Publishing a new article is easy. Anybody can do it. Updating old content, though, is a discipline that many SEOs overlook. As you publish more content, you’ll start to rank for new keywords.
All these new rankings will validate your process. If you’re ranking for new keywords, you’re on the right track, right?
Well, I think a better question to ask is “how do I get my keywords to rank on page one?”. It doesn’t matter if you’re ranking for hundreds (or thousands) of keywords.
If they’re not on page one, it’s all for nothing. This is where content updating comes into play.
What Is Content Updating?
Content updating is when you go back to old articles and, with new data, update the content to cover a topic better. You are able to better understand the search intent behind the query.
You’ll also have more topics to discuss, creating deeper coverage of the topic and providing the reader with important details they may not have thought up either.
Iterating on your articles like this is almost an art form.
How To Get Your Search Data
Once an article has been live for some time, it will bring in lots of unique search data, which is viewable in Google Search Console (or GSC).
Open your GSC dashboard. From the left sidebar, select the site you’re working on.
Once selected, click on your “Performance” report. This will open a page with some detailed charts about your site’s performance in Google search.
You’ll see a table in the section below that has several tabs. These tabs are clickable. Selected the “Pages” tab. By default, you will always have the “Queries” tab selected. This shows you all the keywords you’re ranking for and the search data behind them.
We want to see individual pages that are ranking.
In the pages tab, you can click on any page in this list of pages. By clicking on a page from the list, we can filter out all our other search data and keep only the data for this one page. Click on the “Queries” tab. You’ll now see all the keywords for this one specific page.
Go through this list of queries and see which topics you’re leaving out. What makes this data so useful is that you’re already ranking for these terms. In most cases, you’re ranking because you mentioned the keyword one time in your article. Imagine if you added a header section with a paragraph that talks about that topic in detail? You’ll move up in the rankings for sure.
Oftentimes, you can discover topics you would never know to look up. By simply covering these topics, you can drastically improve the quality of your existing article.
It’s easy to publish ten more articles, but what have you done about the articles you’re already ranking for. If your primary keyword is not on page one, then why did you produce that article in the first place?
The whole idea behind keyword research is that you want to get traffic from people who are searching that keyword.
Simple Content Updating Tips
Content updating is about doing everything you can to grow the traffic for one article. Expend every resource you have to get that article on page one. You can score some easy points by doing any of the following tasks:
- Improve existing writing – You’re older and you’re wiser. You can write a better intro or talk about the subject from a more experienced perspective.
- Add images – I’ve seen pages rank for keywords simply because that keyword was included in the alt text of an image. Don’t sleep on the power of images in your content plan.
- Add internal links – Pass relevance to your other pages. It helps your users to discover more content and it helps Google to understand your site better.
- Add external links – Citing your sources is a huge signal that your site can be trusted. It also creates a connection between your site and the one you’re linking to.
- Cover new topics – Your Search Console data will provide you with a list of topics you’re ranking for. Quite often, there is room for improvement.
The last one, I would say, is the most important. This is the perfect excuse to add more words to your article. You’ll answer more questions, increase your word count, and you’ll have a natural way of sprinkling in your focus keyword a few more times without keyword stuffing.
Do what you need to in order to get that article to page 1.