How to Revise Your Company’s Blog

Contributed content / By Helen Stark / 16 August 2019

Auditing your existing content and making changes as needed is just as important to a successful marketing strategy as creating new content.

Many renowned marketing blogs have reported massive traffic growth after a blog update. Business blog NichePursuits experienced 712% organic traffic growth after its update.

At Ahrefs, an SEO solutions provider, we updated our blog and saw significant results immediately:

Ahrefs blog traffic

Traffic on our blog jumped from around 70,000 hits to more than 240,000 in under six months, correlating directly with the blog revamp.

So, how do you review your blog content and update it to get more traffic? Delete everything and start over? Update the headlines and content with timely search terms?

If your blog has been up and running for a while, there’s probably a considerable amount of content on there. Sifting through it all can seem overwhelming. That’s why I’ve listed several tips and tricks to make revamping your company blog an understandable and productive exercise. Follow these tips and your blog revisions will be smooth and productive.

6 Ways to Revise Your Company's Blog

  1. Audit existing content
  2. Manually review valuable articles
  3. Check for keywords
  4. Review headlines and meta-titles
  5. Check your competitions' content
  6. Add more links

1. Audit Existing Content

You have to set clear goals for your blog and understand what content to update, delete, consolidate, or rewrite completely.

First, check a piece’s traffic in your Google Search Console or the SEO instrument you use. Pay attention to pages that have a steady amount of traffic that comes from organic search.

There’s simple workflow I recommend you use to identify pages worth updating and those that should be removed or redirected. A few actions you may undertake include:

  • Deciding not to change a page
  • Setting up 301 redirects to newer, more valuable articles
  • Deleting and setting up 404 pages

While these decisions are never easy, there are guidelines to bear in mind when determining what action to take.

Content audit flowchart

By following a content audit flowchart, your team can craft the best blog revision strategies.

Some marketers are afraid of deleting site pages. They worry it may affect their traffic and overall site authority.

However, there is evidence that having low-quality pages with thin content may cause greater problems for your site.

Here’s what Google says: “According to our analysis, having many low-value-add URLs can negatively affect a site’s crawling and indexing.”

With Google’s advice in mind, don’t forget to set 404 redirects for the articles you remove.

Remember that you may want to keep some important pages even if they don’t have any traffic or backlinks, such as Contact or FAQs.

By setting clear goals, you will effectively revise your blog.

2. Manually Review Valuable Articles

Now, let’s take a look at the articles you’ve deemed worth updating. Typically, this kind of article is more than six months old and produces a steady, high level of organic traffic and backlinks. It may also rank for a decent number of keywords.

If you see such an article on your blog, here’s what you can do:

  • Leave pages that are vital for your blog – such as landing pages created for PPC terms – unaltered.
  • Set up a 301 redirect. If you have two pages with similar topics, you can merge those into one and set a 301 redirect from the less valuable one. This will also help to consolidate the “link equity” of those articles.
  • Update the content. Normally, evergreen articles already have a decent amount of traffic and links but offer some outdated information.

For “seasonal” articles, check Google Trends to see what terms see a popularity spike during specific times such as Christmas, New Year's, or summer vacation.

If you have articles that fall into the category of seasonal or trending posts, make sure to update them before their particular season.

Here’s a short example. If you check the phrase “lose weight” in Google trends, you’ll see regular spikes each year in January:

"Lose weight" Google Trends

Seems odd at first sight? Not really. New Year's is the time when people are making resolutions for the coming year, and “lose weight” is often one of them.

If you run a fitness or lifestyle blog, it may be a good idea to have a weight loss tips article and update it regularly each January.

Review and update your most valuable articles.

3. Check for Keywords

Sometimes, traffic might be struggling because the article doesn’t fit the searcher’s intent. In this case, use keywords to make sure that searchers are able to find content about the subjects they are interested in.

Search Engine Land divides searchers' intent into three broad categories:

  • Know: Users search for information about the topic
  • Do: Users want to perform an action (buy, try, etc.)
  • Go: Users search for a particular URL, webpage, or brand

Most blog posts target the “Know” category and try to answer the searcher’s questions. That doesn’t mean your content should only target keywords with phrases such as “how to” or “what is,” however.

Google reports that about 15% of searches performed on a daily basis are new, which means that you can find more terms to target through research:

  • Check the Search Console for the keywords that your article already ranks for in the top 20
  • Drop those keywords into your favorite keyword research tool and find long-tail variations you can target with your content. You can also check Google’s “related searches” section for more ideas
  • Target keywords that answer the user’s search intent the best, have a high traffic potential, and are easy to rank for

By targeting longer phrases, long-tail keywords allow you to capture a wider range of searcher intent, which, in turn, will help you rank for thousands of other searches and boost your traffic. In general, keywords are an effective tool to get your content to the right audience.

4. Review Headlines and Meta-Titles

Headlines should tempt users to click your link and read your article. Review your current headlines and try to come up with a couple of better ideas.

The Optimizely plug-in for WordPress can be a great help in revamping headlines:

Optimizely

It enables you to add several variants of the article headline and test their performance.

You should revise your meta-title and meta-description as well. Google shows up to 230 symbols in its snippets, so create your description within these limits.

Sometimes, Google shows the first few lines of the text in its snippet instead of the meta-description. To account for this, craft a catchy introduction that clearly explains what users will read in your article.

Don’t change the article’s URL after the update. Because we’re updating articles that have already been indexed by Google and see some organic traffic and backlinks, changing its URL may hurt those benefits.

Use headlines and meta-titles to create the best blog possible.

5. Check Your Competition’s Content

Check the overall structure of your text and see what’s missing and what can be improved. One good source of ideas is analyzing your competitors’ content:

  • What is the structure of the articles in the top 10 (or even top 3) number of search results? What paragraphs does it include? Is it an all-in-one guide, case study, how-to article, etc.?
  • What graphics and images does it use to illustrate points? Are there any supporting infographics or videos?

Review the statistics and structure you use in your article and evaluate if they would benefit from some of the lessons you learn.

6. Add More Links

Internal links help search engines find and index your content. They also:

  • Help users browse your blog quickly and find more relevant articles
  • Increase the time users spend on your blog
  • Build trust in the page and boost its authority

There’s no need to alter internal links to articles you’ve set up 301 redirects for. But, it’s better to audit your blog and find links that show a 404 error (broken links). This will allow you to:

  • Remove those links from your articles (only do so if necessary)
  • Replace them with relevant links to new or updated articles

You can also use Google with advanced search operators. Type in site:yourdomain.com + “keyword related to page”:

Advanced Google searcn

The search will return pages on your site that contain phrases or keywords relevant to the article in question. Just add the link of your updated article to those pages with this anchor.

Adding new links and replacing broken ones will help your content rank higher on Google.

Continuous Improvement Is Key

Blog updating is a constant routine; it doesn’t end after you review all the articles once. You should check your content every six months and see what can be improved.

Pay particular attention to valuable articles that have started losing traffic. Explore why this has happened and improve your content to recover the traffic flow.

Don’t forget to promote the articles you’ve updated as well. Post information about the update to social media, and share the update via email to drive even more traffic.

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