3 Types of Old & Underperforming Blogposts (Plus: Tips to Revive Them)

Think back to the last time you did a Google search and a number of blogposts or articles showed up in the results.

Did you click on one that was from a year ago? How about 5 or 10 years ago?

Depending on the content, you’re likely to pass right by anything older than a year or two.

If you’ve been blogging for a while, you probably have a ton of old content. All those old posts are still receiving traffic and conversions, but are they performing as well as they could be?

Here are 3 types of old and underperforming blogposts and tips for reviving them.

1. Top performing posts

Wait, what? Review your top performing posts?

Absolutely. Even your highest performing posts could use some love. Plus, they’re already getting a lot of traffic, so think of how else they can work for you.

In order to see the posts getting the most traffic or conversions, pop on over to your Google Analytics account and go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

Change the time period to as far back as you can so you get a good idea of total traffic, bounce rate, and conversions.

What can you do for high performing posts?

How can you make your top posts even better and make them rank even higher? Consider:

  • Overall visits: you’ll use overall traffic to see popularity for each post
  • Average time on page: how long are people spending on the page? Does it seem like they’re reading the entire post?
  • Bounce rate: how can you lower the bounce rate (% of people only visiting that page)? Bounce rates on blogs are inevitably higher than typical web pages, so how can you engage users in a way that they’ll want to convert or click for related content?
  • Conversions: how can you engage users more to convert by signing up for an email newsletter, downloading a free resource, contacting you, and so on? Your Google Analytics goals are very telling for how well the post is engaging visitors.

Think of any additional opportunities for posts to do even better and convert even more:

  • Are there any affiliate marketing opportunities where you can earn passive income on the post?
  • Can you create a video for YouTube to bring in even more traffic?
  • Can you re-share on social media or within your email newsletters to get your audience’s eyes on the post again?

2. Old posts with traffic that tapered off

Perhaps you had a newsworthy post that had a lot of traffic right away, but is no longer applicable or could use an update.

These posts may no longer apply for your audience, or maybe there’s an opportunity to breathe new life into them.

Click on specific posts on that Behavior > Site Content > All Pages report within your Google Analytics we were just looking. There, you’ll be able to see the traffic over time for that post.

What can you do for old posts with traffic that’s tapered off?

Consider what makes more sense for the post:

  • Leave it as-is for posterity’s sake. (I like to keep some posts around simply because I worked really hard on them and it’s a good post!)
  • Update the post itself for a more current take.
  • Create a new post and link that there has been an update made from the original post.
  • Link back to the post as often as you can from new blogposts.

3. Low performing posts

Last, but certainly not least, there are those posts that are simply not performing as well as you’d like in any respect.

Traffic might be low, bounce rate and exit rate might be high, and conversions may be nowhere to be found. Whatever the reason, these blogposts are doing nothing more than taking up space on your blog.

Let’s get that fixed up, shall we?

Scroll way down to the bottom of your Behavior > Site Content > All Pages report we’ve been looking at in Google Analytics. You’ll start to see posts that aren’t getting much traction.

Let’s walk through a specific example.

Start by clicking on an individual post to learn more about it. You’ll see traffic over time, along with the same data we just saw.

For this post, How to Be A Better Business Owner, the data doesn’t look bad other than having very few visits.

My initial assumption is that it’s simply not optimized well enough. “How to be a better business owner” is probably very competitive, so I’m just not getting the SEO traction I need for the post.

To confirm this, I can set the Secondary Dimension > Acquisition > Source to see what kinds of traffic I’m getting.

Since the traffic is so small here, I decided to update the post title to optimize better (now How to Be a Better Business Owner: 3 Ways to Be a More Successful Entrepreneur) and I updated the post, as well.

What can you do for low performing posts?

Posts can be low performing for a number of reasons, but here are a few ways to edit them to get more life out of them:

  • Optimize the post better (like I did in the example above) to get more search engine traffic. Pay close attention to the title and headers.
  • Update the content in the post and change the date to today. Search engines love fresh, new content, so an updated post will show them you’re updating your posts regularly. Plus, visitors will love newer posts!
  • If the post isn’t salvageable — it’s no longer applicable or the information is just plain wrong — you can either 1) update the post as above, 2) create a new post and create a link in the original to show you’ve got a newer, more accurate post, or 3) delete the post and redirect the old URL to the new one so you don’t lose any search traffic or incoming link traffic.
  • Repost on social media to revive interest from your social media audience.

Updating your old and underperforming blogposts is a long term plan, so don’t feel like you need to tackle a whole bunch of posts all at once. Instead, try setting a small goal for yourself to update old posts.

For instance, you might try to update one post per week. Maintaining this schedule will mean you’re consistently adding content while updating old content for the best results.

What blogposts are you going to update today?!

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