I’ve talked about the whole quantity versus quality thing and told you what I believe. You should start with quantity (and quickly create big piles of content), then move to quality and improve that content. But how exactly do you do that? This article will explain the most powerful ways you can improve your blog posts.
So if you’ve followed my advice and started with a focus on quantity, you’ll have a big pile of content. Now it hopefully isn’t rubbish, but it might not be of the highest standard. Especially the earlier content.
Remember, you get better at this stuff over time! My first few articles were far from my best. And this isn’t even my first blog! There is always room for improvement.
What I recommend you do therefore is start from the beginning. Go back to the first article you created. Fix it up, using the steps I’m about to explain. Then go to the second one you published, and so on.
This has two benefits.
First, it will quickly fix up what are probably the worst pieces of content you published. No offence, but like I said, you get better at writing. So your earliest ones won’t be as good as your later ones.
Secondly, it will have an SEO benefit. Google likes to see freshly updates content.
It won’t make much difference to fix up an article that’s a week old, but a facelift on a six-month-old article can make a big difference. Just make sure that you are making meaningful edits to the content, and that you update the Published date in WordPress.
You are using WordPress.org for your blog, and not some crappy free thing, right? Good.
Here are the steps for going over and improving your old blog posts to make them really stand out and push them up the search rankings.
Long content is better than shorter content. A higher word count is better than a lower word count. Always.
Ok, maybe not quite always. Neil Patel found that ranking and traffic benefits from increasing word count in an article bottomed off at about the 15,000 word mark. But I’m assuming your posts aren’t nearly that long.
But you want to find ways to add more powerful content and ideas to your article. If you’re not sure how to, I invented a technique called Add Attack Ignore that you can learn in my article on how to beat your competitors’ content
This might sound like it contradicts the previous point, but it doesn’t. See my article on simple writing tips. Make more points, but with fewer words. Cut down anything that doesn’t need to be there.
Tools like the Hemmingway Editor app can help with this.
Media like pictures and video make articles more engaging, and send good messages to search engines.
Pictures are great for adding secondary keywords (see below) in the captions and alt tags, to help your articles rank for more search terms. Videos can do this too, and also increase average dwell time and time on page.
If half the page visitors spend 10 minutes watching a video you’ve embedded, that’s an increase of five minutes to your average time on page!
A lot of people forget that articles can rank for multiple keywords. Each article will probably be ranking well for the main keyword you’re targeting (i.e. the one in your title tag). Though don’t forget, it’s entirely up to Google what it ranks your articles for. You don’t get to “set” the main keyword for your articles. If Google wants to rank your article on poker strategies for “flower arrangement tips”, there’s nothing stopping it. Read my article on Keyword Cannibalization if you want to know more.
An important tip though is to look at what else your articles are ranking for. For example, this article might (hopefully) end up ranking well for “how to improve your blog posts” and “how to improve blog posts”. But it might also end up ranking on the second page for “how to improve blog content”.
Use a search engine tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush to find these secondary keywords. Try and rank higher them. You’ll get a bigger traffic boost by getting a secondary keyword from 16th to 6th place than you would be getting your primary keyword from 6th to 5th place. And it will probably be a hell of a lot easier.
To increase your ranking for secondary keywords, use those keywords in alt text on images and videos, sprinkle them (sparingly) in headings and paragraphs, and add some Latent Semantic Indexing keywords (see below) for those phrases.
This is a nifty technique that not a lot of people know about.
Latent Semantic Indexing might sound fancy, but it is a simple concept. Basically, it is how Google looks at not just keywords, but related words to that keyword. That’s how it knows that an article called “how to organise a party” and that mentions balloons and cake is different to an article called “how to organise a party” and mentions political committees and elections.
So Latent Semantic Indexing is super important. Nobody really 100% knows how Google does it, but there are some people who’ve probably come close to figuring it out.
I don’t know what really goes on under the hood, but if you go to the lsigraph website, you can put in a keyword phrase. And it will then spit out a whole bunch of words and phrases.
Try and find ways to put them (naturally!) in your article. The more the merrier! Image and video alt tags can be good places to throw these too if you are struggling to add them naturally to your text.
Leon’s Pro Tip: you can also run LSI analysis on your secondary keywords! So in my previous example, I would get an LSI keyword list from lsigraph, and put them in my article. Then if I am ranking ok for “how to improve your content”, I would run that through lsigraph as well, and see what comes out.
It would probably be similar to the previous LSI keyword list, but there might be a few others. So I could then add those in (body text and media alt tags).
Make sure your article has a few external links to good authority websites. But you should have already put those in when you first published your article, and you don’t need a lot. So you might not need to add many more.
But you definitely want to work on your internal links!
Your website probably had barely any content when you wrote those first few articles (obviously). So there are probably plenty of opportunities to go back and add internal links.
Internal links are great. They help Google understand your important content, they increase your dwell time, and they can funnel people to parts of your website that you want them to end up (like your promotional or “money” pages).
Some people use the “link silo” method, to build a structure of related pages all internal linking to a big authoritative page that sits at the “top” of the silo. It receives bits of link juice from all the other pages in the silo.
That’s a bit of a more advanced SEO topic. Maybe an idea for my next article!
You are building an email list, right? Good. You are using lead magnets, right? Good. Well, one of the best types of lead magnet is a content upgrade. That’s a lead magnet that is specifically related to the content on an article.
The more specific, the better! So write a lead magnet that is related to at least the overall topic or category of the post. Or even better, a very specific one that is tied directly to that article and only appears there.
Make sure to then configure your auto-responder (I use and recommend GetResponse, it’s amazing) to add that person to the relevant list and send them the right email with that resource.
Anyway, I hope you found this article helpful. You are now armed with a big variety of ways to improve your existing content.
Can you think of any others? I’m sure there are some more. Please let me know in the comments!