Do you ever look at a piece of content and feel a sad swell of nostalgia? It did so well back then, when it was first published.
Maybe it even hit viral status. But the ravages of time did their dirty work, and before you know it the traffic has dropped off to nothing.
The online community has moved on to the next big thing, leaving your content lonely and gathering digital dust.
How to Revive Old Content
Re-Packaging For New Content
The usual recommendation is to re-package old content and create something new. For the record, I am 100% in favor of doing this. It is a great way to extend your ideas and get the most out of every single piece you publish.
Re-packaging your content includes:
- Creating more blog posts from the original idea to expand on that idea.
- Making slideshows that give the basic points.
- Creating comics about the idea.
- Making infographics
- Recording videos
- Recording podcasts
- Any other way of making new media from the old
But however great this method is, it cannot be applied to all old content. Oftentimes, it makes more sense to get old content rank high rather than using it to create new content.
4 Ways To Make Old Content New Again
This isn’t a complete list, but I have found these methods to be easier, and most fruitful.
1. Check Longer Keyword Phrases
So maybe your content is struggling to rank for whatever keywords you optimized it for. It’s time to find easier keywords!
Find phrases that target the long form search queries. They usually have lower competition and are easier to get higher in search results for.
Serpstat has a very cool feature letting you discover various alternatives to your current term called “Cluster Research”. It shows the list of closely related terms based on how similar their Google search results are.
The more identical URLs rank for the provided phrases, the closer they are related. It’s a great way to discover alternative terms to optimize your content which is struggling to rank.
2. Add Links to Older Content
Internal links are not to be ignored. Whenever you write a new article for your blog, use every opportunity to link back to your old content where you discussed a related issue or explained a mentioned concept.
That is a good little way to bring attention to old posts, and send readers on a journey down the rabbit hole of your blog. Having a strip of suggested posts on the bottom of each page is a good way to do that. However in-content links have been found to work better for click-through.
Internal link building plugin is a good way to increase the number of in-content internal links to any articles you pick.
Simply specify the words you want to be linked and the URLs to link to and the internal links will be added automatically. This is a great way to push your old content to rank higher.
3. Buff Up Your Content For Better Content Value
I had a piece of content that did insanely well, and kept getting regular traffic more than two years after it was originally published. It was one of my better pieces of evergreen, if I do say so myself. But then all traffic started declining gradually.
This is a good sign that your content needs an update. Longer content mentioning related concepts and entities seems to be easier to rank these days. Some SEO checklists will recommend content longer than 500 words. Here’s a quick guide that recommends content of at least 300 words. I suggest focusing on creating in depth content instead of counting the words.
So I went back to that piece, added more to buff it up with some valuable content, and guess what? Gradually it started ranking again, and my traffic returned.
There is a chance your content may be considered lacking value or outdated. So you could go back and add a bit more, make it more substantial, and your traffic could come back. It is certainly worth a try, and it worked for me.
4. Add Some Rich Snippets For Better Search
Rich snippets are a great way to stand out in search engines now. For example, did you do a tool review in the past? You can go back and add a “ratings rich snippet” that will display the review author and the star ratings next to the search result.
Rich snippets easily catch an eye of the user and trigger extra clicks. Google loves anything that improves search results interaction and rich snippets certainly improve clickability.
All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets is a nice free plugin that helps you to easily add rich markup to your articles. Use its widget when editing any of your articles to add rich data to your content:
Also, remember that Google won’t pick up all the rich markup to display in search but it will pick up some and you’ll notice more clicks coming from search if it does.
Do you have any tips on making that old content shiny and new on the ranking scale? Let us know in the comments.
Old Books Photo via Shutterstock
Old content can usually rank better as long as it is updated with new information to keep up with the times.
You make a good point. Many businesses have good educational content already on their website, but it gets buried over time. Keeping it fresh will draw readers in to their most powerful ideas without having to create new content and reinvent the wheel.