It is no secret that “content is king” when discussing best practices for internet marketing strategies. Content is at the core of what search engines look at when indexing and ranking websites; good content is a recipe for success, while thin content can spell disaster for search rankings. It is important to understand that even quality content does not always perform to expectations, and as search algorithms evolve, good content may no longer produce the desired results. Luckily, even the best content can be improved in a process called re-optimization. The following is a guide to understanding the re-optimization process, including tools and strategies SEO professionals can use to inject new life into web content.
Every day, millions of pieces of content are added to the web, including blog posts, webpages, and journal entries. The vast majority of these new content pieces may get little or no traffic at all, according to a study published on Search Engine Journal. Still others may perform for a period of time, then begin to fall off in terms of visitor traffic, with a corresponding dip in search rankings. Time frames are also a consideration, with many website owners expecting immediate results from their content. The reality is that content may take time to produce the desired results; it is estimated that the majority of web content takes on average 3-4 months to stimulate organic traffic.
Why, then, should SEO teams investigate re-optimization for content? There are several reasons, including:
- Giving companies the ability to refresh content with new or more detailed information.
- Adding new life to organic traffic levels – especially those pages that are experiencing a decline in traffic.
- Improving search visibility.
- Adding new keywords and key phrases to help search engines index the site and its content.
- Improving the authority of backlinks through improved search rankings for individual content pieces.
- Adapting web content to the ever-evolving search algorithm.
Identifying Content to Re-Optimize
To evaluate the performance of internet marketing strategies, content marketing professionals carefully analyze data, including keywords, search volume, and other performance metrics. This data analysis can point to weak content – content that is ripe for re-optimization.
The first step in re-optimization is to identify keywords that are underperforming; in this case, those that are just outside the coveted top five position in search results. The key here is to find keywords that are competitive and that have a reachable “threshold” – in other words, keywords that can attain favorable rankings with a few tweaks. Most SEO tools have a feature where marketers can find all the keywords being ranked for and filter it to include only those that are just below the top five in search position.
Next, once targeted keywords are identified, one must analyze search volume for each of those words. Re-optimizing pages with keywords that have little chance of improving performance in terms of search volume is not cost-efficient; rather, SEO professionals should concentrate on those that can get a boost in traffic with a bit of content refreshing.
Finally, it can be a good idea to focus on blog posts for re-optimization rather than web landing pages. Blogs tend to outperform landing pages in search volume and overall traffic. SEO professionals should attempt to re-optimize both, if possible, but concentrating on underperforming blogs can achieve faster results.
Fast and Easy Tip for Re-Optimization
Once keywords and content pieces that are not performing to desired outcomes are identified, what can SEO professionals do to improve their impact? Here, there are many “behind the scenes” tactics in terms of adding metadata, building links, and other hidden tricks, but the easiest way to improve performance is to bolster the content itself. This can mean a simple rewrite of existing content, or can require dramatic overhauls, adding scope and breadth to thin content. The advantages of this method include:
- Providing site visitors with the detailed information they need to make informed purchasing decisions.
- Answering the question(s) a given site visitor may have about the company and its products or services.
- Making the process of adding long-tail keywords and related key phrases easier and more organic than starting new content from scratch.
- Improving visitor engagement. Refreshed or revised content that is accurate, detailed, and relevant to site visitors has a far higher chance of being shared with others, and that greatly boosts both traffic and engagement.
Content re-optimization is a crucial component of internet marketing strategies. As with any online marketing practice, what worked in the past may no longer produce the desired results now or in the future. Re-optimization gives SEO teams the ability to find what works and to present it to site visitors, boosting traffic and search ranking in the process.
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