How to Boost SEO with Updated Content

How to Boost SEO with Updated Content

Go Beyond Content Creation — Beef Up Existing Pages to Improve Search Rankings

As content marketers, we spend a great deal of time and money on content creation. You think to get more traffic, I need to create more content. New content, that is.

Well, not so fast.

You can repurpose or beef up old content and use that to boost SEO. Not only does it save time and money, it works and can lead to better search engine rankings and greater traffic.

This doesn’t mean you can stop writing new content, just take a look at what you already have and reuse it. It’s a gold mine.

As you may know, in Google’s algorithm, your content ranks higher if you get more clicks from the search engine results page. When you update your content, thus giving it a later “expiration” date, that makes it more appealing, and tells Google it’s a better resource that should rank higher.

Initially, all web pages come with “freshness” scores but those decay over time. With every content upgrade, you refresh that date and score. Therefore, if you have quality relevant content on your site that already has traction in the search engines, adding to it can be more effective than starting anew.

You have valuable content on your site and you worked for it. Why not repurpose it for greater SEO, greater traffic and more exposure?

How Do I Update My Content?

When you update content, you add value (and often length) to a page on your site. There are many ways to improve your content, but all include the following key guidelines. Keep in mind before you tweak: not all content change is created equal.

Here are some ways you can update your content, increase your SEO rankings and bump up your “freshness” date with Google. You will be happy, and so will your customers and prospects.

— Write a new more compelling headline that grabs your reader’s attention.

— Improve the content by adding updated statistics, or multimedia wherever possible.

— Add key quality changes to the core content. Be sure you add to the main body text. Do not simply change things like boilerplate, comments, and date/time tags. This is known as “fake freshness” and Google sees through these tactics.

— Quantity of freshness is also important. Don’t skimp on the update. Longer posts (1,800+ words) will attract and keep more visitors to your page.

— Fix all grammatical and typographical errors that may have snuck through.

— Improve backlinks whether they are broken or simply out-of-date.

Optimize your keyword search. Rather than leaving the keyword focus the same, improve it via the use of Google Keyword Planner. You’ll find a new list of focus words based on average monthly search words sorted by volume.

— Finally, include promotion in your website marketing strategy. Share your newly updated content. You have added significant value and your customers, subscribers, and prospects will benefit from seeing this new, freshly scrubbed content and you will gain SEO rankings, traffic, and exposure. It’s a win-win.

All of these updating strategies help you maintain a strong position in Google’s results.

So, why are these changes exciting for search engines and critical for content marketers looking to maximize their updated content?

More Search Traffic

This updated content is considered “fresher” by search marketers and thus a prominent ranking signal in search results. In 2003, Google released a patent for “information retrieval based on historical data” as the starting point for ranking recently updated pages.

All freshness is not created equal, however. When Googlebot first indexes a document it creates a link to it, thus creating an inception date. From that point forward, the document loses “freshness.” Freshness scores can be boosted using the above-mentioned methods and the rate of change will also have an impact on your SEO rankings. A frequently edited document, given the right updates, will score differently than a document whose content remains static over time.

Longer Content Ranks Higher

Content with a large amount of updated content over time will likely score differently than one with a smaller amount.

In 2016, Backlinko, a search engine optimization company, analyzed one million Google search results. The study determined that longer content ranked significantly better. The average content length on the first page of Google results was 1,890 words.

That same study found lower bounce rates with higher rankings, meaning the longer the content, the higher the ranking and the more likely the visitor stays after landing on your page. The thinking is that if a website is providing all of the information being sought, why leave?

Don’t Stop Now . . . Update, Update, Update

Given the above general SEO guidelines, it’s clear that updating content is a good practice. And not just once. Use the above to do so, and then do it again. Be sure to include the strategy of repurposing and updating existing valuable content in your website marketing plans.

Not sure where to start? The content specialists at Alt Creative can help! Contact us today and learn how we can help you improve your content marketing strategy.

Keywords: search engine strategy, content marketing seo results, website marketing

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