historical optimization

Historical Optimization: 6 Best Practices for Updating Blog Content to Boost SEO

Historical optimization is becoming more important than ever to content marketers. Although new content is good, evergreen articles need maintenance.

If your business blog has been around for a while, you likely have a fair amount of content that hasn’t been updated and has likely fallen off your radar. The content may have been relevant when first published however there’s a high chance the content is now outdated.

Outdated content can cause your readers to question your credibility and lose faith in your business authority. Eliminating any dated content is not the answer, so what is the best practice for updating blog content?

Through historical optimization, you can turn obsolete content into, fresh, updated blog posts. One common benefit of historical optimization is boosting search traffic to your website which can result in improved lead quality and overall credibility.

historical optimization
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What Is Historical Optimization for Blog Content?

According to Hubspot, historical optimization refers to the process of editing old blogs to ensure they are current, accurate, and appropriate. Why is this important? Because in the online domain, content is king. Having a blog that consistently delivers fresh posts is key to driving traffic to your website.

While simply pressing the delete button may seem like the easiest solution, you are removing precious content from your sight, thus creating more of a new to produce new content. When you update blog content from old posts through historical optimization, you are making old content relevant again and it’s less labor-intensive than creating entirely new posts.

Historical optimization is also vital to SEO. Search engines regularly modify their algorithms, so SEO strategies that worked in the past may not work as effectively now. For this reason, historical optimization also involves updating SEO keywords.

With properly implemented SEO, your goal should be to appear near the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) when people are searching for your type of business. As such, your website traffic will be more likely to convert into paying customers.

Search engines can be tricky, and while it can be difficult to please them, it’s not impossible. One important thing to remember is that search engines prefer new content over old content—the fresher, the better. Although historically optimized blog pages technically aren’t new, their content will be, and that’s what matters to search engines.

Consider these best practices to help you stay up-to-date on the latest developments in SEO and master historical optimization.

1. Keep Blog Content Up-To-Date

The majority of search traffic likely comes from older posts.

However, you should not stray away from producing new original content. Each new article you publish has the potential to rank if you’ve done your homework. That being said, you should frequently check in on your evergreen posts and use historical optimization strategies to ensure they continue generating search traffic.

As you decide on the content you’d like to update, consider posts with a history of driving search traffic—updating this content should increase the search traffic even more. It’s also a good strategy to stay on top of current events and trending topics and update old posts relevant to any new information.

Upon publishing, your blog post information was accurate. However, there are so many factors that can change in the space of a few months.

Statistics are typically the first element in a blog post to go stale, so be sure to frequently check on these and make updates regularly. And confirm your stats timely, no older than three to five years is best practice to assure credible sources.

historical optimization update blog content
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2. Target New Keywords

Keywords are a fundamental part of optimizing your content for search engines, often referred to as simply SEO.

Search engines use keywords to establish what your blog posts are about and which internet users to direct to your site. Tools like Ahrefs can help determine which keywords your posts are ranking for and which search terms lead visitors to your site.

Monthly Search Volume (MSV) anticipates how much traffic is available for a keyword. You need to evaluate MSV alongside keyword difficulty—a measure of how difficult it is to rank on the first page of a SERP for a specific keyword. Nonetheless, neither keyword difficulty nor search volume can solely determine your target keywords.

Keeping up with keyword rankings will also indicate which aspects of a post, such as your subheadings, that you may want to update.

keyword research
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3. Update On-Page SEO Details

As important as keywords are, it is critical that you use them in the right places.

When you update blog content, ensure the keywords you want to rank for are not only in the main paragraph but also in the title, meta description, and header tags.

Furthermore, remember that your business isn’t static, and neither are your keywords. Over time, your business goals and brand messaging may change, so your blog content must be updated to reflect these changes. Review your old blog posts and primary keywords and ensure they are aligned with your organization’s current direction. This will guarantee that the search traffic coming your way is still relevant.

When you update blog content, pay attention to what questions or comments people are making online and which key phrases are currently trending. Google Trends will help you identify the current search trends. With some appropriate keyword optimization, you can guide the ideal traffic to your content.

4. Refresh Links

Active links on your blog posts boost SEO and are a critical element of historical optimization. Internal links keep customers moving within your site. At the same time, external links to reputable pages let your readers know you’ve done your research and that your statistics are trustworthy.

Utilize tools like Ahrefs to easily find broken links.

Over time, links get old and can break. This can happen for a number of reasons, websites are shut down, previously hosted content is removed, or there was a change to the URL. Broken links can have a negative impact on your SEO and greatly diminish the user experience, and hurt any affiliate marketing.

historical optimization
Image Source: Shutterstock

5. Optimize Blog Content With New Images and Videos

Blogs are one of the most efficient ways to organically drive search traffic to your website.

However, even the best content can be scrolled over if it’s not visually appealing. To make your blog stand out from the rest, update the content with images, videos, and other forms of media. Not only is this more engaging for visitors, but it also scores points with search engines.

If your content is already full of images and videos, give them an update.

As technology improves, so does media quality—and customers expect the best. Low-res images that may have been fine a few years back are apt to look amateurish now. Ditch them for newer visuals that will enrich the reader’s experience.

Image Source: Shutterstock

6. Add an Editor’s Note

Change can be good. Unexpected change is often confusing.

If regular visitors to your blog notice that old posts are being edited, this could be viewed as a sign of dishonesty or trickery. This scenario can be easily avoided by adding an editor’s note to indicate when the article was last updated.

You could insert a comment or two summarizing what has changed to go the extra mile. This is especially important for blogs that allow public comments, as these remarks may seem out of context when content changes.

Why Historical Optimization Matters Now More Than Ever

While it has always been important, historical optimization was once considered an optional tactic. Now it has become a critical component of content marketing. This shift has been driven by increased competition, as businesses start recognizing online content's power in their marketing strategy.

Consumers are inundated with content, and while the supply continues to rise, demand hasn’t always been able to keep up. What will set you apart from your competitors is not quantity, but quality. Historical optimization ensures that your best content always rises to the top, no matter the publish date.

With most blogs, the bulk of the readership is driven by a minority of articles. Research from Hubspot revealed that 76% of views come from a blog's older posts.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop creating new content. Rather, it confirms that your older posts still have significant value. Be sure to update blog posts so that your top-performing pieces remain accurate and SEO friendly.

Partner With WriteForMe to Manage Your Business Blog & More!

Your old articles are far from being considered yesterday’s news. Instead, you could think of them as priceless treasures. With historical optimization, these jewels will be able to sparkle once more.

Keep in mind, this is an ongoing process. Links require frequent replacement, statistics need updating, and best SEO practices constantly evolve. It can feel like a lot of work to keep up with every detail. But if you risk falling behind your competitors with outdated content.

WriteForMe is a digital marketing content provider that puts care into everything it does. We work with your business to deliver high-quality content created to capture your brand’s authentic voice and attract quality leads. Our SEO experts will boost your posts to the top of search engine rankings, and with an editorial calendar, you’re guaranteed consistency and efficiency.

Grab your free playbook and discover how WriteForMe can improve your business’s digital marketing reach.


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Andy Steuer

Andy Steuer is the Chief Marketing Officer at WriteForMe. Andy has been CEO, CMO, VP of Product for 8 fast-growing companies in his career. 3 of those companies became Top 10 Internet companies. Content Marketing has always been at the core to differentiate these companies from their competition. You can always schedule a 1 on 1 meeting with Andy by grabbing some time on his calendar here. List articles below that have Andy on the byline on the rest of the page. Here’s my calendar link:https://meetings.hubspot.com/andysteuer » More blog posts by Andy Steuer

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