May 29, 2024

How Do I Refresh Old Content For SEO?

Writing and producing completely new content takes a lot of time, and quite frankly, many website owners should be focusing their efforts elsewhere. So many business and website owners are sitting on a goldmine in the form of blogs and pages written years ago but have not been touched since – what a waste of your previous self’s time! So, does refreshing old content help with your SEO?

Short answer, yes! It’s no secret that Google favours fresh content because it usually provides more value to users. By updating on-page information, optimising keyword placement, and improving readability, you make your content more relevant and valuable, which can lead to increased organic traffic and better website engagement.

Read on to learn how to choose which old blogs have SEO potential, and receive a step-by-step guide on how to bring your content back to life.

Jump to:

Does Updating Content Help SEO? 

Yes, updating content does help with SEO. When you update a blog, or service page, it demonstrates to Google that you are making an active effort to maintain and improve your site. Google sees this as a green flag for your website and often rewards it with higher rankings and more organic traffic.

Plus, it is generally much easier to get an old piece of content to rank with a few simple updates, rather than getting a new URL to rank from scratch – this yields better results in a shorter space of time.

How To Identify Content To Refresh

Don’t just pick any old page to refresh, it could do more harm than good if you pick one that is performing really well already. Instead, invest your efforts into pages that have significantly dropped in clicks. There are a few ways to identify content that needs refreshing, which we deep dive into below:

Google Analytics

Start by logging into Google Analytics, and selecting your website property. In the left-hand sidebar, click on ‘Reports’, and then ‘Engagement’. Underneath ‘Engagement’, click on ‘Landing Pages’.

At the top right corner of the screen, set the date range to compare the current period with the previous period. We’d recommend looking at data from the past 6 to 12 months, or even longer.

The table will show a list of pages with metrics such as Sessions, Users, and Engagement Time. Toggle the table so that it shows the URLs with the biggest drop in Users at the top. Make a note of the URLs with a significant decline in performance.

With Google Analytics, you’ll also be able to see which content has dropped the most based on channel. But, in this article, we’re primarily going to focus on optimising content for SEO.

Google Search Console

If you aren’t super familiar with Google Analytics, you may find it easier to find URLs that have dropped in performance via Google Search Console – it’s a bit more user-friendly in our opinion!

On the left-hand side of your GSC dashboard, navigate to the ‘Performance’ section. At the top of the screen, click ‘Date’ and then ‘Compare’. Choose your chosen time period. In our opinion, 6 to 12 months is best, as this mitigates the risk of any seasonal trends skewing the data. Scroll down and click ‘Pages’. 

From here, you can see which pages have dropped in organic performance. If you think they have the potential to be updated, add them to your list to optimise. If you click on the URL, you can also navigate to the ‘Queries’ tab, where you can see which keywords in particular have dropped. Make a note of these, too. 

Manual Content Audit

Data from Google Analytics or Google Search Console should form part of a wider content audit. After all, nobody knows your content like you do! We’d recommend manually looking through old blogs or landing pages (export the URLs using a tool like Screaming Frog), and manually flag any pages that you know contain outdated stats and statistics, or pages that your audience may consider to be old news. 

How To Refresh Old Content For SEO

Content naturally decays over time as it becomes less relevant or outdated, so it is important to schedule in time for regular maintenance of older pages. Consider a ‘content cocktail’ strategy – for every three new blogs/pages you write, update at least one old one. Here’s how to get started:

Refresh the Written Content

Some blogs won’t necessarily need much work done to them, but may just require a few new links, updated stats, and a better call to action. Some pages, however, may need a full rewrite and restructure. Use your judgement here, but as a guide, here are some areas to consider when refreshing your old content:

To learn more about writing content that Google loves, read this helpful blog: How Do You Write E-E-A-T Content? 

Update Visual Elements

Even the most well-written content won’t get read by users if the page looks dull. Invest time into updating images on your blog or landing page, creating relevant infographics, or even video content to help convey your message. Ensure your content is visually on-brand and well-formatted. 

Break up large blocks of text with images, use optimised headings and subheadings, and ensure the content is easy to scan by users.  

Make it Better Than Your Competitor’s Page

There is no point in updating a page if it isn’t as good as what’s already on the web. Take a look at the keyword you have chosen for the page you’re updating. Pop it into Google and see which pages come up first. How many FAQs do they have? Are any interesting stats or case studies used? Are there any engaging videos used on the page?

Ensure you match, if not exceed, the on-page quality of the content that ranks first for your chosen keyword. Much like the SEO Skyscraper Technique, you must also be able to add more value to the user than what already exists on the web if you want a page to rank well. This includes adding new ‘golden nuggets’ of information from your own opinion and expertise in the area.

Update the MetaData

Revise meta titles and descriptions to reflect the updated content. Invest time in writing an engaging title tag and meta description, encouraging users to click on your new and improved page. Where you can, add your target query to the title tag, as this can improve rankings for that specific keyword.

Understand how metadata can impact your site’s rankings in one of our helpful blogs: What Is Metadata In Layman’s Terms?

Improve Internal Linking

A great way to encourage Google Bots to crawl your new and improved page is to improve the number of internal links. Using the ‘site:’ search function, look for pages that mention your target query. Where it makes sense, add an internal link to the recently updated page. You should also add a call to action encouraging people to click through to learn more. 

When used strategically, internal links can also pass authority (sometimes called ‘link juice’), further boosting SEO rankings.

Request Indexing

Whilst it is likely that Google will eventually pick up the changes over the next few weeks or months, you can speed it along by ‘Requesting Indexing’ via Google Search Console. This pushes the page to the top of the Google Bot’s priority list and may help you see results just that little bit faster. Learn more about how Google reads your site in our recent blog: How Often Does Google Crawl My Site?

Whilst you’re in Google Search Console, do a quick review of your sitemap. Ensure the optimised URL is listed and not blocked by your robots.txt file.

Rinse & Repeat!

Refreshing old content for SEO isn’t a one-and-done task. Once you’ve made your changes, keep an eye on the results. Even if the new page performs really well, make it a regular task to review and update the page at least once annually. The same applies to every page across your website! 

Get in Touch With Our Content Experts

If you feel like your content strategy has gone stale, get in touch with our content experts. With experience in B2B and B2C campaigns and a proven track record across a variety of industries, you can trust us to create a winning content strategy tailored to your business goals. 
Get in touch today to arrange a free consultation and see how we can help you punch above your weight online.

Post by

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Will Hitchmough

Founder

Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

Senior SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

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