You recognize that content is king, but you may not be making the most of the content that you already have. And this is where historical optimization shines. Historical optimization sounds more technical than it needs to be – the bottom line is that it involves breathing new life into the content you’ve already published, which can do you a world of good in terms of giving your return on investment a bump.
Your Existing Content
You worked hard for the content you have, and it’s worked hard for you. The thing to remember, however, is that there is no sell-by date on your docs. By updating any outdated information, freshening up your prose, and tightening up the technical end of things through improved search visibility and heightened organic traffic, you can take your existing content to the next level – without the expense of purchasing new content or the time investment required to put pen to paper.
Optimize that Content
Let’s say that you have a well-written blog dedicated to prenuptial agreements from 2014 on your firm’s website that saw a lot of traffic back in the day, but that isn’t generating much of anything now. The fact is that the information in your blog is likely just as relevant today as the day you posted it. As it slipped in rankings, however –which could simply be a function of the date it was posted – the piece quit engaging potential clients, and the calls to action therein quit calling anyone to act. With a few tweaks, however, you can revolutionize pieces that have gone flat without reinventing the wheel. Consider the following:
- If you have more than one article out there about the same range of information, you’re better off consolidating your efforts into a more in-depth piece (instead of diluting your message across several online offerings).
- Lace your content with hyperlinks that guide potential clients to other relevant areas of your site.
- Update your keywords and skillfully weave them into your existing content.
- Optimize your calls to action to better reflect who you and your potential clients are today.
Update your information as needed, and voilà, you’ve got dynamite content that might as well be brand spanking new on your hands.
Getting the Job Done
There are three basic steps to historical optimization (that work across all genres).
One: Content Audit
You won’t be able to measure your content’s meteoric rise in rank if you don’t know where it’s at, to begin with. It’s a good idea to always have a good idea about how your content is performing, and if you don’t, now’s a good time to get on it. In order to scope out your winningest work, you’ve got to get down to the business of a content audit. Make a master list of your existing content, and from here, note all the following for each:
- Their search rankings
- Their CTA click-through rates
- Their overall bounce rates
- The organic traffic they generate
Once you have this master list established, you’ll have a better feel for what kind of content is performing well for you, where you have topical gaps, and where there are prime opportunities for growth. Don’t be afraid to dig around online to mine for those top-ranking pages that are receiving the keyword action you are going for.
Two: Start Small
During the course of your audit, you may have found a whole bunch of content that you’d like to reinvigorate, but choosing one or two to focus on is the way to go. Taking an all-or-nothing approach is generally a recipe for disaster. By starting small, you’ll have more control over the process and will have a better feel for where your baby steps are most likely to pay off big. If you’re attempting to garner interest, you may want to jazz up your current content’s wording, and if action is what you’re looking for, try being a bit more direct with your CTA – and see where things go.
Three: Check Your Balance
You performed an audit, to begin with, and now it’s time to consider the return on your efforts. Because you are working with a manageable amount of content, it’s far easier to ascertain what’s working and what isn’t and to make the necessary edits where they’re needed – as you hone your historical optimization chops.
Polished to Perfection
Not for nothing did you put all that effort and expense into your existing content, and with some strategic historical optimization, it can prove invaluable moving forward. Good content is good content, and scrapping what you’ve got for something new is not necessarily going to move the needle in the direction you’re going for. Taking a closer look at what you’ve already got on tap may uncover diamonds in the rough that are just waiting to shine bright.