery to break up walls of text.

Repurpose old content in a new format

If you have content that continues to perform well and your audience clearly values, why not turn it into another form of content that takes on a different format? This could appeal to different audiences or subsets of a specific audience.

Some people respond well to written content, but others may prefer something more visual, or possibly in an audio format.

If your content is currently a written piece on your site, consider:

  • Videos
  • Vlogs
  • Behind-the-scenes video
  • Podcasts
  • Audio downloads
  • Infographics
  • Diagrams
  • Step-by-step guides with visual elements
  • Video ads
  • Slideshow
  • Write a series of emails
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks