This is a guest article by Jason Bayless, a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.
Old blog posts have a way of getting away from us, and seeming like more of a stepping stone to the much more improved and polished content of the present. We drift away from old posts and forget what’s in them and how they read. Going back and seeing the material might even seem kind of scary. We just don’t really want to look at it.
Even still, it’s worth considering that readers and potential readers alike stumble across old posts on a fairly regular basis. In fact, old popular posts can often be highly trafficked and thus become the primary doorway to a blog, even more so than that blog’s homepage.
All this to say; your old posts still matter, and depending on their success, they might even matter more than your new ones. If this is the case, we need to give some serious consideration to going back and improving some of those old posts.
The best approach is to find the posts that are getting the highest volume of traffic and target those first. While you might not want to drastically change something that’s working so well, there are definitely a few ways you can improve it.
1. Proof read a few more times.
I’m sure you did your due diligence in editing your post before you published it, but even if your post is error free, chances are you’ll find ways to improve on it and make the content flow better. Give it a couple good solid reads and see if there are any areas that need to be cleaned up or where you can make your message clearer.
2. Add links to relevant posts you wrote after that one.
I know that internal links improve SEO, and this step does help your search engine ranking; but even besides that benefit, having a link in an older post to a newer post shows readers that you’re being thorough about linking up your content. It’s easy to link to past articles, but it takes discipline to go back to those old articles and link to new ones that might be relevant.
Read through your old post and see if there are any newer articles you’ve written that could be helpful to the reader of that post, and link to them with sentences like, “You might also find x-article and y-article helpful”.
3. Write a Part II for a Popular List Post then link to it in the Original Post
Long list posts like 50 Ways to Eat Healthier or Top 100 Rock Guitar Songs usually do pretty well in terms of popularity and traffic. People tend to keep them bookmarked and use them as references. A good follow up to a post like this is to write a Part II and link to it in the original Part I post. Make sure you don’t rehash ideas that are in the original article, but if you can write something that’s equally helpful, you’ll generate a lot more traffic.
4. Embed Picture or Video
If you didn’t include it originally, adding media to an old post can really increase its appeal and generate a handful of traffic. Google likes to see pages that change and update, so putting a graphic or video that improves the message of the post will give you a nice jolt in traffic for that article. You can also add your keywords to the alt and title tags in your images, which will likewise improve your search engine odds.
5. Tweet It Again
I used to wonder if it was “OK” to retweet old blog posts. The answer I’ve found is a fairly clear, “yes” as long as you’re reasonable about the frequency and take care to avoid spamming your followers. The best method to make this work is to be certain that whether you’re tweeting old or new posts, lace them with personal tweets that let your following know you’re human and not just someone pushing every blog article you have at them. Retweet other people’s content and establish yourself as a community focused user. Once you do that you can get away with retweeting your old posts and get some extra traffic.