Website Content Upgrades For Google And For Your Prospects
When it comes to the content that you publish on your website, whether it’s in the form of blog posts or the content that fills out your webpages (from your Homepage to your About Us page), your aim should be the same — to optimize the content published for the intent of your target audience’s search queries. If done successfully, your pages will likely rank much higher on Google’s SERP (search engine results pages) and you’ll have a better chance of attracting your target audience.
You might even consider upgrading your website’s existing content. Better site-wide content can go a long way towards increasing your exposure on Google’s search engine.
Understanding How Google Ranks Website Content
Google’s algorithm takes into account a wide variety of factors to identify content that’s not only relevant to search queries, but that’s helpful, informative, well written, and authoritative. It’s one of the reasons you’ll find that longer-form content (content that’s 1,500 words or longer) tends to rank higher on average. Longer content can dive deeper into a subject matter, which often makes it more informative and relevant to Google’s users.
Google also pays attention to social signals. If your content is earning inbound links from reputable sources, generating a lot of traffic, is being shared on social media, and is generating more engagement, Google will reward you by improving your ranking, increasing exposure and traffic to your site even more. It’s almost cyclical the way it works.
With all of that in mind, make sure that the content that lives on your website matches what Google believes to be high-quality content. Consider website content upgrades as a way to improve your search rankings.
Reasons To Upgrade Website Content
Unless you’ve only recently launched your company website, there’s a chance that your website has been around for a while and that some of the content you’ve posted on it can be considered on the older side. Older content can, however, still be very useful, whether it’s helping to educate new visitors, nurture new leads, or attract new traffic.
Of course, this all depends on the content’s overall quality and relevance. Content that is outdated may not have the impact that you would like, especially if it’s ranked low on Google’s SERP. Fortunately, older content can be upgraded, meaning that it can be tweaked, optimized, expanded, or even completely rewritten. Upgrading your web content might take a lot of work, but doing so can help ensure that it will not only remain relevant to your target audience, but also to your inbound marketing efforts in general.
Here are a few more detailed reasons why it’s worth the time and effort to routinely upgrade your website content.
Information on your website that’s out-of-date will be misleading to your prospects. For example, if any part of your NAP (name, address, phone number) is outdated, it could hinder the ability of potential prospects to contact you, and conflicting information can also hurt your rankings. Update your product and services page regularly as well, especially when you add new products and/or services or discontinue older ones. Finally, some of your content may have been created using outdated information about your company or industry that should be revised.
If your company has rebranded itself, you will likely need to do a major website upgrade. Besides replacing outdated information, you may need to change the tone of your content as well. Some content may be completely obsolete if your company has made a significant change in focus, which means replacing content that’s no longer relevant to your company and the audience you’re trying to target. Make sure your content is consistent in tone and branding throughout your website or it could hurt your brand identity.
To put it bluntly, some of your old content may not be good. If you do have lower-quality content living on your website, go back and improve it or it could hurt your brand authority. As for how to improve lower-quality content, this depends on why you don’t consider it good. Factors like spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, poor sentence structure, disorganized subject matter, and the quality of the writing can all impact the overall quality of the content itself.
Older content may not rank well because of a lack of activity and freshness. You can improve the rankings of older content by upgrading it. This could involve removing broken links, using more relevant keywords, expanding the content, and/or updating any information used in the content that’s out of date or no longer factual. Updating old content can boost rankings enough to help bring in more traffic.
4 Ways To Upgrade Your Website’s Existing Content
Go through your webpages to identify where you might be able to expand existing content. For example, if you’ve been working on a customer testimonial section, consider adding a couple of your testimonials to your homepage. If you have an FAQ section, you might expand the questions and answers that are listed based on recent interactions with both customers and prospects.
Adding pages to your website is a great way to provide more information to visitors and to give them a reason to keep exploring your website in general. You might have the content needed for additional pages that you didn’t have when you first built your website. For example, if you’ve been creating a lot of resources to use as lead magnets, such as eBooks and whitepapers, then you could create a webpage dedicated to housing all of your resources.
If you’ve added new webpages to your website and you’ve been posting new content to your blog on a regular basis, then you have a whole new batch of resources that you can link to on other pages. For example, if you’ve just set up a new testimonial page, you could add a few snippets from some of your testimonials to your homepage along with a link to your testimonial page.
The information posted on your website can become outdated quite quickly. For example, if you’ve moved to a larger location, then you will need to change the address you’ve listed on your contact page (and every other page on which your address is posted). If you’ve added a location, provide the relevant information about this location throughout your website as well. If you have biographies of your upper-level management on your About Us page and there have been recent personnel changes, then this will also need to be updated.
8 Ways To Upgrade Your Blog Content
Adding external links to your blog posts is considered a good SEO practice. However, the older your posts are, the more likely it is that some of those links no longer work. Regularly monitor your links to make sure that they are working. Broken links hurt your user experience and need to be replaced. You may also want to consider adding new links to old blog posts as well to add value.
Older blog posts that depend on hard data to make their case could be out of date. This could simply be because the facts themselves are outdated. For example, maybe you used a study done in 2013 when writing a post that you published in 2014. If the same study was done five years later in order to update the results, then you may want to update that blog post accordingly. In other cases, some of your blog posts may have used information that is no longer factual. This is information that you will need to update.
Look through your old content for opportunities to repurpose it into a new type of content. Variety is important when it comes to your blog — if there’s an opportunity to repurpose a written blog post into more visual content (and the subject remains relevant), then you should take it.
If your company has rebranded, then you may need to remove old blog content that is no longer relevant. Even if you haven’t rebranded, you should look for content that might have been time-sensitive and that is no longer relevant. You may want to remove that content since there’s no way for it to be effective again.
Older content should always be checked for errors. This includes spelling and grammar errors, links that lead to the wrong source, factual errors, and more.
Many marketers used to implement black hat SEO practices without realizing what they were doing because it worked. For example, keyword stuffing, which is the practice of using the same keyword over and over in a single piece of content in order to fool Google into ranking your page higher. Google can now detect such practices and will penalize you harshly for engaging in them.
You may not have been as familiar with SEO and the best practices for ranking on Google when you first began publishing content to your blog. You can optimize older content for SEO by doing the following:
Improve Content Structure
Splitting your text into sections using H2s and H3s makes it easier for visitors to lead and for Google to identify what your content is about.
Optimize Keyword Use
If you weren’t actively using keywords or the keywords you were using were too broad or not relevant to the copy, then they should be changed.
Every blog post you write should have an image that’s relevant to the subject. Images improve the reader’s experience and add to the post’s appeal.
The Challenge Of Upgrading Content
Although upgrading your website content can have a huge impact on your page rankings as well as your website experience, be aware of how time-consuming the process can be. Creating new content takes long enough as it is, and finding old content that needs to be updated takes even more time. Since Google is always tinkering with their algorithm, it can be challenging just trying to keep up with those changes — especially since Google doesn’t reveal what it’s exact ranking factors are.
Updating Content Is An Important Part Of An Effective Content Marketing Strategy
As important as creating new content is for your content marketing strategy, older content still has a role to play. Upgrade your website content regularly to ensure that it continues to provide visitors with valuable information and that it continues to perform well (or even better) on Google’s search engine results pages.