How to get old blog posts to drive traffic to your blog

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Did you know that more and more bloggers are spending time refreshing old blog posts to drive traffic to their websites?  

If it’s not something that is currently a part of your blogging strategy, it really needs to be.  As I mentioned in How to Create a Blog Post that will Rank in Google Search Resultsinvesting time in driving traffic to your parenting or family travel blog from Google will always be a good use of your time. 

In this blog post your will learn:

  • How updating old blog posts can help your blog
  • How to identify an old blog post
  • How to SEO an old blog post to drive more traffic to your blog

Why should you look at old blog posts?  Google likes aged content, as it trusts it a little bit more.  While writing new content is great, it can take a while to gain traction, sometimes several months.  

Giving one of your old blog posts a refresh can often see more traffic to your blog in a relatively short space of time, and who doesn’t like instant gratification?  So, I’ve convinced you this is something worth looking at, but how do you drive Google traffic to old posts on your blog? 

Step 1: Do You Have Google Analytics and Google Search Console? 

If you already have Google Analytics and Google Search Console you can skip straight to Step 2. 

In order to use this SEO strategy to drive traffic to your old blog posts you need to have access to Google Analytics and Google Search Console.  If you don’t have these set up for your blog already, please go and do it now. 

You will find help with setting up Google Analytics here.  

This video will help you activate Google Search Console.

If you want to turn your blog into a business these tools are going to help you with your journey.  Understanding how Google sees and interprets your blog will give you vital information about how to improve your website, so it is well worth your time learning how to use it. 

OK, so blogging lecture over.  Let’s get onto the good stuff.  If you already have Google Analytics and Google Search Console you are going to have some data to work with. 

If you have just installed them then it’s going to take a few days for Google to analyse your site. 

Step 2: How to Pick an Old Post with Google Search Console

There are a few ways you can choose your old blog post, so let’s look at Google Search Console first and use a simple technique to get you started. 

1. In Google Search Console click ‘Performance’ and then select ‘Impressions’ and ‘Position’. 

2. Keep the Search Results as ‘Queries’ and order the list by ‘Position’ 

3. Look at the list of search queries this generates and focus on the results with an average Google position of between 11 and 30. This will generally mean that your blog post is likely to be appearing on page 2 or 3 of the Google search results.

4. Now look for a query with a reasonable amount of impressions.  This step will help you identify a blog post with a good chance of driving more traffic to your blog. 

5. Once you’ve identified the query, click directly on it to view the individual results. 

6. Change the results from ‘Query’ to ‘Pages’ and this will give you the URL of the blog post we are going to optimise for more Google search traffic.  

How to Pick an Old Post with Google Analytics 

If you are more comfortable using Google Analytics, you will love this trick for finding the best old blog post to drive more traffic to your blog. 

1. Go to your Google Analytics dashboard and click: 

Acquisition – Channels – Organic Search

2. On the next report add a ‘Secondary Dimension’ of ‘Destination Page’ which you will find under ‘Behaviour’. 

3. Here you will see the pages that are already driving the most most traffic to your website from Google search.  Seeing as Google is already driving traffic to these posts, they are perfect for this SEO boosting process. 

4. Pick a URL from this list that you think deserves more traffic and head back to Google Search Console for Step 3. 

Step 3: Identifying New Keywords for your Old Blog Post 

A Simple Technique for SEO Beginners 

If you consider yourself a beginner with blogging and SEO, then using simple keyword research will help you get started with this process. 

I would recommend installing the plugin Keywords Everywhere to your browser if you haven’t already done so.

Then brainstorm some search queries that could be relevant to your old blog post and add them into Google’s search feature. 

The Keywords Everywhere plugin will identify some potential keywords you can include in your post, that you may not have thought of already.  You will be able to use these to improve your SEO for your old blog post. 

Using Google Search Console to Identify New Keywords For Your Blog Post 

Google Search Console is packed with insights about how Google sees your website.  It’s also a great place for you to look if you want to know which keywords you should add to your old blog post.  Here’s how to do it: 

1. In Google Search Console go to ‘Performance’, and click the ‘+ NEW’ button that appears above the report page. 

2. In the menu that appears next, click on ‘Pages’ and add the words that appear at the end of the URL that you identified using the above techniques.

3. Under the graph, click the ‘Queries’ tab and you will have a list of search queries Google is already ranking your post for. 

This is Google’s big signal to you that it thinks your blog post could potentially answer these search queries.   By improving the SEO of the blog post you could improve your rank in these Google search results and potentially drive more traffic to your website.

5. You can download this query as a CSV file or to Google Sheets, and then you can begin working through it to improve the SEO of your blog post. 

6. To organise your list of keywords better, and prioritise what to work on first, I would recommend that you  filter your data by impressions (high to low) and identify the most relevant search queries with a good number of Google impressions. 

These are the keywords you will optimise your blog post for to improve its Google search traffic. 

Step 4: How to SEO Optimise Your Old Blog Post 

When you first wrote your blog post, perhaps you didn’t fully understand SEO.  This will mean that there will be some gaps in your blog post that we can improve with this process.  As you might already know, I like to think of a blog post as a jigsaw puzzle, and Google is looking for the most complete picture to show to its users.

Give Your Potential Reader Better Content

The first thing to do is look at your content and fill in any gaps.  If there is any more information you think your potential reader would find helpful on the topic you have written about, add it to your blog post now.  Remember how much Google loves long form content that gives its users all the answers they need in one place!  This is what you are aiming to do with this step.  

Optimise for the Keywords from Google Search Console or your Keyword Research

The next step is to optimise your blog post for as many relevant keywords as possible from your list. It can be a fine art to maintain the readability and flow of your content whilst optimising it for relevant keywords, but with some practice it can be done. 

Adding new headings and optimising old ones can help boost keywords, as well as adding a section like ‘questions answered in this post’ are just a few ideas that will help with your SEO. 

Update Your Blog Post Title and Meta Description 

This is one of the most important steps in this process as your blog post title and meta description can directly effect how many clicks you receive from Google.  This is how to do it: 

1. Pick one of the keywords you want to gain more traffic for. 

2. Enter these keywords in Google search and review the results that appear on page one. 

3. Paying particular attention to the blog post titles and meta descriptions that feature on page one already, how can you make your blog post more clickable!  

4. Update your blog post title and meta description and monitor for any changes in traffic and rank in Google search. 

So there you go, there’s a pretty comprehensive SEO strategy you can use straight away to drive google search traffic to your old blog posts.  It might seem technical, but once you’ve practised it a few times you will soon get in the swing of it. 

If you know any blogging friends who would find this an interesting read, please do share it on your favourite network now, tagging BritMums.

Do you refresh your old content to drive more content to your blog? 

Tell us in the comments below.

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About Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media and is also a proud member of the BritMums team.

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