A few months ago, I was looking at a trend for Niche Pursuits, and I wasn't happy.Organic search traffic was decreasing in the last months of the year and worried me a bit.
As a result, I decided to do some research to understand what was going on.How could I reverse the negative trend?How can I get more traffic from Google?
I could definitely pump up more great content and start classifying this new content.But it hurt me to see the content I had written years ago that didn't rank as well on Google.
So, I decided it was time to go back and update some of my old content and republish it.After doing some research, I found that other bloggers and websites saw some pretty significant results from updating old content.
So, in early January, I went on a mission to start updating some of my content on NichePursuits.com that wasn't working the way it used to.
The results amazed me.Not only by how much of my traffic has increased, but also by how much it has increased.I didn't have to wait weeks or months, it was almost immediate!
February 2019 update: Want an update on an article about updating content?So I thought!:).It's been about a year since I conducted this initial experiment and I've seen great results in the first 30 days.However, have my articles continued to work fine in Google after the updates I made?Or did they just get a little boost of "freshness" and then quickly get back to where they were before?
Overall, most of the following examples continued to stay or even increase in traffic even a full year later!However, a couple of articles I updated saw an initial push and then faded.Below you can see my results and fully updated screenshots.
Want to see the steps I've taken to get an almost immediate increase in organic traffic from Google?Read below.
CONTENTS[ -ERR:REF-NOT-FOUND-NASCONDI ]
- 1 THE RESULTS
- 2 HOW TO UPDATE THE CONTENT OF THE WEBSITE
- 3 5 REASONS WHY CONTENT UPDATE WORKS
- 4 IT'S TIME TO IMPLEMENT IT YOURSELF
In total, I updated 7 articles in January 2018. To show the results I quickly achieved, I'm sharing a screenshot of the 30 days before updating content and 30 days after updating content.
Update February 2019: I have kept the original screenshots that you can see.But I also added 2 additional screenshots showing what happened 1 year after I made the updates.The first new screenshot compares the increase in traffic AFTER the initial update to today.The second screenshot compares traffic from BEFORE the update to today.
In other words, the first new screenshot answers the question, did organic traffic continue to increase after the first 30 days?And the second screenshot answers the question: "how much has organic traffic increased from before the update to today (1 year after the update)?"
These screenshots show ONLY organic traffic from Google.
Updated Article: How to Use and Effectively Add Amazon Affiliate Links to Your WordPress Website
- Updated: January 5
- Start Word Count: 1042
- Final word count: 2275
- Increase in organic traffic after the first 30 days: 120.81%
- Organic traffic 1 year after update: decrease of 51.25%.In other words, traffic initially increased by 120.81% in the first 30 days, but in the following year it decreased by 51.25% from that highest level.
- Organic traffic compared to before upgrade to 1 year after upgrade: decrease of 21.34%.In other words, traffic is now 21.34% lower than before I even updated the article.Ouch!This is probably due to increased competition on Google and those sites that respond best to the search query.
1 year after upgrade Before upgrade vs. 1 year afterArticle Updated: How to Publish a Book on Amazon: 23 Steps to Launching a Kindle Book That Costs Over $100 Per Day
- Updated: 10 January
- Start Word Count: 7452
- Final Word Count: 7678
- Increase in organic traffic after the first 30 days: 712.20%
- Organic traffic 1 year after update: 112.31% increase.In other words, traffic increased by 712.2% in the first 30 days after the update.But traffic increased from that higher level by another 112.31% in the following year.Wow!
- Organic traffic compared to before 1-year upgrade after upgrade: 1,667.07% increase.In other words, compared to before the update to today (1 year after the update), traffic to this page has increased by a whopping 1,667%.The site received only 2 or 3 visitors a day from Google before and until now about 50 visitors a day from Google.
1 year after upgrade Before upgrade vs. 1 year afterArticle Updated: How I Went from 0 to $4,399 in Sales with an Amazon FBA Company in Just 30 Days
- Date updated: 15 January
- Start Word Count: 2734
- Final Word Count: 5199
- Increase in organic traffic after the first 30 days: 156.07%
- Organic traffic 1 year after update: 42.24% increase.In other words, traffic increased by 156% in the first 30 days, then continued to increase by 42% from that upper level.
- Organic traffic compared to before upgrade to 1 year after upgrade: 121.28% increase.In other words, traffic has increased by a total of 121% from before the update to today (a year later).
1 year after upgrade Before upgrade vs. 1 year afterUpdated article: How to Make Money on Amazon – Step-by-Step Guide to Top 6 Ways
- Date updated: 16 January
- Start Word Count: 2355
- End Word Count: 4276
- Increase in organic traffic in the first 30 days: 33.76%
- Organic traffic 1 year after the update: decrease of 46.75%.In other words, traffic decreased by more than 46% per year after the first 30 days.
- Organic traffic compared to before upgrade 1 year after upgrade: 40.88% decrease.In other words, traffic has decreased by a total of 41% since before the article was updated until now.Boo!
1 year after upgrade Before upgrade vs. 1 year afterUpdated article: 53 ways to make money from your website
- Date updated: 23 January
- Start Word Count: 1522
- End Word Count: 3458
- Increase in organic traffic in the first 30 days: 87.82%
- Organic traffic 1 year after update: 34.83% increase.In other words, traffic increased by 34.83% after the initial increase of 87.82%.
- Organic traffic compared to before upgrade to 1 year after upgrade: 95.66% increase.In other words, traffic has increased by 96% compared to before the updates were made.
1 year after upgrade Before upgrade vs. 1 year afterArticle updated: 22 examples of successful niche websites
- Date updated: 26 January
- Start Word Count: 1432
- Final Word Count: 7938
- Increase in organic traffic: 225.86%
- Organic traffic 1 year after update: 133.4% increase.In other words, traffic initially increased by 225% after the first 30 days after the update, but continued to increase by another 133% from that upper level.
- Organic traffic compared to before upgrade to 1 year after upgrade: 365.87% increase.In other words, the total increase in traffic is 365% in 1 year after the upgrade.
1 year after upgrade Before upgrade vs. 1 year afterUpdated article: How to apply for Google Adsense and actually get approved
- Date updated: 1 February
- Start Word Count: 1158
- End Word Count: 2245
- Increase in organic traffic after the first 30 days: 74.09%
- Organic traffic 1 year after update: 83.78% increase.In other words, traffic increased by 74% in the first 30 days after the update, but increased by another 84% after those first 30 days.
- Organic traffic compared to before upgrade to 1 year after upgrade: 113.04% increase.In other words, traffic increased by 113% in total in the year following the update.
1 year after upgrade Before upgrade vs. 1 year afterAs you can see, every single post I tried this process on increased Google traffic.
Some went up just a little, but others increased enormously.The self-published article increased by more than 712% in the first 30 days!
The best part is that you can see that the increase in traffic from Google was almost instantaneous for some of these articles.The day after the updated content was published, traffic increased.
Ready to see what my process was for updating my website content?Read more…
HOW TO UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE CONTENT
My process of updating old content is somehow involved.However, as you can see, the results are worth it.
IDENTIFY THE CONTENT TO BE UPDATED
First, I had to identify which blog posts to update.I used 3 methods to figure out which of my hundreds of blog posts I should go back and start upgrading.Google Analytics has been very helpful in making some of these decisions.
- Find the articles that already get the most traffic on Google. This may sound intuitive, but if you already have an article that works well on Google, you know Google likes it.If you can expand your content and target additional keywords in your content, you may experience higher ranking for your primary and secondary keywords.
- Find articles at the bottom of the first page of Google or the second page of Google. A small update to your content to make it a little more in-depth might be all that's needed to boost your ranking from 10 to 5 (or higher) or somewhere on the second page to the first page.
- Find well-written content that isn't targeted to keywords as it should be. I hate to admit that this has happened to me a few times.I just start writing something and the content isn't always keyword-focused… although it is a great content!A good example of this was my article on Amazon affiliate links before I updated it.It was still a great tutorial on using Amazon affiliate links; However, keyword targeting needed to be improved.After my updates, I more than doubled traffic from Google to that article (as you can see above), focusing on specific keywords a little better.
DOCUMENT YOUR STARTING LOCATION
It's hard to measure the impact of changes if you don't document content performance before you begin.
I created a simple Google spreadsheet to document things like initial rank in Google, organic pageviews from the last 30 days, current word count, and more.
In fact, here's exactly what I had on my spreadsheet (so you can make your own if you want):
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- Article URL
- Target keyword
- Keyword search volume
- Start organic pageviews
- Initial rank
- Muse begins (more on Market Muse later)
- Muse media
- Target Muse
- End Muse
- Updated date
- Start word count
- Finish word count
- N. of internal links added
These were my column headings and so I compiled the data for each article in a different row.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR BLOG CONTENT
Now that you've documented your starting position, it's time to actually improve your content.
Over the past few months, I've started using a tool called Market Muse that gives your content a quality score and shows you how to improve it.
The process is pretty simple when using Market Muse.Enter the URL of your existing content and your target keyphrase, then Market Muse inserts the content and gives you a content score based on their AI backend.
However, what's really great is that Market Muse goes a step further and shows you how your content compares to Google's top 20 results and gives you additional keywords that you should include in your content to improve its value.
For example, I just published my article "How to build a niche website" via Market Muse.(They're already in first place at Google for "niche websites.")
Here's what Market Muse shows me:
Shows word count, content score, and performance score.I won't get into a full tutorial, but it's proving that my content is already much better than the competition (because I rank at the top of Google).
However, if I was looking to improve my content, it shows me what topics I should probably add.
As you can see, there are several keywords I'm not mentioning that I probably should.This would help me improve my content score and possibly improve my ranking in Google for related queries.
If you don't have a tool like Market Muse, that's fine!You can still try to find LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) on your own using intuition or a couple of free tools.
FIND YOUR RELATED KEYWORDS
You can use Google Keyword Planner for free to help you generate some additional keyword ideas.
However, you can also "related searches" from Google to determine what you should probably mention in your content.These are located at the bottom of the first page of Google.For example, here are related search queries for "niche website":
You can also use tools like UberSuggest and AnswerThePublic for free to get more keyword suggestions.
I would be submissive if I did not mention Long Tail Pro .Honestly, Long Tail Pro is how I still do my keyword research and I've found it very helpful in the content update process to make sure I target low-competition keywords.
Just because your content is longer doesn't mean higher ranking is guaranteed.However, there is a strong correlation between content length and ranking in Google.
Numerous studies have shown that longer articles tend to rank higher in search engines.The first page tends to average almost 1900 words according to Backlinko.
Personally I try to turn for WAY longer articles than that.However, the type of content I write for Niche Pursuits tends to be in a very competitive market.For my affiliate sites, I still like to search for content of at least 2000 words and often over 3,000 words.
You can use a free tool, such as WordCounter.net to check the word count of any URL.So, if you want to manually check the competition for free, this is an option.
HOW I BUILT A NICHE SITE THAT EARNS $2,985 PER MONTH
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However, don't just add fluff!The idea is to REALLY improve your content by adding more depth to the topic.Think about ways you can include examples or come to the topic from an angle you may not have included the first time.
IMPROVE TIME ON PAGE
In addition to making sure you're targeting the right keywords and improving the depth and word count of your content, you should also think about how to retain your visitors.
Many people believe that the more visitors spend on your page, the higher your ranking on Google will be.This is closely related to bounce rate, which can be a better indicator of the ranking.The fewer people who need to return to Google after visiting your site, the more Google will appreciate your site.
So, here are some quick tips to consider when updating content, which can improve the amount of time visitors spend reading content.
- Add images. As you can see in this article you are reading, I have added several screenshots and images that make the content more interesting.This keeps people around.
- Add videos. Even if you don't have an original video, you can insert a YouTube video on a related topic.By the way, I will add a related video now below just to see an example.
- Add podcasts. I'll give a hat suggestion to Deacon Hayes WellKeptWallet.com for this tip.At a recent conference he shared that embedding his podcast episodes on related content (don't embed anything unrelated) really improved time on the site and his rankings on Google.This reminds me that I need to start doing it…
Here's a video that covers some additional tips on how to improve your visitors' time on your site:
ADD INTERNAL LINKS
After reviewing and improving the content based on the strategy I just listed above, my next step is to add internal links.
I visit my site and find the contents related to the updated article and I link to the related article.Google appreciates internal links, and these links improve rankings.
For the articles I updated on Niche Pursuits, I added about 10 new links to the updated content.These were all internal links, so I didn't have to go do some outreach or anything like that to get the links.
I think this is something that people don't do enough.You should link to your content from other pages of your site more often if you are like the average website owner.
CHANGE THE PUBLICATION DATE TO TODAY
The last step is to change the publication date to today.Rather than simply pressing "Update" in WordPress, go in and change the publication date to today so that Google knows it's new content.
Here's how to change the publish date in WordPress:
Once completed, simply check the traffic and rankings in the coming days and weeks!
5 REASONS WHY CONTENT UPDATE WORKS
As you can imagine, I was very pleased with the results I saw while updating my content.Now, I just need to hook up since I have many dozens of articles that need to be updated.
Overall, I can think of 5 reasons why this process works so well.
- Adding depth to content SHOULD be what ranks best in the first place.If you're giving people what they really want (better content), Google is smart enough to rank that content higher.
- Improved time on site and reduction of bounce rate.These are strong signals to Google that you're doing something right.
- Better keyword targeting.If you probably haven't targeted keywords for the first time, an update can really improve what Google is ranking your content for.
- Multiple links By adding more internal links, this increases the authority of that particular page.Yes, even if those links come from the same site.
- New publication date.Google tends to give the latest content a boost.Therefore, updating the release date when you have actually updated your content can help you improve your rankings.
If I haven't convinced you by now that you should do a content check and update your old articles, maybe this article will help you.
IT'S TIME TO IMPLEMENT IT YOURSELF
If you're ready to implement this process on your blog, you can follow the quick steps I've shared below.
- Find the right content to update
- Document your starting location
- Improve the quality and length of your content
- Update publication date to today
- Add more internal links
Overall, I hope you'll see the same success I've seen recently.
If you have any additional questions or thoughts to share, please leave a comment below.