content optimization for seo

Many people wonder if the focus of their SEO efforts should be on creating new content or updating existing content. The simple answer is to focus on both. You should dedicate about half of your SEO efforts to updating old content and the other half to creating new content.

This article will discuss why you need to implement both tactics into your SEO strategy. 

Webpages build value over time

The content on your website doesn’t necessarily lose value over time. Pages that have been published for some time would have built-up links and visibility, creating value. This means those pages can still show up in search results for the questions your target audience has today.

Older, “evergreen” content can still be considered relevant and high quality. However, it’s important to go back in and update this content from time to time. Google may not trust a site where two-thirds of the pages are three years old or older and have outdated information on them, especially if the competition is updating theirs.

If not maintained, webpages eventually depreciate over time. Sometimes, if you do a refresh on older content, it can bring it back up to page 1 on search results if it was already ranking on page 1 recently. So it’s important to not neglect your older content and go in and make updates periodically to keep it fresh.

Conduct a content audit

In addition to creating new pages for your SEO program, conducting a web content audit is a big player in prioritizing how you refresh old pages. A content audit identifies any weak or underperforming content on your website so you know where to improve.

Leveraging tools like Google Analytics, Screaming Frog, or Semrush provides valuable data you need to understand about the webpages on your site. After you’ve gathered your data, you’ll divide your webpages into three categories: those that garner the most rankings and traffic, those with the potential to improve in rankings and traffic, and those that perform poorly and don’t fit into either category.

From there, focus on strengthening the content in the first two categories and figuring out what to do with underperforming content. Some webpages may need content refreshes, while others may need optimization. Some content may simply require a 301 redirect to a more current URL on the same subject.

Grow and maintain your content

The benefit of SEO is that your webpages build value over time through increased visibility and links. Putting in a little extra work to get them updated can continue to pay off in traffic and potentially revenue. It’s important though to maintain your website throughout its entire lifecycle.

To strengthen your SEO lifecycle, you’ll need to spend about 50% of your content-focused time creating new webpages and the other 50% refreshing old content. It’s possible your website might already have hundreds or even thousands of outdated pages. Getting a handle on that can be a big, time-consuming project—time that might be better spent on developing a new site. This is one of those unique instances where starting fresh with an SEO-centered approach may work better in the long run.

No matter the path you choose, incorporating content refreshes into your regular schedule, just as you would with creating new content, is crucial for staying organized and maintaining a strong SEO position. Establishing a rhythm of identifying existing pages related to each new page and updating or consolidating them as part of your content creation process is essential for ensuring you’re at the top of Google search results.

Need help optimizing your website and webpages? Contact us today to get the SEO help you need.

Visit our Help Center for additional guidance.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.