20 May 2024
11 min read

How to Boost Organic Traffic with a Strategic Content Refresh

Keeping your content up-to-date is not just a nice-to-have; it's a must. Whether it's a blog post, landing page, or even a FAQ section, every piece of content on your site is an opportunity for organic traffic.

But it needs to be worked on regularly.

That's where content refreshing comes into play.

From understanding the importance of content refresh and identifying which content to update to a step-by-step on how to refresh content and the results we've got by following this exact process (spoiler: it's huge), we've got you covered.

Get ready to supercharge your content marketing strategy with our guide. Let's get started!

Understanding Content Refresh for SEO

Content refreshing has become a crucial part of any successful content strategy. It's more than just a quick edit or update; it's about breathing new life into your existing content, ensuring it remains relevant, engaging, and optimized for search engines.

When done correctly, this process can significantly boost your organic traffic, prevent content decay, and align your content with your audience's changing search intent.

What Does 'Refreshing Content' Mean?

Refreshing content refers to the process of updating, optimizing, and enhancing existing content to maintain or improve its performance. The goal is to keep the content relevant and engaging for the audience and beneficial for search engine rankings.

The method of content refreshment can vary greatly. It could be as simple as adding visual elements, examples, or actionable steps. Alternatively, it could involve more complex changes, like altering the entire perspective of the post.

Not all content requires refreshing. For instance, evergreen tutorials, customer support content, and case studies may not need updates if they're still accurate, useful, and relevant. The key is to assess whether a refresh adds value to the readers and aligns with your business goals.

Why Is a Content Refresh Important?

  • Boosts Organic Traffic: Regularly updating your content can significantly improve your search engine rankings, leading to an increase in organic traffic. This is because search engines like Google favor fresh, relevant content.
  • Prevents Content Decay: Over time, even the best content can become outdated or irrelevant. By refreshing your content, you prevent it from decaying, ensuring it continues to provide value to your readers and remains a strong asset in your content strategy.
  • Aligns with Search Intent: Search intent, or what users are actually looking for when they type a query into a search engine, can change over time. Regularly updating your content ensures it continues to align with current search intent, keeping it relevant and valuable to your audience.
  • Enhances User Experience: Refreshing content isn't just about SEO. It's also about providing the best possible experience for your readers. Updating your content with the latest information, visuals, and resources can significantly enhance user experience.
  • Optimizes Conversion Rates: Refreshing content can also improve conversion rates. By updating your content with more effective calls to action, better keyword optimization, and more relevant information, you can increase the likelihood of readers taking the desired action on your page.

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Practical Example of Content Refresh

Here, we'll delve into real-life instances of how we breathe new life into old content, enhancing its SEO value and making it more engaging for readers. We'll also provide a step-by-step strategy for refreshing content, offering a roadmap for those who are new to the process or seeking to refine their approach.

Content Refreshing: A Step-by-Step Strategy

Content refreshing is an art and a science, and it's all about making the most of what you already have. Here's a step-by-step strategy that we often use:

Step one: Identify content to refresh

The first step is to identify which content to refresh. While there are lots of ways to get started, we opted to begin refreshing content that had recent drops in traffic. To find these articles, we looked in Ahref at our top pages and filtered by “Change” like this:

At the top, we can see that our grammar tips page on “WYM meaning” has recently seen a big dip in traffic. It was clearly time we gave this forgotten page some love—or so we thought. 

Our first step was to try to understand why we’d lost the traffic, which wasn’t as straightforward as you’d think. According to Ahrefs, we helped the top spot, and we hadn’t seen any drops in our position:

A quick look at Google, and it was clear why we’d lost traffic. We were the featured snippet, which meant our readers were able to answer their questions without clicking on our site:

We’d answered the question so well that Google was presenting our answer front and center, and there was no need for a visitor to click on our site. 
As we weren’t ready to give up the top spot and other pages had dropped in rank, we decided to leave this alone for 30 days before making changes. We’ll come back to this in a later blog. 

Another page on our site that’s lost traffic had actually dropped position was a grammar blog about ‘How to spell occurred’. Looking at Ahrefs, we could see this blog had lost 100 in organic traffic and one position in the SERPs. 

It's not the worst drop, but in position 6, there’s definitely room for improvement. 

Step two: Optimize content

Now, we’ve identified the page we want to optimize and have begun the process of fixing it. Taking a look at the live blog, we could see the page was relatively light in content, with less than 400 words, and it had some formatting errors (thanks to a recent website migration).

We quickly identified the need to:

  • Increase content length 
  • Fix formatting errors
  • Improve SEO optimization
  • Add internal links
  • Improve SEO title and meta description

We first need to decide what keyword we are going to target with the page. A quick search found that “occurred vs occured” was a pretty good search term, with 400 traffic potential and only 1 keyword difficulty. 

Armed with the correct keyword, we head over to Strategically AI to create an SEO-optimized article. It’s super easy to do:

Login to Strategically AI. You can start with a free account and upgrade at any time. Click Get Started and then enter your target keyword “occurred vs occured”, as well as the target location. 

Hit Generate Article and let Strategically AI work its magic. The process takes a few minutes as the tool analyzes the top ten pieces of content for the target keyword and then reverse engineering an SEO article designed to meet the search intent. 

Once the article has been generated, hit “edit article” to review the AI content. 

Here, you can see that the article generated has a 71% SEO optimization score—right out of the gate. 

While this is excellent, it’s always important to review the article and check it meets your business goals. It’s also important to continue running through the other tasks we identified earlier. 

We’ve successfully increased the content length and SEO optimization, so the remaining tasks include fixing formatting errors, adding internal links, and improving the SEO title and meta description. Let’s get started. 

Step three: Install your article

We had identified some formatting issues in our original blog. We’ve recently completely updated our website, so a few formatting errors have been creeping through. As we’re installing a brand new blog, this will naturally be fixed as we install the new content. 

When installing, it’s important to review your content to ensure that it meets your brand goals and customer needs. We always recommend checking your AI content for:

  • Add 3+ internal links: Internal links are highly important for SEO optimization. When you install your content, make sure you add links to other pages from your new page and relevant links in to new page from other pages. 
  • Add external links: The AI will reference data and statistics if relevant to your article; however, it won’t add external links (yet!). We always recommend manually adding them to add proof to your argument. 
  • Add call to action to your business: The aim of the article is to increase organic traffic, but also to increase conversions for your business. Whatever your goal, whether it’s sales or leads, it’s important to add personalized CTAs to direct readers from the blog to your product or service pages. 
  • Add images/graphics/videos to the article. Not every blog needs to be image-heavy, but if it’s relevant to your topic, you should add images. Not only do they break up the content so that it’s reader-friendly, but it’s also an opportunity to add SEO-optimized alt tags. 

Step four: Monitor your results 

When you refresh your content, it’s important to keep track of the changes you’ve made and return after a set period of time to monitor the progress of your work. A simple spreadsheet is enough to keep track of the URL, the date the change was made, the original position, and traffic. 

Then, after 30, 60, and 90 days, you can update the traffic and position metrics to see how your changes have performed. You may need to put more work into the page, such as link building or additional cluster pages, but without monitoring the results, you will never know!

By aligning your target keyword with your customer's needs and then generating an article based on the highest-ranking articles, you can easily refresh your content to meet the SERPs' needs and give your site the very best chance of ranking.

But don't just take our word for it. Here is the result from one of our clients:

Want to see more results like that? Check out our case studies and reviews.

Identifying Content for Refresh

Identifying the right content to refresh is a crucial step in your content refresh strategy. It's not about randomly picking pages or website sections and updating the content. Instead, it's about understanding which pieces of content have the potential to perform better with a little tweaking and which ones are best left untouched. This process involves a careful analysis of your old content, recognizing content decay, and using tools like Google Analytics to track performance.

In this section, we'll delve into the specifics of how to prioritize content for a refresh. You'll learn how to discern which pieces are worth your time and resources and which ones might not yield significant results. This strategic approach to content refresh can help you maximize the impact of your efforts and ensure that your updated content resonates with your audience and aligns with current SEO trends.

Which Content Should You Update?

When it comes to content refresh, not all content is created equal. Some pieces may be more deserving of a refresh than others. Here are some types of content you should consider updating:

  • High-Performing Content: This includes posts that have performed well in the past but are now seeing a decline in traffic and rankings. Refreshing such content can help maintain its quality and potentially push it back up in the SERPs.
  • Content Targeting High-Value Buyer Personas: If your market research indicates a shift in your target audience, it might be worth updating content to cater to this new persona. This could lead to higher-value conversions.
  • Evergreen Content: Even content that is considered "evergreen" needs periodic updates to keep it relevant and valuable to readers.
  • Content Affected by Industry Shifts: Major changes in your industry or changes in searcher intent can necessitate a content refresh.

However, it's important to remember that not all content is worth updating. Some posts may have outlived their usefulness and are better left to decay. For example, content that targets low-end customers or content that no longer aligns with your business goals may not be worth the effort to refresh.

How to Assess and Choose the Best Content to Refresh

When it comes to content refresh, not all content is created equal. Some pieces may be performing well and don't need any changes, while others might be underperforming and could benefit from a refresh. The challenge lies in identifying which content falls into which category.

  1. To start, you can use a tool like Google Analytics to track the performance of your content. Look at metrics like page views, bounce rate, and time spent on the page. If a piece of content is getting fewer views or has a high bounce rate, it might be a good candidate for a refresh.
  2. Next, consider the relevance of the content. Is it still accurate and up-to-date? If not, it might be time for an update. For example, a blog post about a software tool might need to be updated if the tool has undergone significant changes since the post was published.
  3. Also, determine the overall value of the content. Does it still align with your company's goals and target audience? If not, it might be more beneficial to let the content decay and focus your efforts on creating new content that better aligns with your current objectives.

The goal of a content refresh is to boost SEO and improve the performance of your content. By carefully assessing and choosing the best content to refresh, you can ensure that your efforts are well spent.

Strategies for Refreshing Content

A successful content refresh strategy doesn't merely involve updating the content; it's about strategically enhancing it to boost traffic and conversion. So, let's explore how you can approach content refresh in a systematic and effective manner.

How to Refresh Your Content

  • Identify Content for Refresh: Start by identifying the content that needs a refresh. Look for pages or posts that have seen a decline in traffic and conversion rates. These are prime candidates for a refresh.
  • Analyze Performance Metrics: Use SEO tools to analyze your content's performance. Look at metrics like organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rates. This will give you a clear picture of where improvements are needed.
  • Research Updated Keywords: Keywords play a crucial role in SEO. Research updated keywords relevant to your content and incorporate them strategically. This is a key part of any content refresh strategy.
  • Update Information: Ensure that all the information in your content is up-to-date. This includes statistics, facts, and any other data that may have changed over time.
  • Improve Content Quality: Work on improving the quality of your content. This could involve adding more depth, improving readability, or making it more engaging.
  • Stay on Top of Industry Changes: If your industry undergoes a major shift or changes in searcher intent, your content needs to reflect these changes.
  • Realign Your Content: As your business evolves, so should your content. If your product UI has changed significantly, update screenshots and visuals across posts. If your messaging has changed, rewrite the copy in existing articles to match and boost conversions.

The goal of refreshing content is not just to update it but to improve its performance. So, approach content refresh with a strategy in mind and make it a regular part of your content management process.

Embracing Content Refresh as a Key SEO Strategy

Updating old pages and outdated articles should be a regular part of your content marketing strategy.

The goal of content refreshing is not just to update the old content but to make it more valuable and relevant for your readers. It's a strategic process that requires careful planning and execution. So, take your time, do your research, and make sure every refresh counts.

It's a simple way to keep your content relevant and engaging, which can improve your bounce rate and conversion rates. Remember, the goal is not just to rank content but to provide value to your readers.

So, don't overlook the power of refreshing content. It's an effective tool for improving your SEO, promoting your content, and, ultimately, growing your business.

Whether you're looking for content for your ecommerce store or a large enterprise, a well-executed content refresh can make a significant impact on your digital marketing success.

Use Strategically AI to plan, build, optimize and refresh your content. Try it for free now. 

Try for free

Plan, write and optimize SEO content

Sign up today for a free trial, and you'll have access to 5000 words and 300 bonus credits—completely free.