Combatting Content Decay and Improving Your Search Ranking

Ever wonder why a company goes from no corporate blog to suddenly blogging five days per week? It’s all about content decay and SEO, and we’re not alone.

But what exactly is content decay, you ask?

Picture this…

You’ve worked tirelessly to create a strong, best-in-the-industry blog post. It’s chock-full of case studies, examples, rich media, and statistics, and it was carefully written and edited to be both entertaining and actionable. It’s an enormous thrill to see that blog post rank in the number one spot in the SERPs – and then it’s heartbreaking to watch it suddenly start to fall in ranking.

If you search for almost any keyword, there’s a solid chance that today’s number one ranking result won’t hold that position after a few months.

Content decay is, simply put, content that’s been declining in traffic over the past 12 months.

Google prioritizes newer content. Google loves relevant, fresh content that is up to date with the most recent information. Google monitors three types of searches when it comes to “fresh content”: regularly occurring events, frequent updates, and hot topics and recent events. If you’re not publishing new content, this can result in even the best resources potentially falling in the SERPs over time.

Content decay naturally takes a negative hit on your SEO efforts, which in turn results in less traffic coming to your site.

This is frustrating because after all the time and effort you put into carefully creating and optimizing your blog post, it can eventually have a diminishing value of return. If you don’t take efforts to refresh your content, the content decay and its negative effect on your SEO strategy are almost inevitable.

How to Grow Your SEO Traffic by Fixing Your Content Decay

If you’re starting to wonder if content marketing is even worth it when you factor in content decay, don’t worry, it absolutely is!

While blog posts can’t just be written, optimized, and put out into the world with full finality, there is some great news here: With the right strategy, you can refresh your posts and re-optimize them so that they can gain that “fresh” perspective, outrank your competition, and get you the results they were delivering before.

Here are some quick, actionable ideas to guide your refreshes which, in many cases, is enough to win back SEO traffic:

  • Expand the word count and add more depth and examples
  • Replace outdated stats and references that “date” the post
  • Re-promote this updated content to your email list and on social
  • Add internal links from other posts to these pages

Building a High-Performance Content Marketing Strategy

Update Past Posts with New, Relevant Information

Sometimes, your best bet is to take a look at older posts and see if the information in them simply isn’t relevant anymore.

Maybe all your studies are out of date (beyond three years old) or maybe there have been industry changes that have made your post outdated or even incorrect. Perhaps a new technique or piece of technology or official Google update has come out since then.

Consider Changing the Keywords

Updating past posts will mean that you’ll need to reoptimize the post for new keywords, too.

Keywords can rise and fall in popularity, so an initial trending keyword may no longer have the same kind of traffic that it originally did. This is particularly common with trending keywords, but it can happen with any term.

As you focus on link-building campaigns, don’t forget to add internal links from your other posts to these newly updated posts. Not only will this create a better user experience for the reader, but it helps Google understand the content structure of your site better. And all this will provide more SEO juice.

Some content decay is to be expected, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Fortunately, with the right tools and strategies in place you can be ready to act the second it does, or even preemptively. This will keep your content in good standing, bringing in all those SEO results you’ve come to know and love!

Do you have questions about building a content marketing strategy? We would love to talk with you about what has worked and how you can make the most of what you have and how to build from a solid foundation.