After years of consistent blogging, you’ve likely amassed a substantial repository of blog posts, which may even contain hundreds of articles. However, as you look back at your blog posts, a critical question might arise: “Is this blog strategy actually working?”
While you hope it is, the reality can be quite different: with over 90% of online content receiving no visits from Google searches, a great portion of your blog posts may be generating no organic traffic at all.
No traffic means no visits, no user engagement, no leads and, ultimately, no sales conversions. In essence, you may have spent time and money on a content marketing strategy that is generating no return on investment. But all is not lost.
As part of Astrid IQ’s SEO Content Audit Services, we provide a sub-service called Historical Blog Optimisation. In a nutshell, we audit large data sets of blog posts to identify non-performing pieces of content, refresh them via top-notch SEO techniques and turn them into traffic generating assets.
Read this guide to find out how to regain traffic value from non-performing content, and earn back the time and money that you have invested over years of non-optimised blogging:
What is Historical Blog Optimisation?
If you’ve ever browsed the Internet for SEO content marketing service, you might have encountered SEO agencies advertising something like article ‘rewriting’, ‘refurbishing’, ‘refreshing’ and the like.
These are all different names for essentially the same service, which involves SEO-informed editing of individual blog posts, often one or two at a time. Here’s how it typically works:
- You create a blog post in-house and recognise the need to optimise it for search engines.
- You send it to an SEO agency, and they edit the content.
- They send the article back to you, and you publish it on your website.
- You cross your fingers and hope it will perform well and bring in traffic to your blog.
- As you continue to produce new articles, this same process repeats itself. It’s a cycle of uncertainty, with fingers crossed at every turn.
Needless to say, this is not the kind of service we offer at Astrid IQ.
Historical Blog Optimisation: A Sustainable SEO Content Strategy
Historical Blog Optimisation represents a fundamental departure from the traditional approach of one-off content optimisation.
This is a comprehensive and sustainable SEO content strategy designed to maximise the value of your entire blog – we’re talking about optimising blog sections with hundreds of posts.
Here’s how Historical Blog Optimisation works:
1. Identification of non-performing blog posts
Our SEO experts meticulously examine large sets of your blog posts and identify those that haven’t produced as much organic traffic as they should have.
These posts might be invisible to search engine results algorithms for a variety of reasons, such as outdated information, poor on-page SEO, or changing user search intent.
2. Top-notch SEO content rewriting
Armed with cutting-edge SEO content strategy techniques, we proceed to edit and optimise the non-performing articles.
Our goal is not merely to make them search-engine friendly but to transform them into highly effective traffic-generating assets.
3. Unlocking lost traffic value
Over the years, you may have invested significant amounts of time and money in creating content that ultimately brings in little to no organic traffic, hence failing to generate any return on your content marketing investment.
Historical Blog Optimisation unlocks the untapped traffic value in your blog by breathing new life into previously underperforming articles. This way, you’ll be able to regain much of the traffic value you’ve been leaving on the table.
In essence, Historical Blog Optimisation is a proactive and sustainable strategy that transcends the traditional one-by-one optimisation approach. It’s about taking a holistic view of your blog’s content and turning it into a traffic-generating asset.
In the following sections, we delve deeper into the reason why your company should consider Historical Blog Optimisation, the practical steps involved and the remarkable results it can achieve for your digital presence.
Why 90%+ of blogs need Historical Blog Optimisation: A business case
Any digital marketer knows that content marketing can bring immense value to the table.
Companies with active blogs witness a 55% increase in website traffic and 67% more leads compared to businesses that don’t engage in regular content updates.
This is confirmed by the fact that 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a company through articles rather than traditional ads, while 61% of online consumers make purchase decisions based on blog recommendations.
And while 77% of marketers already consider written content one of their top priorities, these numbers are only bound to increase over the next four years: forecasts predict a near $600 billion boost in the content marketing industry by 2027.
However, with such growth comes competition – a whole lot of it.
As of 2023, the digital landscape already boasts over 600 million blogs spread across platforms like Tumblr, Wix, WordPress and LinkedIn. In fact, more than a third of all websites are blogs, accounting for over 6 million posts daily, or a staggering 2.5 billion annually.
Add to the mix the fact that 43% of blog readers prefer to skim rather than delve deep into articles, and you’ll understand just how difficult it is to produce content that can capture audience attention.
It’s no surprise therefore that 61% of marketers cite generating traffic and leads as their primary challenge.
This is the elephant in the room: the vast majority of online content out there goes unread by search engine users.
A study by Ahrefs reveals a staggering fact: out of one billion indexed web pages, over 90.63% receive no traffic whatsoever from Google.
For the remaining 9.37% web pages that do receive traffic, the distribution is as follows:
- 5.29% receive 1-10 monthly visits.
- 2.84% receive 11-100 monthly visits.
- 1.04% receive 101-1,000 monthly visits.
- 0.21% visits 1,001+ monthly visits.
If you have a substantial collection of blog posts, the odds are that over 90% of them are going unread, with their traffic value untapped: no organic visits to your blog posts means no conversions, which in turn creates no sales leads and, most importantly, no return on your content marketing investment.
This is why over 90% of current blog content can benefit from Historical Blog Optimisation, an SEO content strategy designed to breathe new life into non-performing content and harness its untapped traffic value.
It’s been proven that updating existing blog posts can increase traffic by more than 100%, potentially by as much as 106%.
Surprisingly, despite these compelling results, only 38% of bloggers actively update older articles, hence the competitive advantage that you can get from refreshing your blog via our Historical Blog Optimisation service.
Historical Blog Optimisation is just one of the many SEO services we have to offer at Astrid IQ. To find out how we can help you with your entire SEO strategy, check out our SEO Consultancy services.
How does Historical Blog Optimisation work? A step-by-step guide
This section investigates the strategies and techniques that make Historical Blog Optimisation a powerful SEO tool for transforming non-performing blog posts into traffic-generating assets.
At its core, Historical Blog Optimisation is made up of five key steps:
Step 1. Content audit and assessment
The foundation of Historical Blog Optimisation begins with a comprehensive content audit and assessment.
This critical step involves evaluating your existing blog content to identify areas that require improvement. Here’s how it’s done:
Compile your blog inventory
Gather all your blog posts in one place, creating a comprehensive inventory. This will serve as the starting point for your audit.
Analyse performance metrics
Examine key performance metrics for each blog post, including traffic, engagement and conversion rates. Identify the high-performing, underperforming, and stagnant posts.
Content quality assessment
Evaluate the quality of your content, considering factors such as relevance, depth and uniqueness. Identify posts that may be outdated or lack value.
Assess the keyword strategy of each post. Are they targeting relevant keywords? Are there opportunities to optimise for high value keywords?
Step 2. Content refresh and enhancement
With a clear understanding of your blog’s current state, it’s time to breathe new life into your content:
Update outdated information
Identify posts with outdated information and refresh them with the latest data and insights. This ensures that your content remains relevant to your target audience.
Enhance the readability of your posts by breaking up long paragraphs, using subheadings, and incorporating bullet points and visuals where appropriate.
Revise and optimise the keywords in your content to align with current search trends and user intent. Ensure that your content ranks well in search engine results pages.
Identify areas where you can add value to your existing content. This could involve expanding on key points, providing additional resources, or addressing common reader questions.
Step 3. On-page SEO enhancements
Effective on-page SEO is crucial for boosting the visibility of your refreshed content:
Review and optimise meta titles and descriptions to improve click-through rates from search results.
Incorporate relevant internal links to other blog posts or pages on your website to enhance the user experience and guide readers to related content.
Implement schema markup where applicable to provide search engines with structured data about your content, making it more discoverable.
Step 4. Monitoring and iteration
The work doesn’t end once your content is optimised and published. Continuous monitoring and iteration are key to long term success:
Use analytics tools to track the performance of your refreshed content. Monitor changes in traffic, engagement and conversions.
Pay attention to user feedback and comments. Address questions and concerns, using this feedback to inform future content updates.
Keep your content up to date and relevant. SEO trends and user preferences evolve, so we regularly revisit and enhance your posts.
Step 5. Building a sustainable Historical Blog Optimisation strategy
Historical Blog Optimisation is not a one-time effort but an ongoing strategy for maximising the value of your blog content. To build a sustainable Historical Blog Optimisation strategy:
Develop a content calendar that includes regular content audits and refresh cycles. Allocate resources and time for Historical Blog Optimisation as part of your long-term content strategy.
Involve your content creators, SEO experts and marketing team in the Historical Blog Optimisation process. Collaboration ensures that everyone is aligned with the goals and strategies.
Maintain detailed records of your content updates, including changes made, performance improvements and lessons learned. This documentation can guide future Historical Blog Optimisation efforts.
By following these steps, your Historical Blog Optimisation strategy can transform your non-performing content into valuable assets that drive organic traffic, engage your audience and ultimately gain back the traffic value you’ve been leaving on the table after years of non-optimised blogging.
Would you like to know more about how we integrate Historical Blog Optimisation into an effective SEO content strategy? For more information, see our SEO Content Writing Services.
Measuring the value of Historical Blog Optimisation: A real-life case study
In this section, we delve into a real-world case study to shed light on the tangible value that Historical Blog Optimisation can bring to the table.
Our case study centres around one of our clients, a travel agency that approached us seeking fresh article ideas to reinvigorate their blog.
As any sound SEO content strategy would dictate, we initiated the process with a thorough audit of their existing content to identify any content gaps.
The client had diligently maintained a blog for the past ten years, focusing an entire section on travel destination guides, such as “The Ten Best Beaches to Visit in Santorini.”
But as our team of SEO experts delved into measuring the blog section’s performance, a problem emerged with their current content. In fact, it was a pretty big problem.
The statistics painted a grim picture: their existing arsenal of 150 blog posts collectively received a meagre 147 monthly visits from Google searches. To put it into perspective, each individual article was attracting an average of less than one organic visit per month.
Naturally, our client wondered just how detrimental these numbers were: how much had the company lost over 10 years by investing precious resources, time and money into content that had gone virtually unread?
To quantify their loss, we estimated the blog section’s return on investment (ROI), revealing a startling figure: minus £43.40 per article, resulting in a cumulative loss of £6,510 for all 150 articles.
To arrive at this number, we employed the following formula:
Content marketing ROI = (Traffic Value) – (Copywriting costs)
How we measure content marketing ROI
Content marketing ROI reflects the revenue gained from content marketing compared to the investment made. It’s typically expressed as a percentage.
However, determining ROI hinges on two variables: return and investment.
While investment can be easier to quantify for a business, return is famously hard to measure when it comes to content marketing.
Sure, tracking conversions from an internal blog post to online sales is relatively straightforward. Yet, in the convoluted, non-linear world of B2B digital marketing, many customer journeys are far from linear.
Therefore, creating a personalised scoring system for the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your business is essential.
Organic traffic takes centre stage as the most crucial content marketing KPI, as it marks the starting point of the conversion journey. After all, without visitors, there can be no ROI: if your articles remain unread, they won’t generate any return.
That’s why a substantial 76% of marketers prioritise organic traffic as their top KPI, with the Institute of Content Marketing arguing that building an audience is in fact the primary goal of content marketing:
“Sales aren’t the immediate goal (though, of course, they can and should be part of the “profitable customer action” that’s the ultimate goal.) Content marketing aims to build an audience. Some of the people this content attracts will convert to customers. But those conversions represent only part of the value content marketing offers.”
The reasoning behind using organic traffic as the key metric to measure content marketing return is fairly simple.
In terms of long-term ROI, a single blog post has the potential to continuously increase sales leads: websites with blogs boast an average of 434% more indexed pages, making them 434% more likely to be promoted online through organic search results.
For all the reasons above, the key metric we use to measure content marketing return is traffic value, a metric we get from running a blog post through Ahrefs – a renowned SEO analysis tool.
Ahrefs calculates the traffic value of a webpage by estimating the organic traffic that that page receives for specific keywords and then multiplying that traffic by the average cost-per-click (CPC) for those keywords, providing an estimate of the potential monetary value of that traffic.
To put it simply, traffic value is a metric that shows you how much it would have cost you to buy the traffic that your blog posts are currently generating.
The higher the traffic value of a blog post, the more it would have cost you to buy for Google Ads traffic. The lower the traffic value of a blog post, the less it would have cost you to buy for Google Ads traffic.
Subtract from this number your copywriting costs, and you get the amount of money you’ve saved or lost by producing that piece of content in-house, namely without paying Google for PPC traffic.
The lower the traffic value of a blog post, the more likely it is you’ve made a loss.
To establish if that’s the case, first you need to measure the investment of your in-house copywriting strategy, i.e. its cost.
How we measure copywriting investment
With traffic value identified as the key metric for measuring content marketing return, our focus shifts to calculating the average copywriting investment, which pertains to the actual cost of producing content in-house.
While a survey revealed that 51% of businesses create content fully in-house, it also highlighted that 40% of respondents had just one content marketer on their team.
Although these numbers provide only a glimpse of the true cost of an individual piece of content, a good starting point is the average salary of a copywriter.
According to GlassDoor, the average salary of a UK-based copywriter stands at £28,692 per year, or £14.91 per hour.
On average, it takes around three hours to craft a 500-word blog post.
Based on this, we conservatively estimate the average copywriting cost per article in the UK to be £44.73.
This estimate simplifies the complex reality of copywriting by ignoring factors such as: higher salaries in UK areas like the South East and London and for senior content writers, associated in-house costs and the actual time required to craft an article (3 hours is not enough to produce a high quality article!).
Nevertheless, this rough estimate serves as a useful baseline for evaluating the ROI that the client has attained – or failed to attain – over several years of blogging.
Back to the case study – Measuring the value of Historical Blog Optimisation
Over ten years, the travel agency has produced 150 blog posts, which have generated only 147 monthly visits altogether.
Using the insights from the previous sections, we now find that the total traffic value of those 150 articles amounts to £199, while the total copywriting cost estimate stands at £6,709.
As a point of reference, just one SEO-optimised article gets an average of 700 monthly visits and has a traffic value of £960.
If these 150 articles had been SEO-optimised, they would have had the potential to generate up to 105,000 monthly visits (compared to the current 147) and a traffic value of £143,000, (compared to the current £199).
Let’s now move on to compare the client’s content marketing ROI to its counterpart post Historical Blog Optimisation, using the formula:
Content marketing ROI = (Traffic Value) – (Copywriting costs)
Current content marketing ROI: £199 – £6,709 = -£6,510
Optimised content marketing ROI: £143,000 – £6,709 = £136,291
As you can tell, the gap here is huge – after Historical Blog Optimisation, the total content marketing ROI would be £136,291, making a significant difference of +£142,801.
It’s essential to approach this number with a degree of caution, recognising that not all articles may perform to their full potential.
Nonetheless, even if Historical Blog Optimisation had got just one article to achieve an average performance level, the client’s content marketing ROI would have been over four times higher than that of 150 articles over ten years of blogging.
Astrid IQ has a successful track record of helping companies increase their organic traffic. If you’d like to find out more about some of the companies we’ve helped in the past, see our Case Studies.
Why Historical Blog Optimisation works
Historical Blog Optimisation isn’t just a shot in the dark; it’s a strategy grounded in the way search engines operate and how they reward webpage updates.
In this chapter, we’ll explore the fascinating mechanics behind why Historical Blog Optimisation is so effective.
The ever-changing landscape of search engines
Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo serve as the gatekeepers of the internet by providing users with the most relevant and up-to-date information in response to their queries.
To fulfil this mission, search engines continuously crawl and index web pages, updating their databases with the latest content.
However, the internet is a dynamic realm – new information emerges, trends evolve and user interests shift.
To maintain their relevance, search engines must adapt and prioritise fresh, high-quality content. Here’s why:
Search engines strive to keep users satisfied. When people use a search engine and find outdated or irrelevant results, it leads to a poor user experience. To avoid this, search algorithms favour pages that are current and informative.
Fresh content is often more relevant to current events, trends and user queries. Search engines aim to match user intent – and recent content is more likely to meet those needs.
Authority and credibility
Consistently updated content showcases a website’s authority and credibility. It signals that the site is actively maintained and invested in providing accurate information.
Websites in competitive niches must stay ahead of the curve. Search engines reward those that update and refresh their content, helping them maintain or improve their rankings.
Algorithmic preferences for freshness
To put this into perspective, consider Google’s algorithm updates. Google, being the dominant search engine, serves as a prime example of how algorithms favour fresh content:
- Query Deserves Freshness (QDF): Google introduced the Query Deserves Freshness algorithm, which recognises queries that require recent information. For topics like news, events and trends, QDF ensures that the most recent content ranks prominently.
- Caffeine update: In 2010, Google rolled out the Caffeine update, which improved the speed and efficiency of its indexing system. This change allowed Google to index and incorporate new content into search results more rapidly.
- Fresh content signals: Google’s algorithm considers various signals of content freshness, including the publication date, the frequency of updates, and user engagement metrics. These signals influence how content ranks in search results.
- Query-specific freshness: Google tailors freshness criteria based on user queries. Some queries require the most recent information, while others can tolerate older, evergreen content.
The impact on SEO and content strategy
For website owners and content creators, understanding the search engine’s preference for fresh content is a game-changer. Here’s why Historical Blog Optimisation becomes a strategic imperative:
If you’re currently ranking well for certain keywords, you need to maintain that position. Regularly updating and optimising your content ensures you don’t lose ground to competitors.
Resurrecting underperforming content
Content that was once valuable may have lost its lustre due to outdated information or changing user intent. Historical Blog Optimisation gives you the opportunity to resurrect and revitalise such content.
Adapting to trends
As trends shift and user interests change, your content must adapt. Historical Blog Optimisation allows you to stay ahead of the curve, capturing traffic for emerging topics.
Consistently updating your content demonstrates to search engines that your website is an authority in your niche. This can lead to improved rankings and visibility.
Historical Blog Optimisation’s synergy with search engines
Historical Blog Optimisation aligns perfectly with the search engine’s algorithmic preferences.
By proactively updating and enhancing your existing content, you cater to search engines’ demands for freshness and relevance.
This, in turn, leads to improved rankings, increased organic traffic and a better user experience.
In the next section, we’ll delve into which companies should consider implementing Historical Blog Optimisation as part of their content strategy and how it can benefit various industries and niches.
What companies should consider Historical Blog Optimisation?
Historical blog optimisation isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but it’s incredibly valuable for a lot of different types of companies.
As long as you have a long history of blogging, you could be the perfect candidate for Historical Blog Optimisation services.
Historical Blog Optimisation isn’t reserved for a specific industry or niche. Instead, it’s a versatile strategy that can benefit various types of companies, including but not limited to:
Online retailers often have extensive blogs. Historical Blog Optimisation helps them revitalise product descriptions, create buying guides and stay competitive in the fast-paced e-commerce landscape.
Businesses selling to other businesses can use Historical Blog Optimisation to update industry insights, case studies and thought leadership content to maintain authority in their respective sectors.
Companies offering services, such as law firms, marketing agencies, or consulting firms, can leverage Historical Blog Optimisation to demonstrate expertise, share recent successes and address evolving client needs.
Technology and SaaS companies
Technology-driven businesses can use Historical Blog Optimisation to keep user manuals, product updates and tech-related content current and relevant for their customers.
Healthcare and medical practices
Healthcare providers can update medical guidelines, patient resources and health-related blog posts to ensure accuracy and build trust with patients.
Schools, universities and online learning platforms can refresh course descriptions, academic articles and educational resources to attract and engage students.
Nonprofits and NGOs
Organisations focused on social causes can use Historical Blog Optimisation to provide the latest news, share success stories and maintain transparency with their supporters.
Hospitality and travel companies
Companies in the tourism sector can update destination guides, travel tips and hospitality-related content to stay relevant in a dynamic industry.
News and media outlets
Media companies can breathe new life into older news articles, interviews and opinion pieces to offer comprehensive coverage of evolving stories.
Banks and financial service providers can update financial advice, market insights and economic analysis to guide their customers effectively.
This is just a sample of the companies that can benefit from Historical Blog Optimisation.
In reality, any organisation with an extensive blog history and a desire to remain competitive in the digital landscape should consider Historical Blog Optimisation as a valuable addition to their content strategy.
Astrid IQ has a successful track record of helping companies increase their organic traffic.
If you’d like more information about how we can transform your company blog into a traffic-generating asset, see our Content Writing Services, or simply call us between 9am and 5pm on 07976 642348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.