While creating fresh content is a crucial part of SEO rankings, many companies fail to tap into the potential of older content. Reusing content from your archives is one of the most effective ways to boost your Google rankings and visibility across all search engines.      

There are times when deleting old content is the best way forward. However, as you’ll discover from the following SEO hacks, you can quickly improve your online visibility by simply refreshing old content. Do you have a backlog of old content? Are you unsure about what to do with it? This post is for you. Here, you’ll discover: 

  •   When you should consider deleting older content.
  •   The benefits of reusing old content.
  •   Which content you should target for an update.
  •   How to upgrade older content to boost Google search results.
  •   Content marketing hacks that work for any size of business.

Deleting Old Content: When Reusing Content May Not Work

Sometimes, old pages on your website may damage your credibility and weaken your search engine rankings. Here are a few reasons why you should consider deleting old content:

1. Improve the Google rankings of your best content. 

If you have a lot of similar content on your website, sometimes it’s best to get rid of the weakest. Removing low-quality pages means that Google will index your best content, giving it higher rankings for the keywords that matter.

2. Optimize internal website search. 

When someone searches for a certain topic on your website, you want the top content to show up. Delete the shallow content to boost traffic to your best pieces.

3. You’re having a content strategy shakeup. 

You might have rebranded or implemented new content guidelines. In these cases, older content that doesn’t match your current style and guidelines can damage your reputation. Similarly, old content may feature redundant products or services, past events, or outdated statistics.

4. Up-to-date information is crucial. 

Some industries rely heavily on up-to-date information—for example, health, travel, and real estate. In these cases, you don’t want users to receive outdated advice.

Note: When you delete content, it’s best to redirect users to a relevant, related page by implementing a 301 redirect. Otherwise, users will be shown a 404 error page, which is bad for SEO.

Why Reusing Content Can Improve Google Rankings

Deleting old content is sometimes the best course of action. However, there are many more reasons to upgrade old content to strengthen your content marketing strategy. Before we dive in with some content marketing hacks, here are some reasons why upgrading content will improve your SEO rankings:

  •   It can help you get more backlinks, which is a ranking factor. Other sites don’t want to link to outdated content.
  •   It helps improve your credibility with readers, resulting in more content engagement—a factor in search engine rankings.
  •   When you use up-to-date SEO techniques, the content has a better chance of ranking higher.
  •   By using more targeted keywords, you can ensure content is more relevant to users and search engines.
  •  Up-to-date content is generally ranked higher by search engine algorithms.

Now let’s look at how to maximize your Google rankings by upgrading your old content.

How to Upgrade Content to Boost SEO Ranking

1. Find old pages that are now trending or ranking higher. 

First, it’s important to identify which older content is worth keeping. There are a number of ways to evaluate older content, but one measurement worth tracking is its popularity over time. If an older piece of content is receiving more engagement, it’s likely that the subject matter is starting to trend again. This is the ideal time to give it an upgrade. Tools like SEMrush, Moz, or Google Analytics will:

  •   Identify pages that are receiving more traffic or engagement.
  •   Show when your content was last updated.
  •   Reveal important metadata, such as titles, meta descriptions, and headings.
  •   Detect the number of backlinks linking to an article.
  •   Uncover user experience data, such as average time spent on a page, bounce rates, and social media shares.

When you’ve identified these key pages, you can strengthen their SEO power. For example,  update keywords, add fresh links, introduce new data, and insert extra visual content.

Related Reading: How to Analyze SEO Performance in Google Analytics & Search Console

2. Keyword research 

As mentioned above, keyword research is critical to upgrading content. Google’s algorithm constantly changes, so updating keywords will help to increase the rankings of individual pages.

Just a few strategically placed keywords will help search engines identify your updated content. Insert these high-value keywords in titles, subheadings, and introductory sentences. When researching keywords, choose phrases with low search volumes to improve their chances of ranking higher. Make sure your keywords are highly relevant to the page.

Some of the best keyword research tools are: SEMrush, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner, and Moz Keyword Explorer. 

Related Reading: Keyword Optimization: How to Target the Right Search Terms

3. A/B testing  

Sometimes, all old content needs to thrive is a change in the title, some rebranding, or additional visuals. But for the best results, you need to know what works with your audience. To find out, try A/B testing. This is simply a way of testing two versions of the same page and analyzing user interactions to determine the best version.

The difference between the two versions might simply be a single headline, or it could be a complete redesign of the page. The beauty of A/B testing is that you can repeat the tests multiple times to fine-tune your content.

Some of the best A/B testing tools are: Google Optimize, Optimizely, HubSpot and Kissmetrics’ A/B Testing Kit, and Crazy Egg. Try out these tools to test different copy, design elements, and more.

Related Reading: A/B Testing Your Content Strategy: Why and How to Do It

4. Analyze backlinks  

As a content strategist or online marketer, it’s important to continually check the backlinks of your old content. Search engines use backlinks to identify which sites have the most authority, so they’re a key ranking factor. By analyzing the backlinks of your old content, you’ll see which links search engines are taking into consideration. This means you’ll have a better understanding of your site’s ability to rank well in search results.

By updating older content, you can start to improve your backlink profile and maximize your authority with search engines. Sometimes, you only need to add some additional content to see positive results. 

Check out some of the best backlink checker tools online: SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz’s Link Explorer, BuzzSumo, and Google Search Console.

5. Ranking against the competition 

Analyzing your own pages is obviously important. However, you should also conduct a backlink analysis on competing websites. This will tell you which content is performing best online. It will also help you see how your competitors are outranking your older content, and provide you with potential linking opportunities.

By using competitor analysis tools like BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and Social Mention, you’ll discover the top-performing articles from other brands. You’ll also find out which keywords they’re using, and find out which articles are getting the highest social media engagement.

With so much content online, competitor analysis is key to gaining insights into which content marketing strategies are working for others. At the same time, you’ll learn how you can improve your existing content to increase your online visibility. By analyzing multiple competitors, you can build a clearer picture of current trends. This will help you come up with new content ideas and marketing strategies.

Related Reading: 9 Great Content Analytics Tools (Plus 5 Lesser-Known Alternatives)

Do You Have Old Content That Needs Updating?

Revisiting old content should be a regular part of your content maintenance routine. If you don’t pay attention to past content, it could harm your reputation. It will almost certainly weaken your SEO rankings.

 Reusing content is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your search engine rankings without having to delete old content. However, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. As one of the leading content marketing platforms, Constant Content can help you revamp any old content that you have. Before you delete anything, get in touch with us and we’ll turn it into more valuable, original content. We can help you create high-quality content that builds your brand online and helps your business get noticed in search engines. 

Hopefully, you can see from these content marketing hacks that updating older content is a simple way to strengthen your content strategy. So set aside some time to explore your backlog of blog posts and landing pages. Sometimes, a few tweaks are all it takes to improve the user experience and SEO rankings of your site.

For more SEO hacks and marketing tips to boost your Google rankings, visit our blog.