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Updating Your SEO Content: 19 Quick and Effective Techniques

Par
le Tuesday 30 October 2018 - Mise à jour Sunday 03 March 2024
Mise a jour contenu SEO
Temps de lecture : 15 minutes

In February 2011, Google launched the first algorithm update Panda. Its goal was to devalue and downgrade low-quality websites. This update had a negative impact on the SEO of many websites. Indeed, websites that published content with mediocre quality or duplicate content were penalized. Publishers then made considerable efforts to improve their sites and regain their place in the Google ranking. Many publishers managed to achieve results by improving existing content.

🚀 Quick Read: 19 Techniques to Update Your Content

Here is the summary of the 19 ways to update your content presented in the rest of this post.

  1. Add keywords
  2. Improve titles (H1 and title tag)
  3. Review meta descriptions
  4. Rework the introduction
  5. Update the information
  6. Check the statistics
  7. Cite experts
  8. Integrate a FAQ
  9. Review images
  10. Insert videos
  11. Create graphics
  12. Update the date
  13. Review the structure
  14. Integrate Google Map
  15. Mention social networks
  16. Add a summary
  17. Review internal linking
  18. Control external links
  19. Merge similar content
Want to know all the details of these content update techniques? Just read the rest of this article!

👑 "Content is KING"

Content is king in SEO

Google continues to update its algorithms (including Panda) and encourages publishers to continue improving their content. Thus, regularly updating content has become a common practice to maintain a position in Google. Moreover, this technique helps improve the SEO of older articles.

Furthermore, Google's updates continue to move in this direction. In 2022, the latest algorithm improvement aims to favor high-value-added content. It has been aptly named: Helpful Content Update.

Why invest time and money in a practice that is not the most effective? Improving existing content seemed to me to be a sunk cost concept. I was wrong! I didn't understand that improving and updating content, when well executed, could be a potentially advantageous calculated risk. Indeed, when used correctly, it is an effective method for improving SEO.

❓ Why update your content?

There are several very good reasons to update the content of your blog, static pages, or product sheets! Not only does it allow you to demonstrate to Google that your site is up-to-date, but you also continuously adapt your text for the greatest comfort of Internet users.

  • Be transparent about your offer: whether it's for prices, product availability, or service quality, regular updates are often necessary.
  • Perfectly inform the user: trends and needs change! Adapting your content according to the current reality allows you to constantly respond to the search intent of the user.
  • Update the information: if you haven't written evergreen content, you must constantly update your dates and "temporal" terms to avoid appearing outdated.
  • Update links: not only can you take the opportunity to improve your internal linking, but you also have the possibility to remove or replace all broken links.
  • Stay competitive on the SERP: even if you were in first place on Google, new sites could dethrone you by offering more comprehensive content than yours.
  • Adapt to algorithm changes: a lot of information is available even before Google updates. Adapt your content in due time to avoid being penalized!

Now that you know why to update your content, you may wonder when it's appropriate to do so? Although this work should be done continuously, there are good times for updating your published texts.

  • Seasonal break: if your site is seasonal (e.g., during summer vacation if your site is aimed at professionals), then updating content during the off-peak period is advisable.
  • Lack of new publications: you don't have a company blog or have run out of article ideas? Then it's time to update your content!
  • Redesign of your site: This is certainly an opportunity not to be missed to refresh your content!

👀 19 Ways to Update Your SEO Content

This process is not so difficult, but it can take a lot of time. There are several things to do to improve the oldest content. Below are some ideas. It is not necessary to apply all these ideas every time. Indeed, you just need to choose the one that will really improve your text.

1. Add keywords

If you tend to ignore keywords or have recently improved your skills in this area, don't hesitate to research the most suitable keywords for your content. You will probably realize that, even if you haven't chosen the right keywords, the article's subject offers opportunities in this area.

You may also discover niche keywords suitable for your content and can be added by publishing additional sections! Also, don't hesitate to work on long-tail keywords to attract highly qualified traffic!

Tip

Regularly check your site's Google Search Console with a filter by pages to detect new keyword opportunities (usually those positioned between the 20th and 100th position).

2. Improve the title

Titles can be difficult to create. You want to target your main keyword, but you also want to encourage search engines to visit your article. It's about knowing SEO techniques well and knowing how to exploit readers' feelings and interest.

Moreover, since 2021, it seems that Google has its way when it comes to displaying titles on the SERP. Be inspired as much as possible by what you observe on the results pages to offer the most suitable title possible. Indeed, your title may be uninteresting or not contain the right keywords. In this case, it is essential to improve the title tag.

Did you know?

Thanks to the title tag, you can increase your traffic and your positioning?

3. Lengthen and improve the meta description tag

The meta description (the text that appears in search engines under the title) can help convince visitors to click on your website.

Examine your meta description to see if it can be improved. You can include numbers, adjectives (amazing, sensational, etc.), and enough information for the content's subject to be well defined. However, be careful not to reveal everything.

Tip

Don't reveal all the information in the meta description tag!

4. Write a better introduction

It is essential that your visitors stay on your page. A good introduction can help you achieve this goal. Many websites do not pay enough attention to the quality of their introductions. Yet, it is one of the most important SEO hotspots when writing your content!

Moreover, writing a personal and interesting introduction is quick and helps retain visitors' attention. Also, be sure to provide an answer to the user's search intent in a few words to benefit from the featured snippets (position 0).

5. Add new information or make updates

Adding or updating information is probably the most well-known technique when it comes to improving old content.

Although this is an effective practice, it should not be chosen by default. That said, there are usually always information to add or correct. This can take a lot of time or, on the contrary, be very quick, depending on the amount of changes.

6. Add or update statistics, data, and even add anecdotes.

This is a very simple way to improve content or add interesting information to your articles. The possibilities are endless!

If you are out of inspiration, think about history. Indeed, why not give details about the invention, discovery, or first use of the subject of your article? This kind of anecdote is always quite interesting. Also, consider sales volume, market share, industry size, etc. You can approach the issue from many angles.

7. Cite experts

This is something I don't do enough! It's a simple way to strengthen the credibility of the content. It's free, and you don't have to write it. You just need to ask a question or two to an expert.

Ask someone knowledgeable in the subject. People are often happy to help in exchange for a little promotion. I always accept when asked. Finding an expert willing to answer your questions is therefore not difficult.

8. Add a FAQ section

Add content in the form of questions/answers. It's practical for users and easy to write. You just need to imagine the questions a novice would ask and provide detailed answers.

Moreover, Google highly appreciates this type of content. Indeed, this information can easily be presented in the "Other questions asked." Thus, even if these queries do not represent any search volume in themselves, you create a great opportunity to attract traffic to your website.

Update your content to improve your visibility on Google
Tip

You can use tools like Answer the Public.

9. Optimize photos and graphics

Photo optimization involves the following steps:

  1. Reduce the file size to decrease loading time and storage space.
  2. Offer a next-generation format (webP).
  3. Add an image description (alternative text, or alt attribute).
Caution

What about the image name? Be careful, because when you change the image name, you also change its URL. This can sometimes be an important source of traffic and may be well referenced by Google. By changing the file name, you risk losing these benefits.

10. Add videos

There's no doubt about it: adding a video (if relevant) is a good idea. A good video is a significant source of information and entertainment.

Moreover, since your content is old, it is very likely that new videos have been created since then. Thus, you can create your own video and embed it from YouTube or even add it directly to your site.

Tip

Short on time to create a video? Search for a video on YouTube and include it in your article in no more than a minute.

11. Create custom graphics

I love this method because it's a great tool when you want to improve old content. It also helps to promote content (on Pinterest or via referral links).

The downside is the price! Indeed, hiring a freelance graphic designer and asking them to create visual representations of the content can be quite expensive. Therefore, this is an option to consider if you are convinced that your content can attract quality traffic and generate a good conversion rate.

12. Update the date before publishing an article

No matter how you update the article, don't forget to change the date. Internet users may be looking for recent content.

For even more transparency, you could simply add the update date to the content's writing date. Thus, you demonstrate that you care about the freshness of your content, which builds trust with your reader and pleases Google!

13. Split long paragraphs

Splitting long paragraphs is a small trick that can be useful. Especially from the point of view of retaining the user on the page. Who likes to read blocks of text? To do this, you can either add line breaks to space out your text or insert subtitles to further improve diagonal reading.

Note that when I only change the article's layout, I avoid changing the date. Indeed, it's not really an update. It's more of a small improvement...

14. Integrate Google Maps

If relevant, don't hesitate to integrate Google Map. You can include a region, neighborhood, city, or address. This tip is especially useful if you offer geolocated services.

And who knows, maybe it helps improve your visibility on Google as the map is displayed in the SERP?

15. Integrate social networks

Many popular articles integrate messages written on social networks (especially Twitter) when they are relevant. This works very well for Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube (to embed videos), and Tumblr.

If you need anecdotes or want to include a different point of view, you can turn to social networks. It's quick, free, and will interest your readers.

Here's an example with a Twitter message:

> Okay... I just got a huge semantic slap from the tool https://t.co/Di50HmHBzS by @yannoth.
> Uh... big slap...
>
> — Laurent (@Loran750) March 11, 2017

### 16. Add a summary

Add a summary to most articles with four or more headings. They are practical because they allow you to link between different sections.

Summaries are also interesting for users. Indeed, they allow you to navigate easily through the article and read directly the parts that interest them. Thus, not only do you offer a concise summary of your content, but you also greatly favor the user experience (UX).

### 17. Add internal links

This is an extremely important update that can improve the SEO of your entire website. When you update old content, you have the opportunity to add links to more recent content.

I add internal links every time I update an article. This allows me to transfer power to recent content (link juice) and further strengthen my keyword clustering.

### 18. Add outbound links

You may not have included many outbound links. Improving content is then a good opportunity to correct this lack. So, don't hesitate to add the links you find useful or mention your sources (an important criterion according to Google EAT).

Moreover, updating content also allows you to repair expired links. You can either replace them with current links or simply remove them!

### 19. Merge multiple articles

Sometimes, you will realize that an old article is not of good quality and cannot be improved to meet your expectations.

What to do?

- You can delete it (remember to do a 301 redirect!).
- You can merge it with another content and thus improve it. If your site has a lot of content, there is probably another article that will do the trick.

Personally, I often mix content! This is especially the case when two articles are very similar. Not only do I significantly improve the information transmitted, but I also avoid content cannibalization (two texts worked around the same main keyword).

Tip

To go further, discover three strategies for updating low-quality content.

## 🎬 My opinion on the subject

I refused to improve existing content for a long time, due to a lack of expertise. This was a mistake! Google never penalized me drastically, and I thus lacked motivation.

I didn't know then that a significant part of the content was interesting conceptually, without being good enough to be part of the first results (search for the user's intent that evolves over time). As a result, I favored the publication of new content.

However, I have changed my opinion since the integration of Rankbrain in Google! By putting aside the SEO issue, I realized that it was necessary to improve some texts to optimize the user experience. I continued my learning and understood that improving old articles was equivalent to creating new ones.

These content update efforts allowed me to double organic search traffic on some sites. I do not attribute this increase solely to content improvement since the parallel publication of new articles supported this growth.

One thing is certain: most old content that has been improved or merged is better referenced today.

And you? Is all your content of good quality? Is their ranking on Google good enough not to update them?

To go faster, use SEOQuantum tools to discover the quality of your content!

## 🙏 Sources used to write this article

- https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-history/panda-update/
- https://www.searchenginejournal.com/guide-to-updating-content/413666/
- https://moz.com/learn/seo/google-rankbrain
- https://blog.google/products/search/more-content-by-people-for-people-in-search/

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