Want to know what tactic we used to double traffic to Single Grain?
We updated our content.
I’ve mentioned before how Wikipedia continually updates their content because it’s crowd-sourced and time sensitive. Wikipedia writers and editors are policing it all the time.
As a result, Wikipedia not only has really high-quality content (remember back when it didn’t?), it also has constantly updated content that Google loves to rank highly.
This is how you want to produce all your own content, too. You want to align it with your marketing funnels and buyer personas, keep it evergreen, and then just keep updating it maybe once a quarter or even just once a year.
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I have this post on Single Grain called Effective SEO Techniques that Work in 2017. In reality, this post was actually written in 2016 and it was titled “Effective SEO Techniques for 2016.” When this post first came out, it was 4,000 words. Now it’s 6,600 words. We’re going to update it every single year, and it’s going to keep growing bigger.
In this year’s version, not only have we added a call to action for SEO work, we also have a ton of internal links, and our engagement has just gotten better and better.
This is just one example, but we’re doing it for literally all of our epic, long-form posts. In December 2016 we decided that upgrading content would be our marketing experiment.
We updated about 10-20 pieces of content and the organic traffic has doubled for all those posts.
That’s why we’re saying this could potentially double the traffic that you have for your posts, too. Just imagine if you’re doing it across the board for your top 10 or top 25 posts.
Learn More: Why You Should Run Marketing Growth Experiments Every Week
This is very important.
Look at your Google Analytics. Go to behaviors. Go to your landing pages section. Look at what’s going on there, and see which posts you can upgrade or update based on initial traffic and the dip over time.
Our post Effective SEO Techniques that Work in 2016 (before we updated it) got great engagement back when it was released in 2016, but over a year later it was barely being read.
When you see that kind of potential, obviously you want to upgrade the piece, but you also want to make sure that you change the slug – but be sure to redirect it to the new slug or you’ll lose your previous ranking (keep the slug the same if the title hasn’t changed).
That’s going to be better for the long run because people do look at the URL and it’s going to look really fishy if you update your content so the title says “2017” but the slug still says “2016.” Even if you actually put in the work and are bringing fresh, relevant data and advice to the table, it ends up looking like a really dirty link. It looks kind of iffy and spammy.
Once you’ve fixed the URL, it’s time to update the content. Look around the web using tools like BuzzSumo to see what has popped up since you published your piece and then ask yourself:
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SEO is constantly changing, and it’s only getting harder to rank organically, so you need every advantage.
In 2018, we might update our SEO piece to include the impact of voice search or how local search has changed, too. We want to keep updating this piece and make sure it’s growing and growing. When it hits 20,000 to 30,000 words, you’ll want to add a table of contents at the top so people can click to a certain chapter.
When updating your content, your goal is to always make it a better user experience.
This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post: