Most marketing teams are sitting on a ton of old content that isn’t ranking or getting traffic. But this content isn’t a lost cause.
With a bit of know-how you can bring it back to life and get it on the front page.
A little while back, one of our hawk-eyed clients spotted an opportunity on their website.
They’d published a few pieces of content about a high traffic keyword a few years ago. But the content wasn’t very high up the rankings.
They set us the challenge of helping them to drive much more search traffic to this old content. No mean feat, considering the keyword they wanted to go after got almost 10K searches a month and was very competitive.
Guess what? We got it to #1 in just seven weeks, as well as grabbing a featured snippet!
Want to find out how? Then keep reading. 👇
As you probably know, we’re a SaaS agency. But we’ve not always been.
We’ve worked with loads of different clients over the years and we still work with some great non-SaaS companies.
Hamilton Fraser is one of them. They provide insurance cover to landlords and we’ve worked with their awesome marketing team since July 2018.
Their content strategy is to give landlords everything they need to know to manage their properties and look after their tenants. Tax and legislation, tenancy agreements, property maintenance, dispute resolution - you get the picture.
The topic they wanted to start ranking for was ‘subsidence’, a short-tail keyword with a pretty high keyword difficulty.
If you don’t know, subsidence is when the ground beneath a property sinks, pulling the property’s foundations down with it. This can make the walls and floors shift, leading to cracks in the walls and potentially destabilising the whole property.
It can be a total nightmare for homeowners. Because it’s such a hot topic, our client had already written four posts on the topic.
But there was a problem…
- None of the posts were search-optimised
- They were full of overlapping content
- They were all competing with one another in the SERPs
Since we started working with Future Content our content marketing has gone from strength to strength. … The guidance from Future Content has been invaluable.
Cate Fairbanks, Marketing, Hamilton Fraser
How we pushed this old content back up the rankings
#1 - Consolidated and redirected the URLs
Our client spotted that they had five different URLs talking about subsidence.
Having multiple pieces of content ranking for the same keyword is something we see a lot, especially when we first start working with a new client.
If a topic is important to your business, you’ll naturally want to write about it. But you need to make sure that Google is able to tell the posts apart and index them for separate keywords.
Otherwise Google doesn’t know which of your posts to prioritise, which means all of the content in the SERPs for that keyword suffer.
Basically, one killer post that completely nails the topic is way better than four or five which are all kind of similar.
So they asked us to consolidate all of that existing content down to one URL:
#2 - Took all of the best bits from the existing content
We then took all of the existing content from those four URLs and consolidated them down to one longform guide.
We chose a Q&A format, because it’s easy for readers and Google to make sense of.
We also cut out a lot of stuff that was less relevant and made sure that the tone of voice felt consistent throughout, rather than a hodgepodge of different writers focusing on different things.
#3 - Did a ton of research to make sure we hadn’t missed anything
We already had a pretty comprehensive guide, but we wanted more. We wanted to create the most comprehensive guide on the internet.
The guys at Hamilton Fraser had already identified all the top-ranking content for this keyword as part of their research, so we knew what we were up against.
We used Frase.io and SEMRush to identify topics that were related to subsidence but not yet featured in our draft. This helped make sure our content was thorough enough to be super useful for readers and helped Google index it better.
#4 - Created unique imagery
We've found that creating unique imagery really helps with SEO. So once our draft was ready, our Hamilton Fraser's design team got to work to create some imagery to illustrate the information we were sharing.
#5 - Optimised the copy
Finally, we did all the standard keyword optimisation stuff you probably already know about making sure we get the right density and incorporated the necessary LSI keywords.
Basically, we went to town. We set out to create the best subsidence resource on the internet and, you know what?
It worked 👍
Want to find content upcycling opportunities on your website?
Chances are there are similar opportunities just sitting on your website waiting to be uncovered. If you want to find them, here’s a quick and easy way:
- Jump into a tool like SEMRush and get it to show you the keywords for your site
- Filter the results so you only see keywords that you’re in the top 50 for but not in the top 5
- Filter it again so you only see keywords with a volume of 1,000 or more
This will give you a list of keywords with a decent search volume that you should be able to improve your rankings for.
If you have questions about anything mentioned in this post, feel free to drop me a line on LinkedIn or Twitter.