I recently had a chat with a good friend of mine around the topic of SEO and what makes content SEO-friendly, and whilst I write about SEO all the time, it came to my attention that many people only recently started implementing SEO. Whether it is because they only recently realised the value of SEO, or because we’re kind of behind the times with stuff here in SA, we’d never know. The point is, it is never too late to start implementing SEO on your blog or your website.
Chances are that if you have been blogging for a while, you already have a ton of content on your blog that may not be optimised for SEO. And chances are that these content pieces receive traffic (from social media, newsletters, etc). If you receive little to no traffic from search engines, you are doing something wrong.
But don’t freak out just yet! In this blog post, I am sharing 5 simple ways to optimise your old content for SEO.
1. Do keyword research/use your keywords
I know that I sound like a broken record and I know I always talk about keyword research, but, in all honesty, what is SEO without keyword research, right? Before you start working on any blog post, old and new, it is important to consider the keywords you want to rank for.
Haven’t done any SEO before? Then read this blog post on how to find SEO keywords.
If you have already started implementing keywords within your new content, you probably already have a SEO library with a list of keywords you want to rank for. Go back to your old blog posts and see where you can add these keywords within the content. Rewrite a few sentences or add paragraphs if necessary, but make sure that the keyword fits within the context of the blog post, and that it fits with the flow of the content – it needs to read as natural as possible.
It is also worth your while to update the images, if necessary. Create new images, and ensure that the alt text include your keywords. Read more on how to optimise your images for SEO here.
2. Focus on content structure
I bet you thought you’d never use any of those writing rules you learnt in language class, right? WRONG! It is vital for SEO to ensure that your content is easy to read and easy to navigate. And the best way to do this? By following simple rules of writing.
You only have a few seconds to capture the attention of your reader so make sure that you catch them hook, line and sinker within the first 100 words of your content piece. This is also the perfect place to introduce your keyword to your content.
Make your content easy to read by adding headings between your paragraphs or ideas. Ensure that your heading tells your reader exactly what they can expect from the next paragraph, but don’t make your headings too long – keep it 5 words or less. Ensure that at least one of your headings contain a keyword.
Break your content into paragraphs. Smaller chunks are easier to digest and make it easier for your readers to go through your content. Remember that old saying: “one paragraph, one idea”? The same applies for blogging, or any other form of content writing. Make sure you add your keyword, or a variation of your keyword, to at least 3 paragraphs within your content.
READ MORE: How to SEO your blog post
3. Write great content
This might be the simplest, most mind-numbing, advice anyone has ever given to you, but it still stands! Content is KING! And not content numbers, but content quality! When writing your content, make sure that it fulfils a need in the life of your readers. People use the internet to find solutions to problems and answers to questions. Make sure that your content does exactly that. If your old content seems a little thin, add more paragraphs to add some meat to the bone. If new research that relates to your content has been done, add that. Are there are any new ways of doing things? Add that to your content. Remove the unnecessary stuff that is no longer relevant or no longer excites people.
4. Link to related content on your website
One of the ways your readers (and search engines) navigate through your website is through internal links. Internal links are those links that point to another content piece on your website. If you have two articles that cover similar topics, add a link to your old blog post that will show your readers to another blog post on your website. Try to make it look as natural as possible. You can consider adding the link in between paragraphs or within the text itself (I have used both ways in this blog post).
5. Make it easy to share your content
When I see a content piece I like, I often share it with my readers because I know they might like it too. If one person shares your content, you have the opportunity to reach that person’s audience and if that person shares your content, you have another opportunity to reach an even bigger audience. More eyes on your content means more traffic… And more traffic means more money, right? Social media links are links back to your website (external links) and external links are one of the indicators search engines use to index your website. The more people share your content, the more engagement your content will receive and the higher your content might appear in search results.
The easiest way to get your content shared is to use sharing buttons. My favourite is SUMO, but there are many other FREE social media sharing options available. Don’t make it hard for your readers to share your content. The easier it is to share, the more likely it is that your content will be shared.