At Verblio (formerly BlogMutt), we tout the importance of consistently creating new content for your website on a regular basis.
Studies have shown time and again doing this will:
- send signals to Google that your site deserves to be ranked highly in their search results
- show web visitors that your organization is alive and well
- give your site more virtual real estate to rank for more keywords
- provide more content to power social media campaigns and link building efforts
And blogging is still the best way for most websites to do this—a blog naturally provides a medium where you can share your story and add to it a few times per week.
While the importance of creating new content hasn’t changed, there’s a new SEO strategy in town that a few of our clients have started to use Verblio for, and we’re excited to share how you can leverage this strategy to get brand-new SEO results from your older content.
In this post, we’ll explain the case for a strategy we’re calling revamping & republishing, share a client case study, and outline, step-by-step, how you can add revamping & republishing old content to your marketing arsenal. Plus, we’ll talk about how you can use Verblio to execute on this strategy in short order.
What, exactly, is this revamping & republishing thing?
Here’s the concept: things change and so should your content.
Google (and human users), in many searches, want to see content that looks “fresh”. Think about it: if you’re wanting to know the best blender to buy, are you going to be likely to click on a search result that says, “The top 10 blenders of 2012, ranked”? Probably not.
Think about your own content. Look through the posts on your blog. I’d be willing to bet you’ll find a good number of them that fall into this “fresher is better” category.
Because Google’s algorithm knows that human users want to click on results that are recent, and because Google wants to give people what they want, the algorithm is biased toward recent results. So, by revamping your blog posts and updating the publish date, you can create something that keeps both human users and search engines happy—and this can make you happy, too—with higher rankings and more traffic.
We’ll dive into the mechanics of this shortly, but first: a quick example.
Enter: North Western Synthetic Grass
Verblio client North Western Synthetic Grass (NWSG) is an artificial grass installer in Vancouver, British Columbia. Like many of the clients we serve, NWSG blogged before we came on the scene. But in another common refrain, we heard that blogging often fell to the bottom of their to-do list, and when it did get done, posts tended to be too short due to time constraints on writing.
When NWSG came to us, they asked about whether they could use Verblio writers to revamp & republish some of their existing blog posts. Since we’ve been helping a number of clients revamp and republish, our answer was “sure!”
An important post to revamp was NWSG’s post on European Chafer Beetles. Unless you happen to live in an area affected by these bugs, you’ve probably never heard of them. But they’re important to NWSG because the bugs wreak havoc on lawns all over the Vancouver area. And, apart from using harmful pesticides that are banned in the area, there’s no good solution…except for replacing your lawn with synthetic grass.
So, NWSG asked our writers to take a look at the post they currently had on the site and revamp it. The original post was just over 300 words and had a publish date of over a year ago. The post NWSG received back from their Verblio writer had a couple of things that made the post stand out to NSWG as exactly what they were looking for:
- It was much more in-depth. This is a complex topic, and using our 900+ word length, NWSG received a post back that dug into all of the important aspects of this topic.
- It was up-to-date. Our writer used recent news articles from trusted sources to do the research, bringing the post up-to-date with the latest on Chafer Beetles.
- It was written in Canadian English. This might sound like a minor detail, but for our clients in Canada, the UK, and Australia, our writers’ ability to write in the appropriate form of English makes things easier and ensures the writing resonates with their local audience.
So what happened after NWSG hit publish? Well, check it out for yourself:
Weekly organic traffic to the Chafer Beetle blog post is up an average of 500% since hitting republish.
If you’re thinking this post is only getting a few visits per week, consider that NWSG sells artificial grass installations that average $8,000+, so even a few additional visits to their site can make a big difference to their business.
Creating and executing a revamping & republishing strategy in 5 easy steps
NWSG is just one place we’ve seen first hand the power of revamping and republishing. Ready to try it out for your business? Here’s how to jump on it:
- Do a content audit. This might sound scarier, or like a bigger project, than it needs to be. Google Analytics is a great place to start. Click on Behavior>Site Content>Landing Pages. If you’re wanting to just look at blog posts, you can try typing /blog/ in the white search box before the graph. (We wrote more about that here, if you’re interested in diving in.) Since Google Analytics will automatically sort your posts by most traffic to least, you’ll get a quick idea about which are most important.
- Pick your posts to revamp. Start with the data of 3-5 posts to get the hang of it. Choose your posts according to a couple of factors: how much traffic they get, how important they are at creating leads or customers, how important the topics are to your prospects, page bounce rate, etc.
- Read & research. Read through the posts you’ve picked. How could they be updated to make them more relevant to today’s users? How could they be improved? Do they need more data or images? Should they be longer? Do research to find other topics searchers care about (Google your focus keyword, see the related searches people are searching for).
- Revamp! As a north star, continually ask yourself, how can I make this post more useful for people who will find it? It is not enough to just change a few words here and there in your post—to get the most out of this strategy, you must overhaul it! (This is a great place to use Verblio! Just include a link to the post you’re looking to revamp in your topic description, and include notes on how you want to see the post revamped.)
- Republish and promote. One of the keys to this strategy is to change the publish date when you revamp one of your blog posts—to the date you hit “update” in your CMS. Most major content management platforms make this easy to do (HubSpot, WordPress). By updating the date, you’re signaling to both search engines and humans that new, up-to-date content lives in this blog post. And of course, the same rules of promotion you apply to new posts should also apply to posts you’ve revamped—promoting your post is an important way to directly bring in new readers, not to mention help you find influencers who will share and link to your content to further circulate it.
There you have it—a powerful strategy to breathe new life into your old content, and another way you can leverage Verblio to help with your content needs. If you’re looking for more information on this, HubSpot wrote an in-depth guide that provides instructions on how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to revamping and republishing content.