A Step-by-Step Strategy (Based on Updating 50+ Posts)


Content material refreshing is among the finest methods to extend visitors of your current content material, and it’s additionally a good way to maintain the knowledge in your web site contemporary and as much as date.

Nonetheless, the content material refreshing course of isn’t all the time simple. For instance, some individuals fear about tanking their natural visitors in the event that they replace the content material (a legitimate concern). Different individuals discover that it simply doesn’t convey the dramatic visitors enhance that some advertising consultants promise.

Thankfully for you, I’ve been each of these individuals.

I’ve up to date in all probability greater than 50 weblog posts prior to now 12 months, and I’ve made quite a lot of errors. Nonetheless, I’ve additionally seen excellent outcomes, reminiscent of content material that drives 10 instances extra visitors and soars in rankings.

That stated, I actually needed to know why some posts carry out dramatically higher post-update than others.

So I did a data study on what makes some content material dramatically extra profitable post-update and why others proceed to flounder. Utilizing this information, I’ve give you a content material refreshing technique that has considerably improved my content material refreshing success fee. At this time, I wish to share that technique with you.

Opposite to widespread perception, not all weblog posts are value updating. This is among the single most impactful realizations that has improved my content material refreshing success fee. The truth is, I solely suggest prioritizing updates for previous content material that earned 20+ month-to-month guests at peak efficiency.

Within the information examine talked about above, 45% of the up to date posts had fewer than 20 guests per thirty days pre-update. Sadly, this 45% of up to date posts solely contributed 15% of the overall visitors enhance (of a 96% complete natural visitors enhance).

Which means weblog posts that already had 20+ month-to-month guests earlier than the replace contributed the vast majority of the overall natural visitors enhance.

Pie chart showing posts with ></noscript><img class=

My guess is posts with extra visitors pre-update already rank for some key phrases in positions #5–10. Due to this fact, it’s a lot simpler to go from positions #5–10 to first than zero to first.

So what do you have to do with weblog posts which have fewer than 20 month-to-month guests?

Assuming these posts are concentrating on key phrases which might be helpful to your small business or comprise essential thought management concepts, it’s undoubtedly value updating them. As well as, a smaller weblog will typically have much more weblog posts with fewer than 20 month-to-month guests just because it wants time to achieve traction.

Due to this fact, it’s nonetheless worthwhile to replace them, however prioritize posts with essentially the most potential first.

The best way to replace your weblog posts

As soon as you understand which posts to replace, how do you really replace them? I’ve discovered that quite a lot of corporations give freelance writers a course of that appears like this:

  • Replace previous statistics, details, quotes
  • Add extra paragraphs for key phrases the posts are lacking
  • Take away sections which might be not related

Nonetheless, I’ve discovered that the above technique isn’t the perfect strategy to refreshing content material. It makes the content material extra updated however doesn’t take into account how the publish is (or is just not) fulfilling the search intent.

In different phrases, it’s important to ask why your content material isn’t as helpful because the posts rating effectively on Google. (I’m keen to wager it’s not simply because there’s an outdated statistic within the third paragraph.)

From the content material refreshing analysis I’ve executed, your publish in all probability isn’t rating as a result of there’s one other publish that:

  • Is extra present.
  • Supplies actionable recommendation (or extra related particulars).
  • Provides a wonderful person expertise.
  • Is a greater match for the searcher’s intent.

To handle these points, listed below are the motion steps you’ll want to take whereas updating your content material.

1. Replace outdated data

I do know I simply stated that refreshing content material is far more than simply updating outdated data—however it is part of the method.

As well as, I’m speaking about extra than simply updating previous statistics and quotes. Usually, you’ll must replace (or fully change) the examples to enhance how they match the search intent.

For instance, this is certainly one of my most profitable content material refreshing examples ever. It was producing about 4,000 month-to-month guests after I first up to date it in 2019. At its peak efficiency, it generated about 20,000 month-to-month guests.

Once I began updating it, I noticed that many of the examples within the publish had been outdated and lots of had been TV productions. This was an issue for 2 causes:

  1. TV commercials themselves aren’t actually an ideal match for somebody looking out “digital advertising campaigns.”
  2. The general public Googling this time period don’t have the price range for a TV marketing campaign.

Due to this fact, I changed all 31 examples with 31 new examples of latest search engine optimization, content material advertising, YouTube, and podcasting successes.

Excerpt of blog post that shows one of the 31 examples


On reflection, I want I had centered on a selected marketing campaign slightly than the model’s whole technique. That is because the searcher’s intent is a digital advertising marketing campaign, not a digital advertising technique. I wager the publish would have carried out even higher if I had executed that. However we’ll get into searcher intent just a little later.

Key Takeaway

Is the knowledge you present updated with the present developments in your business? This contains not solely quotes and statistics but in addition examples that you just use.

2. Add actionable recommendation/minimize irrelevant element

How usually have you ever learn a publish that vaguely describes what it is best to do and lacks examples or the motion steps wanted to execute the recommendation?

Then again, have you ever ever learn a publish that has the reply to your query someplace in it? However then there’s a lot pointless data you can’t discover what you need.

Each are equally problematic and, sadly, frequent in content material advertising.

First, let’s focus on posts that lack depth. Sadly, there isn’t any particular metric you’ll be able to test to see if the content material has depth. Although, there are just a few indicators that may clue you in, together with:

  • Few to zero examples.
  • A considerably shorter phrase rely than what’s rating.
  • Generic ideas with no actionable data.

You too can use content material optimization instruments like Clearscope, which reveals the subheadings that generally seem in different top-ranking posts. Whereas I like to recommend that you just take these key phrase instruments with a grain of salt (don’t attempt to sprinkle in all the key phrases), they may help you uncover subjects you might have neglected.

For instance, for those who’re writing a information to “medical search engine optimization,” the instrument could present that the phrase “backlinking” is often utilized in different posts. On condition that backlinking is a key component of search engine optimization, this can be a useful perception since you’ll undoubtedly wish to create a bit on that matter.

Past this, the perfect recommendation I can provide you is to place your self in your audience’s footwear (ideally, you’ve already executed in depth market analysis and talked to a number of clients).

Ask your self: In the event that they learn this content material, might they implement the recommendation given and see outcomes?

To drive this dwelling, let’s take a look at an instance the place the publish lacked depth. This publish, “13 Methods to Market Your Enterprise On-line,” is the very first publish I ever up to date. It was initially simply 930 phrases lengthy and drove between 30 and 50 month-to-month visits. The ultimate product is 1,700 phrases. It now drives over 600 month-to-month visits.

Line graph of organic traffic

Nonetheless, I didn’t simply determine to make it longer to perform this. As a substitute, I added related, actionable recommendation to help my argument.

For instance, within the excerpt beneath, you’ll be able to see that I supported my argument (constructing a model is essential) with a quote from Google CEO Eric Schmidt. I additionally added an actionable tip to make the tip much less obscure.

Excerpt of blog post that includes quote and actionable tip

All the things highlighted was added or modified when updating the publish.

That stated, including extra depth isn’t all the time the perfect resolution, as it will possibly make content material unnecessarily long-winded.

For instance, let’s say you’re writing a publish on “find out how to change a tire.” On this case, the reader actually doesn’t need a 2,000-word information—they only wish to change their tire as shortly as doable!

So as a substitute of writing concerning the mechanics of adjusting a tire and statistics on how many individuals know find out how to change tires, simply give the reader the steps they should change the tire.

Whereas that could be a slightly apparent case, I see this on a regular basis after I replace content material (particularly if it’s an final information). For instance, right here’s the desk of contents of a publish I’m getting ready to replace:

Table of contents

As you’ll be able to see, the content material is simply too lengthy and repetitive. For one, it talks concerning the ROI of influencer advertising twice. Certain, it’s an final information. However even these studying an final information solely wish to eat the requirements to get them on their approach.

One other instance of how this content material is simply too long-winded is in chapters 2 and seven, the place each focus on ways on reaching out to an influencer. Certain, they focus on barely completely different ways. However I’d slightly learn one concise part on the 80/20 of influencer outreach than a number of sections containing each doable approach you would attain out to an influencer.

Key Takeaway

While you’re writing, embrace the 80/20 motion steps your reader must know, together with examples (hypothetical or actual) to show your level. Nonetheless, don’t write any greater than that. The reader doesn’t essentially must know each single doable technique to do one thing or the precise science behind each matter. Get to the level.

3. Enhance the person expertise

Google has all the time harassed the significance of optimizing for person expertise. A lot of this takes place on the web site degree (HTTPS, web page pace, and many others.). However there are issues you are able to do to enhance content material on a post-by-post foundation.

First, in case your publish is especially lengthy, take into account including a sticky desk of contents to assist the reader discover precisely what they’re on the lookout for.

Excerpt of Ahrefs' link building blog post; clickable ToC on the left

Second, pay a designer to create engaging, branded graphics. This may go a good distance in each preserving customers in your web page and establishing your weblog as an authority.

Third, break up your paragraphs (ideally none longer than three to 4 sentences) and use bullets to maintain the reader’s consideration. Do not forget that most individuals are on the lookout for quick solutions and are, subsequently, skimming. So opposite to widespread perception, making your content material skimmable will really enhance the time readers spend in your web page.

So simple as this stuff could sound, they’re tremendous efficient in my expertise.

Key Takeaway

Don’t low cost the significance of a weblog publish that’s clear and straightforward to learn. Typically, lengthy weblog posts are too irritating for customers, so you’ll want to format your weblog posts appropriately and rent a designer to assist you.

4. Fulfill the searcher’s intent

Search intent is principally the rationale behind the search. Does the searcher wish to study one thing or purchase one thing? Are they on the lookout for an in depth information or skimmable listicle? Do they only need a fast reply or numerous data?

If you happen to fail to grasp the solutions to those questions, you’ll be vulnerable to misaligning your content material with search intent. Consequently, it’ll be a lot tougher (generally unattainable) to rank the content material.

That is fairly a fancy matter, as there are numerous methods chances are you’ll misalign content material with search intent. However listed below are three of the principle methods I’ve seen:

A. Publish type is inaccurate

Earlier than you write your weblog publish, Google the principle key phrase to higher perceive what sort of weblog publish the reader needs.

For instance, for those who’re about to write down a how-to information for a time period like “finest CRM for small companies,” you’re losing your time as a result of the searcher’s intent is clearly a easy record of instruments:

Google SERP for "best crm for small business"

On this case, they don’t need to learn a information about it. They only wish to see some options!

If you happen to discover that your weblog publish is within the flawed format for that key phrase, you’ll in all probability must rewrite it altogether.

B. You have got an excessive amount of data irrelevant to the reader’s ache factors

One other situation I usually discover when updating content material is there are sections of content material that simply aren’t related to the reader’s ache factors.

For instance, a publish on “content material advertising KPIs” shouldn’t have a header with the phrases “what’s content material advertising.”

Whereas that’s a slightly excessive instance, I usually see subtler instances.

For instance, I not too long ago up to date a publish concentrating on the key phrase “examples of storytelling marketing.” Once I regarded on the search outcomes for the time period, all of them had been record posts that had introductions round 100–200 phrases. The publish then dove into examples.

Nonetheless, after I regarded on the publish I used to be updating, there have been a number of sections earlier than the “examples” part that totaled 1,800 phrases. The truth is, here’s what the publish’s construction regarded like:

  • What’s storytelling?
  • Science behind storytelling
  • Why is storytelling essential for advertising?
  • 5 ideas of storytelling 
    • Precept 1
    • Precept 2
    • Precept 3
    • Precept 4
    • Precept 5
  • (Lastly!) Instance 1

On this case, the searcher’s intent is a listing of examples. So if the searcher has to scroll previous 1,800 phrases to learn what they need, they’ll seemingly go away. This habits is a sign to Google that your content material isn’t very good.

To replace it, I minimize that intro and added just a few further related examples (many of the different posts had 11–12, so I made the publish match that vary). As of this writing (just a few weeks after my updates), the publish is rating second for “examples of storytelling advertising.”

Right here’s a screenshot of its visitors trajectory:

Line graph of organic traffic

C. You aren’t talking on the reader’s data degree

Lastly, there are many weblog posts that miss the search intent as a result of they converse above or beneath the reader’s data degree. Therefore, they’re deaf to the reader’s ache factors and wishes.

Let’s stroll by an instance.

Think about you might be promoting a SaaS advertising instrument to content material advertising managers, and the key phrase you’re concentrating on is “content material advertising KPIs.”

Right here’s an instance of an introduction that’s beneath their degree:

Content material advertising is a good way to extend your visitors and generate extra leads for your small business. The truth is, anybody that performs a Google search is on the lookout for blogs like yours to supply the reply to their questions. Nonetheless, some content material is simpler than others. Due to this fact, to be sure that your content material is on observe, you’ll want to measure KPIs (key efficiency indicators).

That is inappropriate for 2 causes:

  1. Content material managers already perceive the worth of content material advertising, so explaining that’s redundant.
  2. On condition that they’re trying to find KPIs, there’s no want to clarify why they want KPIs. They had been already satisfied earlier than they landed in your publish.

In distinction, right here’s a significantly better introduction for the exact same key phrase and situation:

Monitoring the efficiency of content material advertising campaigns is hard because the ROI usually takes months and even years to understand. Due to this fact, most individuals measure their content material technique’s success by the visitors it’s producing.

Whereas visitors can correlate with higher enterprise outcomes, this isn’t all the time the case. For instance, chances are you’ll be driving visitors that isn’t prepared to purchase or from a parallel business.

Due to this fact, visitors shouldn’t be your solely measure of success. As a substitute, this publish will element which KPIs it is best to measure to make sure your content material is driving an ROI and find out how to observe them.

Discover the introduction above additionally speaks to a extra skilled viewers (content material advertising managers). It touches on their ache factors and pertains to how they’re (almost certainly) already monitoring content material advertising. Now, it’s possible they’ll preserve studying.

Nonetheless, the difficulty of talking above or beneath an viewers’s degree doesn’t simply apply to introductions. As you’re updating the content material, ask your self if every paragraph resonates with the viewers’s ache factors.

Beneficial studying: Searcher Intent: The Ignored ‘Rating Issue’ You Ought to Be Optimizing For

Key Takeaway

First, Google your key phrase earlier than you begin writing to be sure to are utilizing the best weblog publish construction (how-to, listicle, and many others.). Then ask your self if every part throughout the publish is related to the searcher’s ache factors. Lastly, ask your self if the writing is on the searcher’s data degree.

5. Make closing optimizations

Now that you just’ve executed the exhausting a part of really updating the weblog publish, just be sure you do these previous couple of optimizations, as they’ll imply the distinction between a 2X and 10X ROI.

First, check out your common click-through fee (CTR) in Google Search Console. In accordance with a examine executed by Databox, a good organic CTR is 3%-5%. Due to this fact, in case your publish isn’t hitting that benchmark, take into account updating your title tag and meta description.

If you happen to actually wish to enhance your natural CTR, you may also use a instrument like ClickFlow to run A/B checks in your title tags and meta descriptions.

One other straightforward approach to enhance your refreshed content material’s efficiency is by constructing inner hyperlinks to it from different posts which might be related and highly effective (have loads of exterior hyperlinks from high-quality sources).

In case you have the sources, constructing exterior hyperlinks to your refreshed content material can be an ideal technique. Whereas most outreach ways are overused, right here’s one to think about: providing to replace the content material for the individuals whom you’re reaching out to (as a substitute of simply providing a visitor publish).

Right here’s a precise pitch I’ve used earlier than with success:

Hello Sam,

I learn your publish about the perfect advertising company instruments for 2022 and simply signed up for [Service] based mostly on the publish. So thanks for the rec!

Nonetheless, I seen that a number of the suggestions are just a little dated.

For instance, you suggest [Tool A], however I’ve discovered that there at the moment are cheaper instruments like [Tool B] and [Tool C], which do basically the identical factor.

I additionally suppose that for those who had 10 instruments slightly than 5 instruments, the publish may rank larger. Would you want me to replace it for you free of charge? I’d additionally love to incorporate a (non-promotional) part on our analytics instrument, which quite a lot of businesses use.

If you happen to don’t love my new model, no stress to publish it.


You don’t have to make use of this precise template. However hopefully, this could get you began. In case you have examples of posts you’ve up to date that later carried out higher, chances are you’ll wish to embrace that someplace within the pitch.

Key Takeaway

When you’ve up to date your publish, the previous couple of optimizations embrace enhancing your title tag and meta description to drive extra clicks, including just a few related inner hyperlinks to the publish, and constructing some exterior hyperlinks to the publish (when you’ve got the sources).

Remaining ideas

Content material refreshing remains to be an underused tactic that quite a lot of blogs can profit from. If you happen to tried it earlier than and it didn’t work, there might be one other underlying situation, e.g., a poor person expertise, an irrelevant part to start with, or a poor search intent match.

On the finish of the day, not each weblog publish will carry out higher. Typically, engines like google simply don’t approve of sure posts. However for those who make refreshing content material a precedence, comply with the steps above, and add the up to date content material to your editorial calendar, you’ll have some posts that’ll take off post-update. This greater than makes up for all the time invested in posts that didn’t succeed.

Obtained questions? Ping me on Twitter.