Boost SEO Organic Traffic by Refreshing Outdated Content

update old outdated content to improve organic traffic

Writing brand-new content is not always the best strategy to give your viewers extra motivation to visit your website. Sometimes, optimizing outdated content is more beneficial for better search engine rankings and traffic instead of creating new pieces.

Businesses and bloggers often tend to create and publish more and more content to increase their chances of ranking for every possible topic. But it is not always the right approach. If you have already posted a lot of content and still are short of results, you need to change your approach. 

Instead of putting in more new content, take a look at the old ones. If the previous content is not generating traffic, updating the old content is the best option. So, basically publishing more content doesn’t bring more traffic. Instead, the content you are publishing should be right for the query of the user and be properly optimized to rank on SERPs.

Why Is It Important To Update Old Content?

If you already have a lot of other projects on your plate, a content refresh plan may not be a high priority. However, upgrading outdated content has several advantages:

importance of updating old content for ranking

Improve Website Authority & Brand Reputation

Having old and irrelevant content on your pages can damage the image of your brand. Users interacting with out-of-date information on your website will make them doubt your credibility and authority. Keeping your website pages and blog content revised will have a positive impact on the visitors and improve the online reputation of your business.

Improve Search Engine Rankings 

growth graph before and after updating content

Not only users, but search engines like Google love fresh and updated pages. Search engines want to offer users the most recent and precise data. Old information loses its value over time if necessary changes are not made. When you constantly update older articles, search engine bots visit your pages frequently. By doing so, you let search engines know that your content is error-free and relevant to the readers. As a result, updating content increases the chances of ranking old content and boosting traffic from the SERPs.

Promotes Audience Engagement

Put yourself in your audience's position. Do you enjoy reading stale and outdated content? Users prefer to read fresh and updated information. If the information in your article is accurate and covers the latest updates on the subject, readers will stay on it for a longer period. Fresh content with the most recent information will likely keep readers interested and lengthen their visits to your website.

Opportunity To Help Users & Yourself

Online marketing strategy like SEO is all about content. Unless you prepare your material to help the users, you are not going to gain any benefit from it. Updating old page content gives you the opportunity to prepare helpful content that will provide some value to your visitors. Once you make your content worthy for the audience it will naturally gain more popularity over time. It's a win-win for both readers and publishers in refreshing outdated content.

Helps In Planning Better Content Strategy

When you update old blogs, you find a lot of new ideas to link that particular content with. It helps you understand your current content status and you can plan a future content strategy based on it.

It's A Cost Effective SEO Strategy

Creating new content is expensive. Quality content writers charge a hefty amount for writing top content. Focusing on improving the page material you already own, can save a lot on your digital marketing budget

How To Choose The Right Pages For An Update?

It's ideal for reviewing each piece of content on your website at some point to check for potential revisions. There are several factors like traffic, keyword rankings, engagement, etc. that come into place when choosing old content for the update. But to start with, you can consider the following points before selecting any page:

old content update duration

1. Pages Dropped In Traffic:

You should consider improving a page content that received much traffic earlier and has suddenly dropped. Your competitors might have outranked you over time with a new and detailed piece of content.

2. Pages With High Expectation But Low Results :

You should always ask yourself why content with a sound strategy and effective execution doesn't rank. As you can identify what went wrong or what isn't properly optimized, you can repair it. 

3. Page Below Top 10 SERP Results:

Some pages might be not getting traffic because they are not able to move up to the first page of SERP. Working on updating such old content pieces, can give them the right boost and climb up the ladder to the first page of search results.

Processes Of Updating and Optimizing Outdated Content

Having realized how important it is, let's talk about the different ways you can adopt to update your old content. 

Do Topic Research

Start from scratch. When you do it, you must do it right. Analyze your content and look out for competitors. Find what additional knowledge they are offering for the same content and where you are lacking.  

Create Better Outlines

Based on the outcome of your topic research, create a list of headings and sub-headings for the old content you choose to update. Make sure the titles used in the blog outline clearly define what the section is about. The order of the content outline should be in a proper manner and related.

Add Supportive Media Files

Consider using pictures or videos in your content. Sometimes graphics can explain a lot better than texts. Wherever you feel the user can benefit and have a better understanding of the topics on using media, add it to your content.

Optimize For Search Intent

Refreshing outdated blogs has a lot of elements to consider, but the intent matching with the search is the most critical one. When users come to your site searching for a keyword and the content doesn’t match their query, they will certainly not spend a second more on your page. The intent of your content should match the page title and keywords. Read your content thoroughly putting yourself in the users' place and find out whether it is answering the exact question or not. 

Add Relevant FAQs: The topic Must Cover The Whole Information And Also Answers Related Queries 

Search engines and users don’t prefer incomplete content. When someone visits your page on a certain topic and goes through all the content, they will have a few curious questions. FAQs serve as an acting bridge between your content and users' questions. Add such questions and answers while refreshing older page content that can answer the queries a reader might have.

Fix The Errors And Update Outdated Facts

While creating a blog we might have made some mistakes in the content. Perform detailed research about the topic and fix those errors. A reader should be fed with wrong data and information. Every day, new events take place, and further information is released for every industry. Having outdated facts and statistics on your content decreases its quality and value. Make sure to conduct thorough research on any facts used in your content. Look for more details to add that strengthen the deepness of the topics you cover. It will continue to be relevant if you consistently update your old content with new research and ideas.

Optimize For The Right Keywords

Keywords that were trending a year ago or so may not be in the trend anymore. Use keyword research tools to find related terms on your content topics. Focus on what users are searching for and the level of competition for those keywords. Choose the terms that are relevant to your content and have higher chances of ranking. 

Use these new keyword findings to update your meta tag, title, sub-title, content keywords, etc. Make sure the keyword usage is natural and you don’t stuff keywords and maintain proper keyword density

 Fix The Potential Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword Cannibalization in content

The same keyword may end up being used on multiple pages if you're not careful when optimizing old content. Keyword cannibalization occurs when numerous pages on your website are aiming to rank for the exact keywords. This can slow down the SEO performance of those pages. Consider mapping keywords for your page URL to avoid keyword cannibalization.

Opt For Internal Linking Strategies

affects of performing internal linking on content

Internal linking is a crucial step to follow while optimizing old pages to improve overall performance. Linking your inner pages will enable users to explore other content on your website. It can improve engagement and reduce the bounce rate of your website. Revise irrelevant anchor links with the right keywords and pages.

Before proceeding with this task, learn more about the best internal linking practices. Doing internal linking too much or the wrong way can hurt your page rankings. 

Increase Page Loading Speed

page speed and seo rankings relationship

Even with top-notch and educational content, a website may not appear higher in the SERPs. It is because search engines wouldn't want to rank your website at the top of the SERPs if it takes an eternity to load. So, your website's loading speed is an important issue that must be considered. A website's position in the SERPs correlates directly with how quickly it loads. The ideal loading time is between one and two seconds.

Keep An Eye On Search Engine Algorithm Updates

Search Engines keep updating their algorithms to improve their efficiency and user experience. The constant change in algorithm and ranking factors could affect your content performance. Google’s recent “help content update” focus on prioritizing pages that offer high-quality, relevant, and informative content to the users. Following this update, several sites with brief articles and keyword-heavy content faced a drop in traffic and rankings. 

To protect yourself from such updates you must constantly work on updating your old content to meet search engine standards. Ensure all your outdated content adheres to the search engine’s most recent best practices to match up with the competition and increase the chances of ranking.

Optimize For Rich-Snippets 

Results displayed on the top of SERPs above general sites are rich snippets. Appearing on them can bring a lot of traffic and engagement to your pages. Using structured data, and to-the-point subtitles in your content while updating old content can help you to appear in rich snippets.

Add Proper Schema (if applicable)

The schema is the final area to examine. However, it probably needs to be done sooner. Using schema in your content helps Google to understand better about your content. It is basically comprised of some HTML tags that provide more information about the content to the search engine bots.   

Depending upon the type of content on your page, like articles, news, reviews, FAQs, how-to, products, recipes, etc. you can generate schema codes using a Schema Markup Generator tool. Once generated, add the script on the backend of your website page. Adding schema to your old content will benefit to improve visibility and rankings on search results.

cta image to contact for content marketing services


As we all know that new is always better. But old content not driving results, creating new content has no value. Recreating and updating old content can improve its health of it and finally do well. With the help of the above suggestions, you can enhance the performance of your outdated content and generate more reach, traffic, and engagement and prove to search engines that your blog article deserves the top place in the SERPs. 


A website should be updated regularly, at least once each month. That may be a slight adjustment to the original article or a brand-new blog entry. Making updates regularly, regardless of size, is beneficial.

Obviously, you should keep outdated information as it is still beneficial on your website. Do make sure that this content is consistently updated. However, your most significant articles should never include content that is no longer accurate.

Most experts concur that writing a blog two to four times a week is a unique approach to improving the reach of your content. Depending on how rigid you are about when you upload new content each week, this translates to somewhere between eleven and sixteen posts every month.

Jagdish - Digital Marketing Professional


Jagdish Mali
Jagdish Mali is a professional digital marketer (specializing in SEO) with years of expertise in organizing and executing effective marketing campaigns across multiple channels.

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