As digital marketing professionals we’re constantly focused on driving our clients’ SEO strategies forward. But, when the focus is placed solely on creating something new, you can miss a significant opportunity to review and improve what you’ve already created to help your existing SEO work even harder for your clients.
One strategy that is often overlooked is re-optimizing — or improving existing content. Here, we’ll focus on blog posts and the links contained within them as our examples, but you can use this philosophy to brainstorm even more ways to supercharge your clients’ SEO value.
First, make sure you have a comprehensive list of blog posts on a client’s site. Then check to see the length of each post.
Are many of the posts less than 2,000 words in length? Google rewards lengthier posts with higher visibility in search results, so consider expanding these shorter posts to add SEO value. Just how you should lengthen a post depends upon several factors, such as your audience, what you’ve already included in the original post and what data tells you about how the post initially performed.
Sometimes, digital marketers are reluctant to include the history of the subject, thinking that the “now” of a topic is more important. And, in many cases, starting a blog post with historical facts isn’t the best or most-engaging tactic. However, long-form blog posts can benefit you website, providing background and historical information to flesh out a post. It’s also a good way to create a “story” of sorts for the topic.
Another way to add value to a post is to interview someone in the industry, either from your client’s company or from someone who doesn’t compete with your client but can add an interesting slant on your client’s product or service. You could talk to experts about how the blue widget industry has evolved and include that new information at the top of your previously published blog post.
Always make tweaks to ensure any new information and updates flow well with the old content, and then you’ve likely got a great post to highlight on social media, send to industry influencers and so forth.
Here’s a killer tactic to expand upon a post in a valuable way:
Conduct a relevant survey or collect data from the topic industry in a way that hasn’t been done before. Then figure out what conclusions you can draw from this data that will add significant value to your post. Combine this strategy with the previous one by interviewing your client or another expert about what the data reveals.
If you have a post that once contained helpful information about your industry, but it just feels too outdated, this may be the perfect post to use to collect predictions about the future. Update the post and it once again becomes conversation fodder on social media.
Other ideas to expand your post into a long-form one include adding FAQs, checklists and information about additional resources. After you expand these posts, be sure to monitor how performance changes. Which of these posts saw the biggest increases in traffic after you added content? In conversions? What can you learn from what worked the best? The least?
Also review blog posts that have at least 2,000 words. How well does each post rank for its main keyword? Review which competitors are ranking higher than your client’s site. Some questions you can ask yourself about why these posts might be performing better: Are these posts longer than what your client has? Or, do they have different elements that better engage prospects?
Which sets of title tags and meta descriptions now need to be updated, given that you’ve expanded content on the URL? Which posts have been changed enough that you should add an “updated on” date to the blog post?
As you go through these older posts, do they trigger memories of content topics that you’d planned to write but haven’t done yet? How does that fit into your current editorial calendar?
As part of this review process, you can check to see how internal links are being used in posts.
Do they help to seamlessly move prospects closer to a conversion? Do they link to a relevant, higher-authority page on the site? Are there pieces of content missing in the buyer’s journey? Does the site now have newer posts that could use more traffic, or are there ones now that are more relevant that you could link to from an older, more well-established post?
Here’s the thing: None of these are new ideas. But, it’s all too easy to keep your focus on new content creation to the exclusion of stepping back to beef up what already exists to add SEO value.
After you’ve done the heavy-lifting for a client, bulking up already-published posts in ways that add quality and SEO value, the process moving forward shouldn’t be as difficult if you schedule an annual review-and-update plan.