Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for SEMrush. This means if you purchase one of their packages, I might receive a commission.
Improving your company’s search engine rankings can bring customers directly to your virtual door. But improving your search visibility doesn’t always mean publishing more content. You can also make your old blog content rank higher by improving it.
Let’s look at how you can make old blog content rank higher in Google to bring in more traffic and leads.
5 Steps to Make Old Blog Content Rank Higher in Google
If you want content in your archives to rank higher in Google, here are five steps you can take:
1. Track your existing rankings and traffic numbers.
You can’t make old blog content rank higher if you don’t know where those posts already rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Manually tracking these rankings doesn’t make sense because you don’t have access to all the data you’d need independently.
Instead, you’ll want to use a tool like SEMrush. There you can create target keyword lists to track and see where various pages on your site rank for those keyword phrases over time. You can also track specific competitors if that’s of interest to you.
2. Identify opportunities for better rankings (plus more traffic and conversions).
When you review your keyword rankings, you want to look for the best opportunities where you could see a decent ROI.
For example, you might look for keyword phrases with significant search volumes where your content currently ranks on the second page of results. It’s much easier to make old blog content rank higher in that case than trying to go from page 50+ to the first page.
Another type of opportunity you can look for are cases where you cannibalize your own rankings.
This is when you have multiple pages competing for the same keyword phrase. If you see this happening for important keyword phrases, you might look to merge those old blog posts into a single new one (make sure any old URLs get redirected).
3. Conduct a content audit of your old blog posts.
If your site is having broader issues with low Google rankings, you might need to conduct a more thorough content audit of your blog.
Things you’ll want to look for include:
- very short content that needs to be expanded;
- outdated content that’s no longer relevant;
- old blog posts that are too similar to each other;
- poorly-formatted content (such as from before a design change);
- holes in your content strategy that need to be filled with new material;
- posts lacking onsite optimization.
If you manually audit your content, you can use a simple spreadsheet allowing you to note plans for any posts that need changes – updates, expanding the content, merging posts, improving formatting or onsite optimization, or even deleting some content and redirecting the URLs when appropriate.
To simplify this, SEMrush content audits can automate some of this process to help you find problematic posts in your archives.
4. Update, merge, and redirect content where appropriate.
Next, it’s time to take your rankings research and your content audit notes and prioritize the old content you want to rank higher.
For example, if you have a post on the second page of search results for your target keyword, and you know that page needs updates and onsite optimization, that would be a high-priority post to start with.
The easier your intended fixes are, and the easier it would be to get first page rankings for that keyword phrase, the sooner you want to update that older piece of content.
5. Improve your onsite SEO.
It’s also important to review your onsite SEO in general. For example:
- Do all pages have appropriate metadata?
- Does every page and post on your site target specific keyword phrases?
- Does your content and copy address searchers’ intent (give them what they’re looking for)?
- Are you using appropriate structured data to help Google understand your content?
- Have you handled redirects responsibly so you don’t leave visitors with 401 Page Not Found errors?
- Have you submitted a sitemap to Google’s search console?
- Is Google able to index your content?
This is about making sure you don’t have any sitewide issues that could make it more difficult to rank higher in Google. Yet again, this is something a service like SEMrush can help you monitor, along with offering suggestions to improve your onsite SEO.
6. Re-market your updated content.
If you want your old blog posts to rank higher in Google, it’s not enough to update that content or make more on-page optimizations.
You also need to re-market that content. For example:
- Share your older, or refreshed, content with your social media followers.
- Promote your old content to email subscribers.
- Contact people you’ve referenced in your posts and let them know about it.
- Build new links to your older blog posts.
If you want that old blog content to rank higher on Google, you have to go beyond your on-site efforts. You need to let people know about that content. You need people to link to that content. And you want others sharing that content.
By following these five simple steps, you might just find you have a treasure trove of new traffic hidden in your blog archives. Clean that content up, improve it where you can, and spread the word again, and your old content can rank higher in Google’s search results in no time.
Do you need help with your content audit? Do you need someone to assist you with revisions, improvements, and rewrites of your existing blog posts? Get in touch to find out how I can help you improve your company’s Google rankings by building upon what you already have.