Fine wine, George Clooney, your favorite denim jacket: all of these things inarguably get better with age.
But, you know what didn’t make that list, though? Your website’s content.
The stale content you keep on the backburner of your website isn’t serving you; in fact, it could potentially be hurting your SEO. This is one of many reasons why it’s important to systematically update your content.
And while the start of the new year is a great time to look back on your content and see what should get refreshed soon, it’s never too late to make this a part of your sitewide upkeep routine.
Whether you’re looking to gain traffic through blog posts and articles or you’re hoping to grow your email list, quick, systematic upgrades are the best way to keep your content relevant and working in your favor.
The Benefits of Content Upgrades
There are plenty of benefits to upgrading content, but there are a few that are the most notable:
- Provide a better user experience: Site visitors came to your page to learn more about a topic, so if your content is outdated or no longer relevant, then it’s not useful to your users or your site. You can greatly improve your site visitors’ experience by simply ensuring the accuracy and relevance of your content.
- Maintain your URL authority: Unlike the content itself, a URL will, on the other hand, get better with age. Every time you add a new page, the URL authority starts at zero, so if you have the opportunity to use an old URL and clean it up with fresh content, you’ll be good to go.
- Optimize the page for new and/or more keywords: We’ll dive deeper into this soon, but one of the greatest benefits of checking your analytics is to see what types of search queries give you the best results for impressions and clicks.
Deciding What Content to Upgrade
Now that you’ve made the decision to actively renew and refresh your content, it’s time to develop a method that lets you find which content to work on and when.
We recommend the following steps:
To start, go to Google Analytics and select Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
Be sure you’ve segmented your data by Organic Traffic. This will allow you to only view the most frequently visited pages by organic visitors. Among your list, take note of your top-ranking 10-15 pages that drive the most organic traffic to your site (you can export it from Google Analytics or copy and paste your list into a Google Sheet, whichever is easiest for you).
The next thing you’ll want to do is to use data from Google Search Console for insights on how to upgrade your new content.
To do this, go to the Performance Report in Search Console (in the left nav), select your desired date range, and click the +New button, which will segment the data by page URL. From there, you can choose the “URL is exactly” filter and copy and paste the top URL from your list. Once you’ve added your preferred URL, you’ll be able to see all the search terms that have led people to your page.
From here, you’ll want to explore and find similar search patterns that your original content didn’t include or cover. Then, upgrade the section or content to make sure that it aligns better with these search patterns.
However, don’t go with just any search patterns; make sure that they are relevant to your original content as well as your brand.
Completing these steps will help you in your attempts to recapture lost traffic in a way that’s still relevant and on-brand.
Other Content Upgrade Ideas
We’ve already discussed general thoughts on how to create content upgrades, including a step by step on how to easily find which content to work with, but there are a few other things you can do:
- Add or change a call to action: If you’re looking for ways to boost your conversion rate, adding a persuasive, well-thought-out CTA will certainly help your cause. CTAs like “get your free trial” or “view case study” are great options to convert visitors into customers or email marketing recipients. This may require some experimentation and A/B testing, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
- Fix broken links: A broken link will have an effect on your page’s SEO, so if your content features a lot of links, be sure to go through and check that each one is current and still working. Republish your content once you make these edits.
- Add images or videos: Whether you already have some incorporated in your content or not, it’s a good idea to revisit existing photos and video or add them. Think of these as bonus content that can help break up text-heavy pages and improve your user experience.
How Often You Should Update Your Content
There’s no real rule for this, so it’s best to go with your instinct. If your readership is small, once a year should be fine, but if you’re creating content for a brand with a large number of visitors (+10K/month), you should consider updating quarterly.
The best way to go about this is to keep that Google Sheet you made up in Step 1, and add a column where you can record your upgrade dates. Having a simple “cheat sheet” can help you and your team stay organized and up-to-date.
There are a few types of content upgrades you can make, but what’s important is actually going in and making changes. By doing this, you’re ensuring that your content is up-to-date, user-friendly and more likely to boost your rankings.