It’s all too easy to assume an out-of-sight, out-of-mind attitude regarding old blog posts. Back when you initially produced the content, it was likely quite relevant to your larger marketing purpose and featured search engine optimization (SEO) benefits to boot. Now, it lives in a sidebar archive, hoping to be noticed and coming in second to fresher, more current material.
If you’re like many online content producers, you tend to assume that an audience will naturally form if you pour your heart and soul into content creation. Better yet, intrigued by your current posts, you hope your target audience will feel compelled to dig through the deep cuts, as well.
The problem with this mindset is that a million other blog posts are also languishing online, hoping to be noticed. Chances are, those posts are just as well-researched, well-written, and invested with passion as your own. Worse for you, they’re newer and more favorably viewed by search engine crawlers and human readers alike. You’re not doing yourself any favors by waiting for that old content to be discovered. If you want fresh eyes to land on your archive and continue to boost your relevance, you must revamp your old blog content.
Let’s take a look at three strategies to do just that:
First Strategy: Boost the SEO Friendliness of Old Posts
A little keyword research will carry your old content a long way. Perhaps words or phrases you’ve already used can be repurposed as keywords. See what’s ranking, then make an effort to include keywords to optimize that already heavy traffic. Also, the case might be you can rewrite one portion to refresh old information without losing any original meaning.
Another way to bolster SEO friendliness is to embed both internal and external links throughout the body of an old post. Create an internal link to connect a current post with a relevant older one you believe could also help your readers. In doing so, you drive traffic to both.
Meanwhile, creating external links will give your sources credit, build rapport, and share SEO credibility with other entities on the web. A side benefit is that your audience will begin to see you as someone with their interests in mind because you are connecting them to valuable sources that hold meaning for them.
Second Strategy: Harmonize the Old With the New
Maybe your brand hasn’t changed in a literal sense, as in the name or service offerings. Chances are that your style and knowledge base has developed, especially if you’ve been at it for a while. What better occasion for refreshing an older post? Update the look or style of writing to be more harmonious with the current iteration brand, then make an event on social media out of sharing your remodeled content. Those who have followed you for a while will feel they’ve participated in your brand’s growth, while those who are new to the brand will feel they’ve bought into something established, boosting reader confidence.
As your business has grown, it’s likely your audience has evolved. Your project to revamp old content should include finding ways to sharpen awareness of who your readers are now. Find ways to tweak old content to make it feel consistent with what your business has become. Rewriting old posts with your current audience in mind may be a good option if you’ve experienced a shift in demographics or find that your old voice is simply too incompatible with the present one.
Third Strategy: Maximize Your Past Investment
Old blog posts represent an investment. You did the research, wrote and rewrote, linked, and edited. You sweated over the right time to hit “publish,” then you waited patiently for a response (and celebrated when it came). You invested time, money, and passion, knowing you were entering a space that is only growing more competitive. The simple fact is, while it’s increasingly difficult to stand out, if you’ve been in the game for years, you have an edge: an archive of solid content.
Be sure to consider your past investment. Given the effort you’ve already put in, re-sharing old blog posts cost relatively little and supply positive traffic growth in return — that shapes up to be a great return on investment (ROI). Longtime customers will appreciate the familiarity, and new customers will be exposed to some of your best work. Capitalize on your initial investment by resharing regularly; social media makes this easy to do.
Create Value by Journeying Into the Archive
When it comes to content marketing, looking to the past can prove a worthwhile activity. Any content marketing or SEO agency worth its weight in salt will endorse these strategies because they are proven ways to maximize content, old or new. Old blog posts remind us of where we started and how far we’ve come. Best of all, when the content is strong, it can also be a clue to where we’re headed.