Why Updating Your Existing Content Is So Important (And How To Do It)

Why Updating Your Existing Content Is So Important (And How To Do It)

Creating an effective content strategy is fundamental to your marketing efforts, but it’s usually about creating new content. Yet, your existing content may be even more important than creating new content because existing pages already have unique data, including rankings and on-page engagement. It’s much more effective to use your own data than relying on third-party numbers that your competitors have the same access to as you.

On March 15th, I was honored to be the guest host of the #VCBuzz marketing Twitter chat for the second time! Our discussion was focused on the benefits of updating your existing or older content and how to go about doing it. So, how do you create a content updating strategy or include updating your current content in your content strategy? Let’s discuss!

Why Updating Existing Content Is So Important

Q2 Why is updating old content so important and why do so many brands fail to do that?

Creating quality content is challenging and time-consuming, so you want to extract as much value out of it as you can. Your older content is a gold mine of benefits, which you’ve already spent time, energy and resources on, so don’t forget about it.

Updating your older content delivers a better user experience, so visitors find value on your site or blog, stay longer and show interest in your products and services. This includes visitors referred by backlinks, which will help boost your site’s SEO.

Updating older content and fixing broken links will also strengthen your site’s SEO by welcoming search engine crawlers and helping them index your site, boosting your rankings. Dead links stop search engine crawlers in their tracks.

Our society tends to focus on what’s new, which is why brands often fail to update older content. Once content is published and initially distributed, it’s put on a back shelf and forgotten about. Don’t do this and lose so many benefits!

Updating older content will also give you fresh ideas for new content! Approach a topic you previously blogged about from a different perspective, or explore a previous topic more in-depth by creating a series.

How To Identify Content That Needs Updating

Q3 How to identify content that needs updating? How to get better organized with content updates to turn it into an on-going process?

Use a tool like DeadLinkChecker to find broken links that may be damaging your rankings and usability. There’s a free tool, Multi Check (for multiple websites) and Auto Check (which runs on a regular basis and emails you reports).

Also, visit your website regularly! Before you create new content, look at older content you’ve already published on the same topic. Check popular posts to see if they need updated or can be enhanced with fresh information. Check pages before sharing!

Moving forward, include your older content in your content strategy. Dedicate time and resources to updating older content, refreshing your blog/site and cleaning up broken links on a regular basis. Make it an equal priority with creating new content!

Key Elements of a Successful Content Update

Q4 How to update content? What are the key elements of a good content update?

First, check for broken links, missing videos, corrupt images or loading issues. Are your images optimized or are they slowing down the page from loading? Have you used images without permission? Get permission, or replace them with appropriate ones.

Next, look at the copy. Is the headline drawing traffic, or can it be improved? Reread the article and captions. Is the content still relevant or does it need to be refreshed? Add any new information that will bring the content up-to-date.

Make sure your content is readable (and skimmable) with appropriate visuals, short paragraphs and different sections, or headings. White space and proper formatting are your friends on screen. Add relevant videos, GIFs, polls or other media!

Recommended Writing & SEO Tools

Q5 What are your favorite writing and SEO tools?

My favorite writing and SEO tools are Headline Studio and Email Subject Line Tester by CoSchedule, Microsoft Word, EvernoteWordPress.com and DeadLinkChecker.

Review the entire How to Update Your Old Content chat, and join future #VCBuzz marketing Twitter chats on Tuesdays at Noon ET.

Tweet Us (Or Leave Your Feedback in the Comments)

How does updating your existing content currently fit in your content strategy?

Do you delete content from your blog, or is everything worth keeping?

What are your favorite writing and SEO tools?

CCC’s Chief Content Marketing Officer,
Jaime

Ten Common Misconceptions about Quick SEO

CCC welcomes Eve Haugen to the blog! Anyone with a website (or blog) is always looking to improve his or her search engine optimization (SEO), and of course, you don’t want to wait to see the results. Insert quick SEO — tips and tactics to give you a quick boost in your search rankings and website traffic. Eve’s here to share her knowledge on the subject and dispel ten common misconceptions about the practice. Enjoy!

The science of SEO is constantly evolving. Although a long-term strategy, it can also yield quick results with the right tactics. While there is a range of tips on how to get around quick SEO, the misconceptions about it are galore and the people spreading such rumors are the ones who have hardly dabbled in it.

Ranking factors of Google's search algorithms

Ranking factors of Google’s search algorithms

So, here are some of the SEO myths – If you are alert enough, you will immediately package these practices in a box and throw them away.

  • Google will NOT build strategy for you: This is a well-followed mantra of website building. You build a website fattened with content and you expect traffic to flow into it. Well, it doesn’t! That is why SEO professionals are still needed. You need to pay attention to the best keywords, develop your user’s experience (UXD/UED), insert links and ensure fast page downloads so that your website stands out.
  • Stuffing your page with unnecessary keywords can instantly get you a better rank: Well, that is not a good SEO tip. Keyword density – the number of keywords found on your page that determines the relevancy of your work – should never exceed a certain maximum. Keyword density may be an important metric for ranking a page, but it isn’t the only one. Your keywords also need to be relevant to your material. Don’t add them randomly because they always stick out.
  • Adding unnecessary promo boxes and ads can give you more clicks: Times have changed, and with it, mindsets. It’s best to do away with these ads as they hardly generate extra clicks. People are no longer interested in them.
  • Guest posts do not matter: Hell yeah, they do! Moving posts from guest bloggers to your page is an excellent technique to generate quick traffic. Recently, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, drew attention to the importance of guest posting and promoted it on his blog. Well, he said it, so is there any reason to doubt it?
  • Link building can be ignored: A content marketing team greatly benefits from a link builder. Link building is an important aspect of Google’s ranking schemes that give you a greater visibility to the outside world. Especially back links – when you acquire back links in relation to your content, you make it visible to a larger audience. It’s a much needed SEO tip for good promotion.
  • Quick SEO is all that matters – after all it’s just a one-time strategy: SEO in its essence is a long-term process that requires immense planning, but in case you’re in a hurry, quick SEO tips can be of great use. However, these tips should only be used once in a while.
  • SEO is just a one-time strategy – do it quickly and get it done: SEO requires a continual investment of your time and energy. Otherwise, your website’s content just rots. Continuous SEO integration helps in keeping the competition away and allows you to keep track of the continuously evolving techniques.
  • We can miss out on the social buzz – after all we are in a hurry: Google doesn’t care about the number of Facebook shares or your Twitter followers but successful social buzz can put your content right in front of your target market. It helps in building links, search engine discovery and spreading of content to the outside world.
  • The flashier, the merrier: Excessive use of flash content can go against your desired SEO results as search engines mostly understand the language of HTML.
  • SEO is easy so anyone can do it: SEO is not child’s play; even quick SEO techniques require an able hand who knows how to implement them. It requires care and analysis and well-informed people can help you with this.

Well, these are just a few misconceptions about SEO techniques, which stem from people who are still fixated on black hat SEO. These unethical techniques are supposedly cheap and easy to work with, but they can cost you dearly.

Remember, quick SEO can work for a certain time frame. Once, twice – that’s okay. But never fall into the allure of quick SEO all of the time.

Eve Haugen, author of this post


Eve Haugen
is a freelance writer, whose passion in writing drives her to craft articles that are engaging, informative and meaningful. Her partnership with QuickSEOResults has given her an opportunity to take her writing to a new level.

Link Building to Success: Optimize Your Website

This is the third post in a 4-part series highlighting steps you can take to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). This guide was written by Ramya Raju, an experienced freelance web design writer from India. If you missed part one or two, we’d recommend reviewing them first.

While reading the first two parts of this series, you were probably wondering when I’d get to link building.

chain links

Link building is without a doubt one of the most discussed topics in SEO today. The idea is that your website is linked to by other websites and blogs, which helps in building higher rankings for your website for specific keywords. By using keyword anchor text, your site will get ranked for that particular keyword. For example, Adobe Reader is ranked number one for ‘click here’ anchor text because most download links for the reader shared on different websites are labeled with these keywords.

There are a few ways in which link building can be performed.

  • Organic Linking – the best way to gain rankings is through organic links. Such links are generated without you putting in any effort, and if they come from sites with higher rankings, like media websites and well recognized ones, then there is nothing better for your website’s SEO.
  • White Hat – quality link building efforts that follow search engines’ policies and still focus on your human audience. For example, only link to quality content when it fits within the context of your post. Don’t spam your audience (or someone else’s) with unnecessary, broken or unhelpful links that don’t contribute to the discussion.
  • Black Hat – the wrong way of link building that involves spamming and low quality back links, which should be completely avoided. It can lead to penalization by search engines and actually damage your SEO efforts.

Getting other websites and blogs to organically link to you is tough. It takes time and effort for your site to become popular enough to draw the required attention. That’s the reason why link building is an art and building quality links has to be planned well. The following methods will help you receive quality, organic links from outside sites:

  • Submit blog posts as a guest writer on the most notable blogs pertaining to your industry. These blogs will allow you to link back to your site in the author box.
  • Partner with related businesses that have their own websites and try to get a link back from their pages for partners, vendors, suppliers, etc.
  • To generate better incoming traffic to your website, create local search and social media profiles. The direct effect of these profiles on your search engine rankings is debatable but they will help drive more traffic to your website (which in turn will boost your SEO efforts).
  • Buy advertising space and/or submit your website links to dedicated industry directories and online trade journals. Don’t submit links or purchase ad space on low quality websites that are unrelated to your website (even if it’s free to do so).
  • Publish content which is so rich that people share it on their sites and blogs, providing you with useful back links. Infographics are an example of content that is typically shared at a high rate.

Photo: “Chain Links” by Eric Martin / CC BY 2.0

We hope you’ve enjoyed the first three parts of this 4-part series on search engine optimization. Check back next Thursday for part 4, Using Google+ to Boost Your Search Engine Rankings. As a reminder, posts are published on the CCC  blog every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks for stopping by!

Ramya RajuRamya Raju is a freelance web design writer with 8 years of extensive blogging experience on a variety of online publishing and social media platforms. She generally writes high quality articles on travel, photography, SEO, web design, English courses and other general topics as requested. Ramya, an extrovert with a passion for photography and anthropology, enjoys travelling to different countries to discover new cultures and experience life with the locals. You can reach her at ramyaraju896@gmail.com or visit her online at http://www.colorcharacter.com/uk/.

Content Is King and Other Essential Elements of SEO

This is the second post in a 4-part series highlighting steps you can take to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). This guide was written by Ramya Raju, an experienced freelance web design writer from India. If you’d like to visit part one, click here

In the first part of this step-by-step guide to search engine optimization (SEO), I covered the basics, including over-optimizing, title tags, meta descriptions and the advantages of using WordPress. Now let’s move on to other necessary elements in the quest to improve your search engine rankings and website exposure.

the word content

Content truly is king — for your readers and SEO efforts.

Other Essential Elements for SEO

Apart from adding the title tag and meta description, the following elements should also be taken care of for further search optimization.

  • Internal Links – It is important that you add and share internal links to other pages of your site within the content. This helps and supports your link-building efforts in addition to the links using external sites.
  • Header Tags – Search engines can gain more information regarding the content of each section with the help of the header tags. These tags usually deal with different sections that are divided on the basis of headers. The <H1></H1> tag is used for encompassing the title of the post and is always used once per page. The rest of the tags, like <H2></H2> and <H3></H3>, are used for different subheadings and can be used multiple times. Longer posts and articles can be broken down into sections that are easier to browse by both visitors and search engines.
  • Image Name and ALT Tags – Images used on the website also play a key role for redirecting searches to your page via the image search options. But to have that optimized, you should use good keywords and key phrases that align with your site in the image name and ALT tag.
  • Bold Text – Putting parts of text in bold ensures that the search engine and potential visitors consider it very important. But use precaution while highlighting text in this manner; overdoing it should be strictly avoided.

Related Reading: Content Creation Ideas

Content is the King

With the fast-paced world of online marketing, it is important to keep your customers on your website for as long as possible. For this reason, content plays a major role because it has the capacity to keep your visitors engaged for a longer time and also provides the search engines with rich data that helps in your website ranking.

You should explore a variety of content types that are relevant to your audience, such as blog posts, writing tutorials and guides, industry-related articles, videos, podcasts and infographics. It’s a monumental task to build a huge content database but it is doable. To begin, start with a blog post on your site and slowly move towards building content using other types of media. Feel free to share appropriate content from others (with proper attribution) to fill in the gaps while creating your own content.

Pic credit: “Content – Spraypaint Logo” by Ulysses D S is licensed under CC BY 3.0

We hope you’ve enjoyed the first two parts of this 4-part series on search engine optimization. Check back next Thursday for part 3, Link-Building to Success: Optimize Your Website. As a reminder, posts are published on the CCC  blog every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks for stopping by!

Ramya RajuRamya Raju is a freelance web design writer with 8 years of extensive blogging experience on a variety of online publishing and social media platforms. She generally writes high quality articles on travel, photography, SEO, web design, English courses and other general topics as requested. Ramya, an extrovert with a passion for photography and anthropology, enjoys travelling to different countries to discover new cultures and experience life with the locals. You can reach her at ramyaraju896@gmail.com or visit her online at http://www.colorcharacter.com/uk/.

A Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Clearly Conveyed Communications is excited to welcome Ramya Raju, an experienced freelance web design writer from India. Ramya has written a step-by-step search engine optimization (SEO) guide for CCC’s readers, so you can improve your search engine rankings and website exposure. This is the first post in a 4-part series that will be published on Thursdays for the next month. You can learn more about Ramya at the end of the post. Enjoy!

SEO

The Internet is largely becoming the primary home for most businesses, and to be competitive, websites need to have better SEO to be noticed. But all businesses do not have in-house SEO expertise or consultants to lend a hand due to budget constraints, and the amount of available information on SEO is so overwhelming that many companies shy away from doing the right things.

This guide shares SEO best practices, so businesses and individuals alike can benefit without the need to pay a professional.

SEO basics for the website

You may have heard that link-building is a popular SEO practice, but nothing works if your own website is not optimized. It is imperative that your own site carry the most important elements that will help and support other steps that you need to take for successful SEO. Ensure that the following elements are present and clearly carried on all the pages of your site, especially on the homepage.

Important rule you shouldn’t ignore while performing SEO

SEO for websites has to follow a strict code and conduct according to the guidelines set by Google. The most important rule is do not ‘overdo’ the further steps which will be discussed. There is even a penalty on websites who have over-optimized keywords and are stuffed with more key phrases than necessary. Instead, add four or five keywords that are optimized to suit your website on each page. You can even use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to learn the best suited keyword phrases for your site.

Title Tag

The title tag is comprised of the information that tells the search engines what your website is about. It should be kept under 70 characters and should carry essential info like your business/brand name and keywords that are specific to the page. In HTML code, the title tag is placed between the <HEAD></HEAD> tags on the top of the page.

Meta Description

Meta descriptions are written for specific websites to add additional information that search engines can use. Though it’s debatable whether meta is really useful for getting a search engine ranking, it nevertheless is still important since anyone searching for the website will get to see the meta under the search result. Using the right keywords in both the title tag and meta description are essential to having your site highlighted when a user searches for it. This makes the search result stand out for anyone who is searching for the specific keywords you use.

Advantage of using WordPress

If you use WordPress to host your domain, then you can take advantage of free plugins like All in One SEO, Platinum SEO and SEO by Yoast. These plugins are optimized to help you easily add title tags and meta descriptions to your site, and you can even find further SEO tips if you use premium plugins like Scribe SEO.

We hope you enjoyed this introduction to SEO basics for your website. Tune in next week for part 2 of this 4-part series, Content Is King and Other Essential Elements of SEO. Same bat time, same bat channel!

Pic credit: “SEO” by Singapore SEO Company is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ramya RajuRamya Raju is a freelance web design writer with 8 years of extensive blogging experience on a variety of online publishing and social media platforms. She generally writes high quality articles on travel, photography, SEO, web design, English courses and other general topics as requested. Ramya, an extrovert with a passion for photography and anthropology, enjoys travelling to different countries to discover new cultures and experience life with the locals. You can reach her at ramyaraju896@gmail.com or visit her online at http://www.colorcharacter.com/uk/.