Case Study: How Reviving Old Content Can Mean More Traffic

On October 12, 2007, local Saint Louis company STLBeds launched their first blog post titled 'Waterbed Sizes'.  Right after publishing, the blog did well in the search engines, receiving around 10 visits a week.  While that doesn't seem like much, it was 10 visitors more per week then they had before.  It equated to an additional 300 visitors a month, and it was a start.

Through about the first week of April, 2008, that blog post maintained about 10 visitors a week, and then it really lost steam.  After 6 months time, the post pretty much became non-existent. With the vast amount of content that is created daily, this occurrence was not unusual.

Now, there are a few reasons for this, including:

  • STLBeds wrote a few other blogs around waterbeds, and they became more trafficked (aka popular) than the first one, siphoning traffic away
  • Time passed and other pieces of content about waterbed sizes showed up online (see: Google Freshness)
  • Over time, with no interaction (comments), the search engines deemed the content to be stale
first_blog_post_oct_mar

Visitors by week to the 'waterbed sizes' blog post right after publishing

STLBeds has consistently published an average of two blogs per week since October 2007.  This means a lot of content about a lot of topics around beds and furniture.  Also, during that time frame, STLBeds launched a new site, this time ecommerce based.  Online sales were never an original goal, but with time (and big traffic, partly because of their blogging), they grew with the times.

Bringing That Old Content Back to Life

In mid 2012, we decided to start revisiting the old blogs and updating them, adding some internal linking (with suggestions from the YARPP plugin) and also sprinkling in some links to product pages.  The results were pretty phenomenal - in a matter of days the blog post was revived, suddenly again receiving 10-20 visits a week.

analytics_first_blog_post

You can see, that just as before, content once 'renewed', when it has no interaction, still tends to decline in overall traffic, which can be expected.  Better-written content that engages and invites interaction will see a more steady (and perhaps improving) traffic response.

There's really not much more for me to say. Revisiting your old content and improving/updating the text, along with adding internal links will lead to more traffic, and hopefully more sales.

Take this one example, multiply it by how many blogs you have that are, let's say, older than 2 years, and you can really boost your traffic without having to be terribly creative (ie coming up with new topics).

Here's something funny: I've actually implemented this same idea on this blog post.  Originally published in Feb 2015, I have updated it with additional information, graphics and links. It's new, improved, and I'll gain additional search engine love because of it.

Do you have content that needs to be refreshed?

Here are some tips on finding good content that you can revive.

NOTE: This video first appeared on Red Canoe Elite, our membership-only area featuring over 100 how-to videos, tips and coaching calls. Join today and see how your site can really grow next year!

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

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