Here’s the deal: If your organization has a blog that’s regularly updated, and the blog is positioning your company, brand or destination as an industry expert, you’re already a step ahead of a lot of the competition. Blogging increases Web traffic by 55 percent for brands, according to Rocket Post, which means regularly adding content to a website by way of a blog or similar publishing platform is a key way to increase site visitors.
But the big question that remains is how do you drive organic traffic to the content through Google search (the key driver of traffic to sites)? Of course, it begins with optimizing content for SEO best practices: adding the right keywords, link building, page titles and meta descriptions. But beyond the basics, what can increase organic traffic to a blog?
There’s one tactic I read about recently that I’ve begun recommending to anyone managing content creation: Update old content to make it new again. It sounds so simple, but most bloggers never do it. NewsCred wrote about this tactic on its blog earlier this year when looking at published posts on HubSpot’s blog. Blog optimization expert Pamela Vaughn looked at the success of the blog’s highest-ranking posts, and she discovered something consistent and interesting: “If they took an existing post currently ranked on pages 2-4 in search and around two years old, and updated and republished the same post with new information, the post would move up to page one in search,” the story notes.
So let’s say you’re a destination marketer for a town called Smithville, and you wrote a blog along the lines of “10 Free Things to Do With Your Kids in Smithville” two years ago. Rather than writing a new story to make the topic fresh again, simply update the old content to reflect any important changes like new attractions or events, and republish the post as new. Google will reward you. The search engine does not have to figure out which of these stories is more valuable to the reader; there’s only one. Plus, the old post already holds a certain amount of value to Google because it’s had page visits already.
The next time you sit down to fill out your editorial calendar, think about what’s been published previously that you can update and share as new content. Google wants better content, not necessarily more content. And what Google wants, Google gets.