How I Improve Existing Content Regularly (Plus Which Content I Improve)

Content Improvement Schedule

The important task I now do regularly is improving content that’s doing well or showing promise.  Likewise, you want to improve, merge, promote more or get rid of bad content.

I improve content for 3 purposes:

  1. Improve rankings main keyword(s);
  2. Target more keywords; and
  3. Improve revenue per 1,000 visitors.

Before I cover the 3 purposes, I want to say that it took me a while to accept that improving existing content is a good idea.  I resisted it because I was so focused on publishing more.

However, it finally dawned on me that if a particular piece of content is doing well or showing promise, then I should leverage the “Google love” and get the most out of that content.  It’s less work and faster to get results from improving content (i.e. leveraging existing authority) than it is publishing new content.

1. Improve rankings of main keywords.

Unless you rank for #1 in Google for the main keyword(s), see if there’s content you can add to make it better to help rankings.  Perhaps covering more related keywords that don’t merit a separate article.

More importantly, is there a way you can make it a better linkable asset?

In my view, the best way to do this is to add some data and research to the content that will attract links.

Of course adding visual media based on the data helps too.

Do something similar to your strong content.  Is there any data or statistics you can add that will attract more links?  Usually there is.

2.  Target more keywords

i. add more content based on keyword research

Do more keyword research to see if there are more related long tail keywords you can target.  Sometimes it’s not easy deciding whether to publish content as stand-alone content or as part of longer content.  It’s a judgment call, but if you have a great article with excellent potential, you may opt to add content to the article to make it more comprehensive.

ii. Add an FAQ

Another easy way to target more keywords is to include an FAQ in the article.  Set out questions and answers pertaining to the topic.  This is easy content to produce and it can result in some nice incremental traffic.

iii.  Merge poorly performing content with strong content

I did a ton of this recently.  I found plenty of content not doing well with little promise so I merged it with closely related content doing very well. This helped me get rid of thin content and bolster strong content.

In fact, in some cases, it turned out I was targeting the same keywords on multiple posts.  This was not good so by merging the content (some required some serious editing for the merge to flow well), I got rid of duplicate content, thin content and bolstered strong content fairly quickly.

Want more content ideas?  Fill in the form below.

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3. Improve revenue per 1,000 keywords

i. ad placement

You might test ad placement for your higher traffic content to squeeze out more dollars.  I do this regularly.

ii.  Custom email sign up form

If you’re building a list in your niche, create custom sign up incentive offers for your higher traffic pages.  This way you can increase your email sign up conversion rate with very little additional work.

iii.  Add or improve affiliate offers

If you have affiliate offers on the page that convert even a little bit, work on improving the conversion.  It may be better buttons or more prominent links.  It may be some changes to the content to pre-sell better.

I manage to increase affiliate revenue with some great affiliate product galleries on a lot of pages.  It wasn’t life-changing increases, but it helped.  The best part is these product galleries I created dramatically improve user experience, which I place quite a bit of focus on these days.

Should you improve poorly performing content?

It depends.

If it has potential, yes.  Perhaps you slapped up some lousy content hoping it would do the job and that didn’t work out, but you’re confident the keyword or concept is sound, then by all means invest time or money into making it better.

In many cases, if the content is decent, it may just be a matter of more links.

If the content concept was bad idea after-the-fact, see if you can merge it with better performing content (in a way that makes sense – don’t slam together unrelated content).  I seldom simply dump content.  Usually I find a way to use it unless it’s egregiously bad.

Don’t forget social promotion and updating the date

Just as you’d promote new content across social channels, re-promote improved content, especially if it’s been 6 months or longer since you promoted on social media.

Also, if you’ve made meaningful changes, update the date in WordPress (if it’s in post format).

6 thoughts on “How I Improve Existing Content Regularly (Plus Which Content I Improve)”

  1. Jon, I appreciate your writing. It’s easy to digest and thorough. Looking forward to reading more here. I am getting ready to merge a bunch of content on my site. Do you recommend doing a 301 redirect for the old posts? My site doesn’t have a ton of content yet, and I’m worried that too many 301 redirects relative to total pages and blog posts could hurt my search rankings (which are admittedly low at this point!).

    1. Hey Mighty Investor,

      I’m not a super technical SEO guy. I did a good number of 301 redirects when I merged content, but the number of redirects relative to total number of posts was small.

      I’m not sure whether having a high number of 301 redirects relative to number of posts matters. This is one of those obscure SEO issues, but I would think it wouldn’t matter. That’s my hunch, but you would be wise to research it further.

      I do think merging mediocre content to create great content is a good idea if separately they don’t form stand-alone articles. Often it’s a tough call when to merge or leave each as-is. What I did is for some I merged and others I just improved each separately to see what happens.

      1. Jon,

        Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. I will research further. I suppose the key really is for me to focus on great content that is SEO optimized–rather than spend too much time on obscure stuff. My site has little ranking at this point regardless! Thanks again and keep up the great writing.

  2. Hi Jon! Loving your posts, I peruse and find gold nuggets all of the time! I do have a question – I’m not very techy and need to hire someone to help me with all of that ie; stuff that SEMRUSH suggests needs attention/fixing – so my question is; do you have a list of agencies for this kind of thing? ) I did a search on your site, but nothing came up). Thanks so much! Presley

    1. Hey Presley,
      Glad you like the blog. Sorry, I don’t have a list of agencies for that sort of thing. I did once upon a time use the Yoast SEO audit service which was fairly thorough. They don’t actually fix the stuff, they just identify the problems, if any. Otherwise, I can’t really suggest anyone because I’ve not hired anyone. The good tech SEOs are very expensive and it’s time consuming work.

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