Improve SEO: Rank Your Old Pages with Fresh Content & Links
by Al Gomez
We all know that links are – and always will be – the lifeblood of SEO. Yes, we now create more in-depth, better content; but we still build links to make sure our client websites rank. It’s one of the core elements that make SEO what it is, along with the right social media marketing strategies. But what about old pages? Have you seen their statistics so far? Are they still ranking? Even SEO experts sometimes forget the power old pages can bring. But nothing is ever too late. If your numbers aren’t going well these days, shed some light and make them shine again.
The secret? Your content and links.
Why Fresh Matters
What do Twitter, Fox News, and vegetables have in common? They’re all better when fresh. That means they thrive on brand new content, links, and sources. It’s the same for making websites rank. According to Google’s ‘Document Scoring Based on Document Content Update’ (filed for in 2003), their algorithm will place more importance on fresh updates for web ranking]. How they determine that, only the search engine giant knows for sure (we as experts can only make intelligent hypotheses). This means one thing though: if you frequently make updates on your page, you’re bound to gain an advantage than those who didn’t.
But in general, what is considered ‘fresh’? Basically, these could be news, recent happenings, trending topics, and seasonal events. Google’s update is NOT absolute. Please keep in mind that it’s just a guide. We like to think that it was simply a reminder for all web owners not to ignore their sites and to keep providing constant new info for users. In the long run, this is really what we should all aim for, anyway. Rank for users – not search engines.
What To Update
So what are ‘old pages’? These are web pages that used to rank well– but have dropped. It could be blog posts or service pages. Pull up Google Analytics to make a compilation of pages you want to rank again (so the website can benefit from it too). Once you have a list, there are two SEO factors to focus on:
- Internal and External Links
If there’s one thing that’s permanent on the Web, it’s change. Did anything interesting happen in your company in the last few months? Was there a small event? Did anybody join your team recently? Feature that, along with any new products and/or services you might be offering. Don’t forget to check your contact info; especially if you changed offices.
What You Can Add:
- New blog entries
- Tips and tricks
- Forum page
- New products and services
- Photo/video gallery
- Free downloads (ebooks, epapers, etc.)
Updating means you care for your customers to always be in the loop. So let them know what you guys have been up to! What about content that used to be popular? You can either a) re-write it to update data within the page; OR b) work on something related to the previous popular post and link back to it.
Another factor most folks ignore when making content are keywords. No, you shouldn’t stuff them into a post like it was 2008 all over again. Instead, use long-tail relevant keywords that ADD VALUE to what you want to express. For example: instead of just repeating ‘seo expert’ all over your blog post, why not use other alternatives that have the same meaning such as ‘seo specialist’, ‘local seo consultant for your website’, and ‘a true seo expert’. Use Google’s predictive text function to help you in this aspect.
Internal and External Links
Internal links point to pages within your website. Did you know that linking within relevant pages increases page authority? For example: we have linked some of our blog posts to appropriate service pages (a local SEO blog post to the Local SEO service page – woohoo!). It tells search engines that those two are connected and thereby, increases their online credibility. You can also link them to the homepage or contact page of your site.
These are links pointing to other websites. Check them regularly to avoid wrong redirects or 404s. If there are any errors, you may either a) replace them with better links from authoritative websites; OR b) link them back to one of your own. But be warned NOT to link them to a page that has dropped in ranking. The goal is to push for higher numbers – not the other way around!
You may also want to be wary of building too many links too quickly. Google’s algorithm is smart: if it detects unnatural linkbuilding at a fast pace, it may drop your rankings even more. Instead of simply building links, why not try ‘earning’ them? Get other sites to link back to you by offering insightful, practical content they can share! See suggested content above.
Don’t Forget Social Media and Web Design
Inasmuch as links and content are crucial, they’re still not enough to make old ages rank again. Remember: this is 2015 SEO – and the rules have evolved. So spread your wings beyond links by improving your social shares and web design, too! Once you update your page, be sure to let people know. Share them on your favorite social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Email your subscribers! Online tools like MailChimp make customizing emails a breeze, so feel free to check it out.
Meanwhile, check that your website is optimized for mobile devices for optimum user experience. Almost everyone uses their smarphones or tablets for searching the Web these days – so don’t get left behind. Google’s online mobile-friendly test can give you a quick overview in a few minutes (see our guide for mobile-friendliness too, for more information). Verify load speeds and compatibility with major mobile devices. This is important not just to give users a seamless experience; but also because search engines like Google have included mobile-friendliness as one of its ranking factors.
While freshness is key to staying on top, it’s always a good strategy to update stale content. What matters is that we’re always changing, evolving, learning. Be like the ever dynamic Web. Push your rankings to the top by checking on your old pages. For professional assistance, ask your SEO services today on how you can make them rank again.
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