To keep your blog growing you add more and more content doing your best to market everything you write. It’s a long and challenging process and it’s well worth it. But while doing that, you may be missing a low-hanging fruit, one thing that may boost your blog traffic considerably over time. Going back to optimize your old blog content.
Here are 5 tools to do that, without any help or expensive audits.
1. Re-Optimize For Related Keywords with Text Optimizer
It all starts with keywords. Often when I see good content struggling to generate some consistent traffic, the answer is usually keyword optimization. It never changes the meaning of the content: All I do is find out how others put it when searching for questions my articles answers.
The most effective tool to do that is Text Optimizer. You don’t have to be an SEO to use it, nor do you need to register an account. The free open version is enough to give it a try and decide whether you need to use it more.
If you are optimizing old content:
- Type in your core keyword
- Choose “Google”
- Choose “My text”
Text Optimizer will run your query in Google, extract search snippets and use semantic analysis to extract related concepts and compare your text to what Google expects to see for the chosen query.
You need to score minimum 70 (the higher the better) and this usually results in a boost in rankings within a couple of weeks. Here are the results for my own website.
You will most probably have to do some additional online research to implement some of the suggested terms and concepts, but the good news is, your content will be much more in-depth after that which will also positively impact its rankings.
This could also give you some great content ideas for the future too!
The tool has many more possible uses you’d want to consider, including content ideation, question research, etc.
2. Stand Out in Search
Do you know what a rich snippet is? It’s a chance to stand out in search and thus get a higher click-through even when your content is not as high as #1-#3. For bloggers, the most important rich snippet one can get is Ratings and Reviews. Here’s what it looks like in the search:
All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets is an easy to use WordPress plugin. Whenever you write a tool or a product review, just select “Review” schema and provide the review author and the average score you give. You can go back and edit your older reviews too!
There are more alternative WordPress plugins in case that one didn’t work for you for some reason.
It also helps to categorize your content. So say you want to post a recipe. You would use a SCHEMA markup related to recipes. When Google crawls the page, it will read the HTML code and think, “Oh, hey, this has a recipe and rating system! Better give it a rich snippet description to help people searching for this recipe find it.”
Don’t forget to use the Fetch and Render tool as well as Structured Data Testing tool to make sure Google is able to see your code.
3. Snatch Featured Snippet Opportunities
Back in the days when you created that content, there were no featured snippets and hence no featured snippet opportunities. These days all new content should be created with featured snippet optimization in mind and all old content should be analyzed to snatch the opportunities it has failed to grab.
A featured snippet is the selected search result that shows up in Google above organic search results, as the best possible answer to the query.
Being featured in Google is a great way to increase your search visibility and traffic because your page gets placed in the most prominent place within search engine result page.
Featured Snippet Tool will go through your existing rankings, distinguish those that trigger featured snippets and show you exactly how you should optimize your old content for them. Naturally, the higher you rank for a variety of queries, the more data will be collected and the more cool opportunities you’ll get. If your site is new, I’d recommend creating a separate run for each of your major competitors: This will allow you to create a solid content creation and optimization strategy to build up to.
Moreover, it will also highlight “low-hanging-fruit” opportunities: Any time you rank higher than your featured competitor, there’s a low-hanging-fruit opportunity for you.
Those are the easiest to snatch, as you are already ranking higher than the featured site, so quick on-page tweaks should get you featured:
Optimize your old content for featured snippets to snatch featured rankings form your competitors and gain additional search visibility. In many cases getting a featured snippet placement in Google for your old article is simply about re-arranging your content a bit to better point Google to the best answer to the query.
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4. Find SEO and Usability Errors
Netpeak spider helps you easily diagnose your site SEO health:
- Find which error pages your blog is linking to (You don’t want your readers to click broken links!)
- Identify pages with missing internal links (This means your readers will have no other choice but leave your site)
- Find broken images (Make sure your site is appealing) or too huge images (Those slow your site down)
- Spot pages with too little content (Those are weak pages that may drag your blog down)
- And much more.
You’ll understand much more about your site when playing with the tool.
The two less advanced, but still useful alternatives:
- Broken Links Checker: I am using this WordPress plugin to get rid of broken links in my old articles as well as old comments to those articles
- Check My Links: This is a simple Google Chrome extension that will signal any issues with on-page links while you are browsing the web
Another solid tool to diagnose issues with your existing content (that may be probably preventing it from ranking higher) is Content King. The tool lets you go from page to page fixing errors and implementing suggestions (adding a meta description, fixing broken links, adding alt text to images, etc.) With every fix your ContentKing score is growing which is encouraging:
5. Bring Up Your Old Content through Internal Links
I have always been a big believer in the power of internal linking, both for higher rankings and natural click-through from newer content. Internal links help Google discover content. They also help spread link equity (ranking power) around the website pages pushing more pages on top of search results.
You can increase internal links to your old content by using both of the following options:
- Display related posts. This can be done using WordPress plugins like Contextual Related Posts. This is the easiest way to bring older content back into the spotlight
- Link to related articles from within the context. This is best implemented manually. But when it comes to old content, it’s not really feasible to go through everything you’ve ever written and include contextual links. Luckily there’s the Internal Link Building plugin. It may take some time to set it up but after that, it’s going to be automated. The set words will be linked to the pages you specify.
The reason I recommend adding in-context links is that they are the most powerful types of links for both higher rankings and better click-through.
Contextual links have been found to perform better when it comes to both click-through:
and rankings (Read: How Links in Headers, Footers, Content, and Navigation Can Impact SEO).
in [primary] content [area]… is where you’re going to get the most link value if you have the option of where you’re going to get an external link from on a page.
6. Make Sure You Rank in Mobile Search
Around 2014 mobile usage of the Internet reached and surpassed the desktop usage. These days mobile digital media time in the United States is higher at 51% compared to desktop (42%).
Moreover, search is the most common starting point for consumer research on mobile devices. This means people search from mobile and your blog needs to rank there!
All in all, if your blog is not mobile friendly, it will suffer in two ways:
- Users won’t be able to find it (Google is now only showing mobile-friendly websites for mobile search users)
- Users won’t be able to use it (for obvious reasons).
It’s crucial to make sure your site is mobile friendly. Mobile-Friendly Test tool is the official Google app and it lets you quickly see how your site renders on a mobile device.
It is also a smart idea to play with your site on your own mobile phone and make sure all calls-to-action work well. Try scrolling through your articles on a mobile device, test social media sharing buttons, menus and links. You want to make sure your content is readable and accessible.
Also, check out Google’s Webmaster’s Mobile Guide.
7. Google Webmaster Tools: See Which Keywords Send You Clicks
Google Search Console is a must-have for many reasons:
- Currently, it’s the only reliable way to find which keywords are sending you some search referral traffic
- It signals you of any critical issues with your site: Primarily if there was a malicious attack
- The platform shows you overall site health and how often Google bots come to visit.
- The tool gives you an idea of how Google sees your site (navigate Google Webmaster Tools select “Fetch and Render”)
Google Search Console allows you to see which keywords perform best for you and whether there are any missing opportunities. For example, if your old content ranks #6 and generates a good amount of traffic, it will get double of that once you manage to rank it #3 or #4.
Further reading to optimize your old blog content:
- 10 Tools To Skyrocket Your Content Marketing Performance
- How to Bring Back a Dormant Blog (With a Bang!)
- All You Need to Know about the Blog SEO: Just Keep Things Simple
- A Guide to Creating Awesome Content
- How to Conduct Blog Post Analysis of Your Competitors
Old content has credibility, backlinks and more signals. Therefore it is often quite easy to achieve high rankings by re-optimizing and updating old articles rather than focusing strictly on creating new content.
Are there any other SEO tools you are using to amplify your content marketing efforts? Please share them below!