Regular blog updates are high on the list of SEO best practices. The provide a steady stream of new content while providing the site owner or digital marketing team with an opportunity to demonstrate authority on the most up-to-date topics related to the site’s central focus. Naturally, this emphasis on staying up-to-date means that some blog posts will only have a fleeting impact on the site itself. Some posts will capitalize on a surge of interest in a given search term, then fade into the background once that interest has died down.
But what do you do if that same topic and the same search term come to the fore again? Do you create all new content or do you try to revive something you’ve already written that seems suitable for the moment?
SEO best practices don’t plainly favor one or the other. Instead, they encourage site owners and digital marketers to take both approaches at once. Some quantity of new content will certainly be advisable, and probably quite necessary. But casting aside what you’ve already written is a bad idea if only because it means throwing away the progress you’ve already made toward optimizing the given page. It’s long-ago traffic may not have the utmost relevance to search engines as soon as you start trying to drive new traffic to it, but when they start linking current trends to longstanding pages on your site, you’ll soon earn serious clout.
Basic Updates on Old Posts
If you look back on an old page and find it is still perfectly relevant, then you may be in compliance with SEO best practices if you merely re-title the post and/or create a new meta description. These sorts of updates should be the first thing you look at when you’re trying to capitalize on revived trends, anyway, since they’re the first thing users see when the relevant post comes up on a search engine results page.
Even if the post itself is still sufficiently up-to-date, there a good chance that the headline and meta description could benefit from being re-phrased in a way that more effectively captures the essence of the current trends. You may even find that existing content is well-suited to a primary keyword, but the existing headline is missing a secondary one that has taken on newfound importance since the last time you targeted the post.
SEO best practices call for the simultaneous targeting of multiple keywords, anyway, so this re-titling represents a chance to expand your focus without turning away from what is already working. Furthermore, such simple updates have the effect of resetting the timestamp for your post, which is especially important if there are any newsfeeds crawling your blog, searching for the most relevant and up-to-date content.
Various other additions and changes can provide you with a new timestamp also. These include new images, new block quotes to feature uniquely relevant sections of the text, and embeds of related video content that may not have been available when the post originally went up. Simply re-sharing the post on social media or through email lists can also bring it back to the forefront of your website and thus reset the timestamp and potentially move it up on newsfeeds and search engine results pages.
Each of the above updates has the dual effect of revitalizing older content on your blog and expanding content in ways that bring that content more closely in line with SEO best practices. As the overall optimization of such posts increases, you may find that the content becomes more broadly relevant, and thus eligible for being treated as evergreen content which can be promoted on a regular basis.
Connecting the Old to the New
Ultimately, every post on a website’s blog or newsfeed has the opportunity to become successful evergreen content. It just takes time, energy, and experimentation to recognize which of them have the potential to perform well. Toward that end, blogs should be managed in such a way as to create as many relevant links among different posts as possible.
Those internal links help to demonstrate to search engines that the blog is an authoritative source of insight on a number of interrelated topics. They also help the search engines to more easily crawl an entire blog and recognize which posts are most relevant to which specific keywords. The impact on search rankings will combine with the effects or organic traffic from persons who choose to do a deep dive on your blog, and the most interesting and authoritative blogs will climb to the top.
If you’re managing your blog carefully and maintaining SEO best practices, this process will allow you to effectively refine the overall structure of your site. Constant analysis will reveal not only which posts generate the most traffic from which keywords, but also which posts are most likely to lead back to the main website, and which are most likely to result in conversions. This in turn will allow your marketing team to better envision the funnel that leads new customers from the point of contact to the point of sale.
Ideally, that team will have been chasing after that vision since the first post went live on the blog. In that case, they will have applied SEO best practices in the form of tags and meta descriptions which make it easy to search through old posts and link them together as more and more content emerges on the same topic.
Of course, if your blog missed out on this opportunity at an early stage, it doesn’t mean evergreen posts and improved site structure are out of reach. It will take more effort to go back and locate old posts that remain relevant, then update them and daisy chain them together with other pages. But the additional effort is likely to pay off, if only by making it clearer to you how much you site benefits from exploiting this temporary-to-evergreen pipeline.