As of today, our blog has two hundred and fifty published posts and according to HFS Content Explorer, sixty one pages have been republished at least once. And if you look at the traffic trends over the past three years, you’ll see that nearly all of our republic pages have consistently been gaining more and more search traffic over time. Now, the best part about this strategy is that increases in traffic can happen almost immediately, as you can see here, here and here. So if you want to know how to get organic traffic fast by simply refreshing older content, then stay tuned. When you update content, you can’t just recreate any old page and expect to get a quick boost in organic traffic, there’s some requirements in page selection and you actually need to update the content with some thought. Plus, your website should follow at least the basic SEO best practices. So you should have good content, a technically sound website and have some kind of website authority, meaning you’re not a news site or have no links pointing at any of your pages. Updating content isn’t a magic trick that will send a torrent of organic traffic your way. So if you fall short of this criteria, then I recommend watching some of our beginner level videos first to amp up your site and I’ll link those up in the description. But if your site matches this criteria, then let’s get started with the first step, which is to diagnose pages where your content is responsible for underperformance. Content is obviously a huge contributor to your ranking success, but it’s not always going to be the main reason why you’re not ranking in the top three positions. So the first thing we need to do is actually identify that a content issue exists. And there are four main things to look out for. First, check the age of your page. It takes time to acquire Backlands and for Google to understand where your page fits in the search. So as a general rule of thumb, you should give your page around six to 12 months to rank before considering a major update. Second, you need to check that the page is targeting a meaningful keyword. And for the purposes of this video, I’ll define a meaningful keyword as a topic that has potential to get search traffic. For example, this post on how to start a link building campaign fast isn’t targeting a keyword, so we wouldn’t update it for the purpose of getting more organic traffic. You should be able to tell right away whether you’re targeting a keyword from your page title anywhere. But if you’re not 100 percent sure, you can double check if the topic has traffic potential by going to keywords, explore and entering a query you think could have traffic potential. Then scroll down to the SERP overview table and look at the amount of search traffic the top ranking pages get. And now you just need to assess whether the topic is worth updating based on the time and resources required for the potential traffic game. Now, I don’t want you to think that I’m saying to only update pages with traffic potential. For example, we create data studies, which helps us build links, contribute to the community and also flex our big data muscles. But since we’re talking about updating pages from more organic traffic, we’ll skip over these types of pages for the purposes of this tutorial. All right. So third, make sure your page isn’t already ranking in the top three for its target. Keyword minor updates are usually fine. But generally speaking, if you’re already ranking in the top positions, you probably don’t want to do a full rewrite and potentially lose those rankings. There’s obviously exceptions to this rule, but let’s keep this tutorial simple. All right. So to find pages that aren’t ranking in the top three positions, you can use either Google search console or H.F. site explorer with search console, go to the performance or search results report and then make sure that you have the average position selected next. Let’s set up positions filter to only show keywords that are ranking in position four or higher. From here, you’d want to look through your list of causes and try and spot topics you’re targeting now, since search console shows average positions, it usually isn’t a great representation of where your page ranks to date. So you can use a site explore to get more current ranking positions. So I’ll enter a blog URL here and run the search. Next, I’ll go to the top pages report, which will show us pages that generate the most search traffic in our blog Subfolder. Ideally, you want to find pages where you are not ranking in the top three for your primary keyword. In an easy way to spot this is to look at the page URLs along with the top keyword and its position. So after going through the list, I found a post that can benefit from an update. Our guide on guest blogging is ranking position three for links and guest. But hey, our target keyword is actually guest blogging, so there’s a good chance it’s ranking lower than we’d like. So if I click on the keywords number here, you’ll see that we’re ranking in position seven for our target query guest blogging. Now, this page actually checks all the boxes that we’ve gone through so far. It’s been longer than 12 months since our last major update. It’s targeting a meaningful keyword and it’s an underperforming page. Now, the last thing we need to do is make sure our subpar rankings aren’t due to back forth related factors. To do this, we need to find out how many backlands the top ranking pages have and assess the quality of those links. So let’s go to the overview table in Cuba to explore for this query. So here you can see all ranking pages as well as their metrics. And the main metrics we’re looking at are the number of referring domains, which are unique websites that link to the page domain rating, which represents the overall strength of a website’s back and profile. And you are already, which represents the overall strength of a page, is back in profile. So based on these metrics, our page has plenty of unique referring domains and high website authority. Yet we’re being outranked by other so-called weaker pages. Now, we may not be able to rank in the first position because of the sheer amount of links the page has. But a jump from position seven to position two or three could give us a decent bump in traffic for a topic that has a lot of business value for a company. And so therefore, this page could benefit from an update.
We have a full video on assessing keyword and ranking difficulty, so I’ll link that up for you in the description. All right. So now that we’ve identified a page to update, it’s time to refresh it. And this requires a bit of research and decision making. The first thing you’ll want to do is assess search content and make sure your page matches it. Search content means the reason behind a search query. And the best way to do this is to look at the top ranking pages and identify the three CS of search content. The first C is content type content type can usually be categorized into blog posts, product category and landing pages. So based on the SERP, these are all blog posts, including ours. The second C is content format and this applies more to blog posts and landing pages. A few common blog formats. You’ll see our how TOS tutorials list posts and opinion editorials for a landing page that might be something like a tool or a calculator. In this case, you’ll see a mixture of complete guides and a couple. What is guest blogging type posts? We’ve gone with the how to format. And the third is content angle content angle is often depicted in the title as the benefit, it’s basically your hook as to why someone should click and who it’s for. Based on the top ranking pages, it looks like the ultimate guide posts are hitting the angle of thoroughness, whereas the one is guest blogging posts are targeting beginners. Hours, on the other hand, is actually targeting more of an advanced audience. We’ve gone with the angle of building high quality links at scale, which probably is an appealing or helpful for a beginner. So overall, our post matches search intent, but it also tells me that we’re likely missing a lot of depth and context for a beginner level audience, whom, in my opinion, are the ones searching for the query guest blogging. Another interesting observation from the survey is that the what is guest blogging pages are actually ranking higher than the more authoritative pages with significantly fewer referring domains. So something to consider is that these pages may actually serve search content better than the other pages. So if we were to update this page, we probably include a short section on what is guest blogging within the content. Now, I want to illustrate my point on the importance of Matcham search. And with an example, in November twenty eighteen, we published the Post targeting What is ASIO and The Post was created as an expert roundup where we asked seasoned CIOs what search engine optimization meant to them. The post was great, but it didn’t match search intent. As you can see from the SERP, these pages are posts for beginners with basic information on the definition of SEO. As a result, our organic traffic growth fell short of its full potential. We then updated the post on September 5th twenty nineteen and almost immediately got a huge spike in traffic and it continues to grow. So bottom line, if your page isn’t perfectly matching certain content, then your traffic and rankings will be limited. The next thing you need to do is analyze the top ranking relevant pages. Now, since we’ve already pinpointed that we have a content issue rather than a links or technical related one, we need to see what the top ranking pages are doing.
Right. So this would require you to manually visit the pages and analyze key points that are being made. And you don’t need to actually read every single post word for word. You just want to get an understanding of structure and key talking points. And because the majority of pages have come with the complete guide angle, I’ll open up these three pages since that’s the angle we go with to the easiest place to start is to look at heading text because it’ll tell you the main points that are discussed throughout the post. To speed up the process, you can use SEO toolbar and use the on page feature, which is free for everyone. Just click the page icon and you’ll see a list of the main headings. Then do the same for the other pages, so I’ve put the headings in a Google sheet and now we’re just looking for similar topics that are covered by the top ranking pages. So a couple of them talk about guest blogging goals. They all talk about finding guest post opportunities, preparing your pitch, writing the actual post and so on. So your typical step by step guide to guest blogging. And again, we probably include a section on what is guest blogging. So I’ll add that as a separate note. All right. So this should give you a decent outline to work with, to write a great post. But there’s one last thing that I think is worth doing, and that’s to analyze the pages back and profile since we’re updating a page and we’ve ruled out that links aren’t the reason for the pages underperformance, it’s worth looking at the pages back links to see why people link to it. For example, if you have a post that includes stats and people links you because of that stat, generally speaking, you should include it in your updated post so the link stays relevant. Does this play a role in rankings? I can’t say it does or it doesn’t, but only good can come from it, assuming the point is still valid, accurate and up to date. Plus, if a lot of people are linking to you because of something you’ve mentioned, then it could lead to more links going forward. To see your back and profile, go to explore and enter the URL of the page you’re updating. Next, go to the victims report from here, you can just skim through the list and look for unique reasons why people are linking to you. So as you can see here, we’re going to link from entrepreneur because of a stat mentioning 20 percent. And the link below that also talks about a traffic increase by 20 percent. So to quickly see how many links we got because of this stat, I’ll scroll back up and enter 20 into the include box. And I’ll also set the search filter to only look in the surrounding text and link anchor. And there are nearly 60 unique pages that have linked to this page because of that stat, so it’s probably worth mentioning now you don’t have to include everything you find in the back and support. Just do it if it’s still relevant, adds value and makes sense with the context of your page. All right. So after doing this, you should have a thorough outline of the key things to include in your content.
The last step is to republish your post and submit it for re indexing. If you use a CMS like WordPress, change your published date to the current date and hit update after you can resubmit your you URL in Google search console and request re indexing. Just enter the URL in the search bar. And then hit the request indexing link. From my experience, Google recalls the page almost immediately, so if you’ve done everything right in your page, all of the aforementioned requirements, you can sometimes see an immediate bump in rankings and traffic. Now, you don’t have to actually request indexing. You can also wait for Google to record the page, which should have the same effect. So I encourage you to go and do a content audit of your site to see which pages could benefit from a full blown update. And we have a full tutorial on doing a content audit, as well as a free template that will do the heavy lifting for you. So I’ll leave a link to that in the description.