Revive Old Posts to Generate Search Traffic, Social Shares & Comments

Yes, my friend. You read it right.

You can revive old under-performing articles on your blog to drive new search traffic.

I’ve been doing this on all my blogs. Old articles that never really drove search traffic or even shares are now working just the way I want them to. More shares and the search traffic is starting to slowly flow in.

I don’t promise that this method is going to generate huge traffic. But for example if you have 100 old articles that’s aren’t doing any good and you revive them then the results can be quite promising.

If the revived articles are able to get you even 10 visitors daily that results is some decent boost in traffic.

Daily traffic x no of days in the month x no of articles revived

10 x 30 x 100 = 30,000

Who would not want to increase their traffic by 30000 visitors monthly? There’s also going to be social amplification and reach, and engagement through comments.

I’ve written this article in two parts. Part 1 focusing on how you can assess your article is under performing and part 2 focusing on what you can do to get more shares, search rankings and more.

Evaluate Under-Performing Articles

The first step is to figure out which are the articles and pages that are not performing on your blog. There are 5 ways to identify these articles. Be cautious that you check your data points twice or thrice before you make any changes, as we do not want to affect the site in a negative way.

Its important to maintain certain aspects of the article intact while tweaking only whats required.

Your requirements and reasons to revive old posts might vary. I will cover various check points and you can apply them according to your needs.

Even though I started this article talking about reviving posts for search traffic, some bloggers might want to focus more on engagement as they have an alternative article that ranks for the keyword they want.

Low Volume Social Shares

This method of sorting out articles is for those who want to gain reach and are worried that their articles are getting enough social shares.

Few day’s back I was chatting to a friend I met on Twitter (Ian) who recommended that I give Social Warfare social share plugin a try. I immediately purchased the plugin and I’m already starting to see some results. I’m not going to talk too much about this plugin now, if you’re interested you can download Social Warfare (aff link).

The plugin has a widget option that allows you to filter for top performing articles. I used this feature to figure out the articles that have the lowest shares. Alternatively you can give web apps like BuzzSumo that allows you to see how your articles are performing on the social web.

To start off, note down the bottom 10 article. This makes it easy for you to measure and track the performance post revival.

Articles Driving Little to Zero Search Traffic

If you have Google analytics set up for your blog like me, then this will be quite easy for you.  All you have to do is login to your Google Dashboard. Navigate to Behaviour, then Site Content, then All Content. On the display pane click on unique page views and it will automatically sort in descending order.

This will display the article that generate the lowest traffic, this is not limited to search. Its overall traffic.

This way we know that the article has to be optimized for Click-through rate as well. Get an export of the data, and pick out the top 10 articles.

Nada Comments

There are always articles that get no comments or just a handful. Its as if no one cares about the topic you wrote about. But then again its not always the case. Sometimes we do not write strong enough call to actions that make a reader comment.

If you login to your dashboard, you will be able to filter out the posts based on comments. All you have to do is sort the articles in descending order and get the list of top 10 posts to revive them.

Based on Relevance

From time to time we write articles that are a little off top topic and at times are articles become irrelevant because it was focused at a specific timeframe.

If you spend a lot of time on the web that you might have come across hundreds of articles that are focused at a specific year and is completely irrelevant today. You leave the site just because its outdated.

If you have articles like this then you should maintain a list of these articles and add it to your website review so that you can revive the post during the review itself and not wait for the year end.

Topic Not Having Adequate Searches

This happens all the time. Search queries go out of trends meaning something that was once searched for is no longer been sought after. Therefore the search volume would be little to none. If you have written articles focusing on such topics, you might want to reconsider them o focus at a different area.

You can use Google Trends, Google Adwords, or premium tools like long tail pro to help find out such keywords that your articles are targeting.

This brings us to the send of part 1 identifying articles that are not performing per your need.

Optimize Under-performing Articles

Now that we have identified articles that are under performing based on different criteria’s its time to go to work on them. In part 2 of this article, we will focus on reviving the article for improved results.

Tweak Title

The first thing you can do is to change the title of the article to something more catch. You can alternatively use the new keyword you have chosen to focus. Remember to keep the keywords quite close to the topic and not something distantly irrelevant. We still want the article to be focused at a keyword that is similar so that we can revive the post to match it.

You can ask a question in the title, you can make it a list. Depending on the approach you want to take with the article or the type of article what was written. The title is the hook with a bait that lures the readers to click and visit your blog to see what its all about.

The better the headlines the better the CTR would be. So pay good attention to this section while reviving old posts.

Optimize Content for New Keywords

Now that you can optimized your post title, its time to move on to the article. Carefully read the article and remove sections that are irrelevant to the new keyword focus. Replace it with much more relevant content and ensure that there is a flow to the entire article.

In addition to this introduce the keywords in your article at the beginning, middle and end of the article as per the on-page seo best practices.

Adding/Removing Media

You might have had images and video or none of them in your articles. Its time that you swapped them all out or vice versa. Add high quality images to your article making it stand out. Use an infographic if it fits with the new keyword focus, infographics gets a ton on share son Pinterest and also can help drive traffic to your blog.

Remove old videos or video that are no longer in use. We want to keep the article upto date with the current trends and standards.

A simple teak like adding an infographic to your article can make the world of difference to how it performs on the web.

Using Revive Old Post WordPress Plugin

As a booster to all those articles that you revived, you can download and install the revive old post plugin. This plugin allows you to share your articles across various social platform on auto-pilot.

All you have to do is configure it and let it do its job. Your older articles are automatically shared based on the time intervals you have set. This can enhance the overall strategy to revive old post driving both traffic and social shares.

If you don’t already revive your old posts, its time you started scheduling some time for this as the potential it has is great. And of course we all write articles hoping that they would rank on search engines and work tirelessly to achieve these results.

Is there any other old post revival technique that you follow? Share it in the comments below.

18 Comments

  1. Hi,
    thx for these tips!
    I just read an article that we all should do a blog audit at least once a year. Which means: going over your posts one by one and updating everything. This fits in with what you are writing about here, right? We have to always check if links are still working and if old posts are actually still fitting our current content strategy.

    It might seem a lot of work, but I think it is worth it. These tips will come in handy as well for my next blog audit. Thx for writing!
    Linda

    • Hello Linda, Thanks for your comment. Yes, a blog audit is of the utmost importance. However, i’d do an audit every 3 or six months because of the frequent algo changes by Google. Its also important that we update old posts that are still relevant generating new traffic to articles that were once forgotten.

  2. Fabrizio Van Marciano Reply

    Hi Mr Broke Blog…

    This post is spot on and it’s certainly true, you can squeeze a few more visits to your blog if you make the conscious effort to revive some old posts. Why do I know this because at the start of 2015 that’s exactly what I started doing.

    Admittedly this isn’t a quick process, it’s time consuming, at the moment I’m fixing one post per day. I’ve only managed to beef up a dozen or so posts so far, but already I’ve seen a slight increase in traffic from Google. Just another 88 posts to fix now.

    Thanks for sharing a detailed post.

    • Hi Fabrizio,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.Glad that we could agree on this. This technique is generating about 30% of my blog traffic right now and its amazing how tagging your old posts can help you see the actual results. Let me know this goes for you in the coming months. I would love to hear your progress.

  3. Justin March Reply

    Another great article.

    It must be good practice to complete these steps in any case Google is getting smarter at figuring out content quality.

    Do you believe that the old articles should have their dates updated or removed?

    I follow a few people who push old content and its a bit jarring when you see 2013 posts appear, what are your thoughts?

    • Justin, If the content is relevant and if you have the post structured in a way to focus the audience for the precious years then its a good thing to update the post along with the dates so that both your readers and search engines know that content has been updated. Trying to trick the search engines just by updating the date wont help, as the search engine will look for differences in the content cross matching with the old ones.

  4. Great article, and glad I could help you a little with your endeavour! Old posts can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website- especially if you’ve made them evergreen. An article I wrote a few years ago still drives a lot of traffic, so it’s important to make sure they have good visuals and are kept up to date.
    Thanks!
    Ian

    • Hey Ian,

      Old posts don’t have to be old, if they are relevant. Its important to market those posts as not everyone will dig into a website to find content. And your recommendation of Social Warfare, Man that one plugin literally transformed my social reach. From getting about 70 shares I get well over 200-300 shares on almost every post.

  5. I totally agree! I just revived an old post today! Your new followers and subscribers may never have seen some of your old posts. Bring them back to life and allow your new followers to get value from them. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Diana,

      Glad that you agree with the points I’ve mentioned I’ve been able to generate almost 30% of my site traffic just from promoting old posts. I’m sure if everyone can practice it where appropriate they can surely benefit from this strategy.

  6. Jason Yesser Reply

    Really good ideas in this post. It does kinda suck when you post something and get no hits, shares, comments, etc. It’s like you did the work for nothing. You give some good tips on how you can strategically rebuild your posts to become relevant in the search engines and I’m sure the way to execute those ideas in part 2 of this post are very effective. Heading over there next. Keep on bringing those old posts back to life! -Jason

    • Jason, Thanks for your kind words and I’m happy that you agree with what I have to say in this post. Do visit often and your comments are a great motivator.

  7. Janice Wald Reply

    Great article. I recently wrote about how to repurpose old posts, but this is repurposing for better traffic. Brilliant! Stumbled

    • Hello Janice, Thanks so much. I’ve read your article on the topic as well. Good job. Do stop by more often. Love to hear your views.

  8. Barbara McKinney Reply

    Old post can be useful in the future. It doesn’t mean that they were old, you will automatically remove or abandon them. Old posts can become handy. You just need to revive it. This article will be a great help on how to revive the old ones. Yeah, it is time consuming, but the results are worth it.

    • You are spot on Barbara. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. I hope more and more bloggers revive older posts and make them better.

  9. Jamie Dabrowiecki Reply

    Thanks for the heads up – will definitely use this if I can link it in with my Bitly API.

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