(re)Optimize Existing Pages for Organic Search

(re)Optimize Existing Pages for Organic Search

Are you aware that the average site ranked first on SERP’s contains at least 1,500 words of authority content?

To obtain organic search traffic, does this mean you need more content? What if you don’t have time to generate tons of new material?

Luckily, there is a more effective solution.

Google’s search for authoritative content does not mean you have to start fresh. Instead of building a new house, you can renovate your existing strategy. Think of it as cleaning up the old limbs on the SEO tree.

Start with a Focused Audit

Your business is growing. You may have reorganized content based on your current focus or what is trending in the industry. If you are clever with keyword research, you’ve probably thrown in a few keywords.

Google’s algorithm is continuing to evolve. What worked in the past, may not align to the mobile-first changes. With voice and artificial intelligence transforming the search environment, you need to look at your content strategy through a new lens.

This is where a focused-audit comes in. The key is to find the point of departure. Where are you ranking now compared with what you need to land the top spot?

Take inventory of the following items to prioritize your optimization efforts:

  • On-Page Content – Look for any content that is lacking substance or falling just short of traffic goals. You can use Google’s Search Console to look for pages that hold the most potential. Focus on pages with high impressions or click-through rates to identify pages for search optimization.
  • Inbound Links and Referrals – Your inventory is not just what is on your Web site now. It also includes the PR articles linking back. Audit your back link profiles to see which links are driving the most traffic to your website. Inspect the quality of the links to look for any areas to improve the flow.

  • Legacy Content – Create a spreadsheet that details legacy content such as posters, trade shows displays and other printed materials. These pages are not online but may prove useful for strengthening your landing pages.

  • Images – How do your images affect the site speed? Look at the file size of your images and whether the title and alt-text fields are optimized for search.

Focus on Quality Links

Rather than starting completely fresh with brand new content, you can improve performance by tweaking your existing strategy.

There likely isn’t time to revamp everything, so where is the best place to start?

When working on a redesign, update your backlinks first. Google favors inbound PR links and referrals, where quality matters.

Start by removing any toxic websites that hinder your SEO efforts. For the remaining PR links, decide on few tweaks to smooth out the keyword usage.

Reach out to the source of the content with minor tips to improve the structure. For example, “Please add in keywords for the H2 and H3 headers.” You are preserving the link but changing the title and headers.

Don’t forget about interlinking. Follow a siloed approach to link within your internal pages and keep your audience engaged.

Finally, sprinkle in some external links to boost the authority of your content. Be sure to keep the natural flow of information. By linking to relevant sites, you can strengthen your own credibility.

Improve the Existing Content

Google rewards sites with an engaging user experience. This means quality content and images.

When the need for content heads up against the redesign effort, usually design wins. The content ends up as a meaningful afterthought.

If you have a savvy developer or are using Yoast, the content process may be fairly automated. However, developers need a break after working on the back-end. This often comes at the expense of SEO.

When you are doing a redesign, how do you make the changes with a new structure?

While the designer must work within the confines of the content management system, try to keep your links the same. You don’t need to invent new content.

Use analytics as a guideline to reoptimize your existing pages. Those pages have already built up some level of trust with the search engine.

After you make changes, remember that the organic environment is constantly evolving. Keep your fingers on the SEO pulse to give your content a competitive edge.