8 ways old blog posts can drive traffic

Why rack your brain for new post ideas when you can use old, superstar posts? How to tune up archived posts and attract new visitors.

One of the most valuable ways to bring in potential customers and boost your Google ranking is gathering dust right under your nose—archived blog posts. If your attitude is “out of sight, out of mind,” I hope this post will change your mind.

Here are eight simple ways to tune up yesterday’s blog posts to serve today’s traffic and search engine optimization needs.

1. Identify high-traffic posts. Every blog has posts that attract a disproportionately high amount of search traffic. Don’t underestimate the value of these posts. They could be the first place a potential customer experiences your brand.

2. Study the stats. What are the bounce rates on your high-traffic posts? How long do readers stay on a page? Which pages do they visit next? More insight on these questions will help you execute many of the tips in this article.

3. Clean up the content. Since high-traffic posts garner a lot of attention, put your best content forward:

  • Fix grammatical errors
  • Break up long paragraphs with bullets
  • Add bold or italic styling for emphasis
  • Make sure all links work
  • Polish subheads
  • Correct factual errors

4. Add images. Strong images make people want to stay on the page for a longer amount of time. Plus, you can link images to other pages on the site that you think would interest visitors.

5. Add or update calls to action. After people read one of your stand-out posts, chances are they’ll be hungry for more. Satisfy their appetites and insert a strong call to action at the bottom of these posts, as well as a secondary call to action—a free download, for instance—to make it easy for people to reach out.

6. Remarket. Though it’s generally a bad idea to perpetually push your content on social media, high-traffic posts merit an exception. Periodically re-circulate your posts via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. You will not only bring new visitors to your site, but will get a bit of an SEO bump from new social mentions.

7. Update meta titles. Meta titles are very important for SEO. Make sure you add relevant, strategic keywords to high-traffic posts. If you have time, update meta titles for every post.

8. Update meta descriptions. Meta descriptions show up in search engine result pages, as well as in links posted on Google+, Facebook and other social networks. Enticing meta descriptions will attract more clicks, readers and social mentions.

Brad Shorr is director of content and social media for Straight North, a Chicago marketing agency. A version of this article originally ran on The Straight North Blog. Contact Shorr on Twitter via @BradShorr.

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