How to Rank Your Old, Outdated Content

real time

What percentage of your search traffic is driven by your top 10 pages?

Chances are, it’s a large portion.

Just look at the screenshot below. You’ll see that my top 10 pages drive 28.7% of my search traffic.

top pages current

That may not seem like a high number, but I have 5,441 blog posts. In other words, 0.1% of my pages make up 28.7% of my search traffic.

Typically, with smaller sites, the percentages are much higher in which the top 10 pages make up the majority of their search traffic.

So, what does that tell you?

You should just focus on your top 10 pages and ignore the rest? Or, even worse, just focus on cranking out more new content?

Quality over quantity

I used to have the philosophy of “more is better.” I was cranking out dozens of articles each week. At one point, I was publishing 2 articles a day on this blog.

And, over time, my traffic grew, but not by much.

I was spending all of this time writing and realized that the majority of the content I was publishing never ranked.

So, what did I do?

I started focusing on my old, outdated content to boost my traffic.

Just think of it this way: Every week I publish one new piece of content, but my team, on average, is updating 23 older articles.

When I used to write more frequently, my top 10 pages made up 33% of my search traffic.

top pages

Since then, I have increased my search traffic by 107% and reduced my reliance on my top 10 pages by 13%.

So how did I do this? Well, as I mentioned, I have my team focus on updating my old, outdated content while I focus on creating new content.

Here’s exactly what I have my team implement, step by step.

Look for pages that were once loved

With Google Search Console, you have access to data for a much longer period of time. You can go back up to 16 months.

So, I want you to compare this month’s results during the same period as last year.

You can do this by clicking on “date” and then “compare.” Next, select your older date period first (should be roughly from a year ago) and then select today’s date period.

date range

I’ve been doing this for a while, so I selected an older date range so you can see a better set of data before my team really focused on updating old content.

You should then see a report that looks something like this:

compared

What you’ll want to do is look for articles that used to get a ton of traffic and have less now. From the screenshot above, you can see that my article on Instagram used to perform really well, but no so much anymore.

Keep in mind that I selected the older date range first. I did this to see which of my old pieces of content used to rank well so I can see if any of them have dropped over the last 12 months.

This will show you old content that Google used to love, but no longer does.

Now, let’s find content that Google never loved.

Look for pages Google never loved

Log back into Search Console and look for pages that have a high impression count but never got any real clicks.

The easiest way to find these pages is to set your date range to the last 28 days and look at each page’s metrics from an impression, click, and CTR perspective.

Sort the CTR column in ascending order (lowest percentage at the top, the highest percentage at the bottom).

search ctr

Typically, the pages at the top of that list have the most potential. It means that Google is ranking you but you just aren’t getting too many clicks.

It usually isn’t just related to your title tag and meta description. It typically has to do with the content on the page.

Now it’s time to create a list of pages that have the greatest potential.

It’s time to prioritize

Typically, the pages that have the most potential are the ones that used to rank but no longer rank. Google used to rank and like them, which means if you give those pages a little tender loving care, you can easily get them loved by Google again.

The second group of pages that have potential, but not as much as the first, are the ones with a high impression count but an extremely low CTR.

These pages are harder to fix because they never really performed that well.

How to update your old content

Now that you have a list of pages to fix so you can boost your search engine rankings, I want you to log in to Google Search Console, find that article, click on it, and then click on “queries.”

queries

For the keywords that don’t rank in the top 5 or have a high impression volume, I want you to go to your ranking article and see if the article is relevant for that term.

If not, adjust the article to at least include that term and cover that topic.

For the terms you already rank for in the top 5 spots, head over to Ubersuggest and type in those keywords and click on the keyword ideas report.

customer acquasition

You’ll then see a report with all of the long-tail variations of that keyword.

If you adjust the article and include any of the long-tail phrases Ubersuggest gives you, you’ll see quick traffic gains.

In other words, if you already rank for the head term, it’s not hard to rank for the long-tail variation of it as well.

In addition to including the right keywords, you’ll want to update the post. Make sure all of the information is relevant, the pictures are up to date, and if you could include any multimedia (like embedding relevant YouTube videos) you’ll be able to increase the time on site of your visitors.

Finally, when updating your content, make sure your article is more thorough than all of the other sites that rank for the terms you are trying to rank for.

Remember that keyword ideas report I had you check out on Ubersuggest? On the right-hand side of that report, it shows you all of the sites that rank for that keyword.

keyword rankings

You can quickly see who’s currently ranking in each country, visit their web page, and make sure you create something better.

User metrics

User behavior is one of the biggest factors with Google’s algorithm.

Once you update your old content, you’ll want to optimize for user signals as that’ll help boost rankings.

A great example of user metrics is optimizing your title tags and meta description.

For example, if everyone searched a keyword on Google and clicked on the second result instead of the first, it tells Google that the second result is more relevant and that it should be ranking in the first spot instead of the second.

And Google eventually would make that change.

If you can use persuasive copy and convince people to click on your search listing instead of the competition, eventually your rankings will climb. And you can do so by following these 2 articles:

  1. How to Craft Amazing Headlines
  2. How to Write Copy like Apple

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of title tag and meta description tests and I’ve also found that these keywords help increase clicks:

  • What is
  • Best
  • Amazing
  • [lists]
  • How to
  • Free
  • You
  • Tips
  • Why
  • Tricks
  • Great

You can also use tools like Clickflow to A/B test your meta tags.

Don’t forget to promote (again)

Now that your content is up to date and you’ve optimized your meta tags for clicks, it’s time for you to promote your content.

I know what you are thinking… why would you promote old content, right?

Well, technically it isn’t old anymore.

First of all, you should update the published date or last updated date within your WordPress.

published

That way search engines know your content is changed, more relevant, and up to date.

Secondly, you need to promote the article. It’s new now, so why wouldn’t you share it with the world?

The simplest thing you can do is share it on the social web. I typically share my content on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn… but you can pick whatever social profiles you have.

Although Google doesn’t really look at social signals, Bing does. Plus, some people who visit your page from the social web may decide to link to your article, which does help rankings.

And if you want to go above and beyond, check out Meet Edgar. It’s what I use to continually schedule my old content to be promoted on the social web. That way I don’t have to manually do it or set reminders.

In addition to social shares, you should consider sending out a text-based email blast to your audience promoting your content.

It’s a great way to get a quick boost of traffic and breathe life into your old content.

Here’s an example of a text-based email blast that I send so you can copy my format.

Subject: How to Generate 10K visitors from a Brand New Blog in Under 6 Months

If I tell you to do 100 things to grow your traffic, I know you won’t do it.

Heck, even I wouldn’t. It’s just too much work.

In the spirit of simplicity, just do this and you’ll get to 10,000 visitors.

I’ll even make a deal with you. If you follow it and don’t hit 10,000 visitors and you can show me you followed it, I will help you for free.

That’s how confident I am that it works.

Cheers,

Neil Patel

email stats

As you can see, simple text-based emails are generating 30% open rates and 6% click rates for me. Not too shabby.

You can also use tools like Subscribers to send out a push notification. Every time I update a post I send out a push. Look at my stats… I can easily generate an extra 7,000 visitors from a single push.

push stats

And don’t forget to build links

The last step you want to leverage is link building. You can use Backlinks to see who is linking to competing articles:

backlinks

All you have to do is put in a competing URL and select “URL” from the drop-down menu and you’ll see every site that links to that page.

From there, you’ll want to reach out to each site and ask them to link to you.

The easiest way to do this is to leverage the skyscraper technique and the steps in this article.

Conclusion

Once you hit the 150 mark in the number of pages on your site, you should consider focusing the majority of your time to updating old content instead of creating new content.

If you have over 1,000 pages, you should definitely spend 80-plus percent of your time updating old content instead of writing new content.

The key to ranking your old, outdated content is to first focus on the content that used to rank but doesn’t anymore.

Once you fix those pages, you should see results within a month or two. From there, you can then focus on pages that have a high impression count but a low click count.

So, are you going to focus your time on ranking your old content or creating new content?

The post How to Rank Your Old, Outdated Content appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2

New Study: What 100 Social Media Followers Are Really Worth

social followers

The social web is huge. From Facebook to Pinterest, they all command billions of eyeballs per year.

Which, of course, makes these channels too big to ignore. In other words, you have no choice but to participate in them or else you’ll miss out on traffic and revenue.

But, how much time and money should you devote to each social network?

Which ones produce the best ROI?

How much are 100 social media followers really worth?

To answer these questions and more, I polled 483 companies who are all leveraging Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Each company has been participating in all these social networks for at least 3 years and they have at least 100 social media followers on each platform.

Of the 483 companies, 159 of them were in the B2B space and 324 were B2C companies. And their revenues varied from $10,000 a year to $250,000,000.

Now before we dive into the data, keep in mind all of the stats are broken down based on 100 social followers.

For example, if we looked at traffic, we looked at how many visitors they generate per 100 followers.

And for the purpose of this blog post, we will focus only on organic social media traffic.

So, let’s dive into what we learned:

Social media traffic over time

Compared to when each social network originally came out, it’s become much harder to generate organic traffic from each of them.

You can still generate organic visits, but of course, reach has died down. But how much has it died down?

social over time

As you can see, it has drastically decreased.

In 2015, you could generate a bit more than 3 visitors a month from the social web for every 100 followers you had, and now it’s dropped down to roughly 2 visitors per month.

I know that data isn’t shocking, but think of it this way, that’s a 38.6% drop in organic social media traffic. And based on the chart, there are no signs of recovery.

But what about traffic by social network?

Sure, organic social media traffic might be dying as each network wants you to advertise, but which networks drive the most traffic per 100 followers?

If you had to take a guess, which one do you think it would be?

traffic social media

It’s definitely not a social network owned by Facebook. Both Facebook and Instagram drive the least amount of visitors per 100 followers.

Instagram isn’t much of a shocker, though, as you can only drive traffic through bio links and asking people to swipe up in stories.

But what was surprising is the amount of traffic Pinterest drives. Pinterest was the best performer, followed by LinkedIn and then YouTube.

Here’s the thing to note about YouTube… although it drives a decent amount of visitors per 100 subscribers, most people using YouTube don’t experience much (if any) traffic because they don’t link out to their site within their videos.

You can use YouTube annotations to do this.

Does posting more often mean more social traffic?

The first chart shows that organic social traffic is slowly dying down, but how about if you increase your posting frequency?

That should increase your organic social media traffic, right?

frequency social media

In general, posting more often does lead to more traffic. But after 8 monthly posts on each social network, the data shows you’ll see diminishing returns.

Why you may ask?

The way most social media algorithms work is that the more people engage with your content, the more of them will see your content as you post it.

So, your goal should be to only post content people love and want to engage with. The moment you start posting mediocre content, it hurts your overall traffic numbers because that means fewer people in the future will see your new content no matter how amazing it is.

Speaking of engagement, which social networks tend to have the most engaged users?

Engagement by social network

I was shocked by the engagement stats because I assumed that Pinterest would have won in this battle as they are driving the most traffic per 100 followers to websites.

But I was wrong.

engagement

Pinterest did perform really well, but LinkedIn won.

Instagram also did extremely well, which I wasn’t shocked by as most of the people I know who use it do so as a “personal” social network instead of leveraging it for work.

That’s why the engagement is so high on Instagram.

One thing to note is that posts not containing a link, such as images or videos, tend to get the most engagement.

This is also because social sites tend to promote content that keeps people on their social sites as opposed to driving their visitors off to your site.

Which social networks prefer videos?

If you aren’t producing videos, you should definitely consider starting. Even though videos don’t rank well on Google, they are the future.

It’s why I create more video content each week than text-based content.

With video, there are 2 main types of videos… one that you just upload and ones that are live.

Let’s see how the different video types stack up against each other.

videos

When you look at the chart above, it’s easy to say that Instagram produces the best results for videos. Then come LinkedIn and YouTube.

But there is something that you have to keep in mind… Instagram auto-plays videos while YouTube is much pickier about what they count as a “video view.”

None-the-less, if you’re going to create video content, you should post it on all of the social networks out there, but I would first focus the majority of your efforts on Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

YouTube won’t provide amazing numbers in the first 24 hours of uploading a video, but through YouTube SEO, you can continually get views while you won’t see that happen on any of the other social networks.

For live videos, the results are similar in which Instagram and YouTube lead the pack.

live videos

But what is interesting is that live videos don’t generate as many viewers as just posting and scheduling them.

When we dug into why the main reason wasn’t that social sites don’t want live content, it’s that with non-live videos, businesses spend more time leveraging keyword research and optimizing their videos for the maximum amount of views.

While on the flip side it is a bit harder to do that with live videos.

If you want to get the most views from your videos, use tools like Ubersuggest to see what keywords are popular.

Putting keywords in your title and descriptions isn’t enough, though. Social media sites are able to decipher the sound to see what your video is really about.

Now let’s get into the best part… conversions and sales.

The money is in the list

Have you heard the saying, the money is in the list?

If you aren’t collecting emails, you should start right away. Because once you have an email list, you can always market to people on your list and convince them to buy your products or services.

emails

LinkedIn has the best conversion rates from a visitor to an email subscriber. Pinterest and YouTube also perform really well.

You may think that most of the people on LinkedIn only care about B2B but that is wrong. Remember everyone on LinkedIn is also a consumer. They buy everyday products just like you and me.

What was interesting with the email collection numbers is that the majority of your social media followers won’t ever convert into email subscribers. But as you share and post content on the social web, the followers of your followers may also see your content, which then increases the likelihood of getting more traffic and email subscribers.

What about revenue?

Whether you love or hate social sites, they do drive revenue. And no you don’t have to spend money on ads to generate revenue.

Ads do help, of course, but here is the percentage of revenue that each business generated from organic social media traffic.

revenue

It’s been declining over the years, but the numbers are starting to flatten out.

The decline isn’t just related to social media algorithms becoming tougher, though. It’s that businesses are also diversifying their marketing approach. They are taking an omnichannel approach which means they leverage more channels. Because of that, each one also makes up a smaller portion of their revenue.

Conclusion

Social media is still strong and kicking. You may only be able to generate 2 visitors a month for every 100 followers you have, but that scales as you grow your social following on every network.

Plus, the brand effect you can get by doing things like uploading videos will also help significantly.

Now before we wrap things up, I thought it would be interesting to see what percentage of social media traffic is generated from organic efforts versus paid:

paid versus organic

There is a huge trend of companies spending more and more money on social media, which aligns with the stock price and financials of companies like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

None-the-less, don’t be discouraged by your social media traffic dwindling down.

If you get a bit creative and follow this, you can spike your numbers.

So, what are your social followers worth to you?

The post New Study: What 100 Social Media Followers Are Really Worth appeared first on Neil Patel.


Source: New feed 2