Revamp Experiment: Updating a Post to Hit Page One of Google

Revamping and rewriting content is a way to keep your website fresh, current, and crawled by Google. You don’t want to leave obsolete and outdated information floating around in your blog. So, I’m going to see what I need to do to get some articles ranking higher.

Because there are a few that I have with some great potential.

Experimental Process for Updating Posts

In this experiment, I’m going to take a look at a few factors that make the top posts of WriterSanctuary so effective in search. Then, the idea is to try to duplicate similar elements to get pages to rank higher.

This is all according to my specific audience. Every website will have a unique visitor base, so it’s worthwhile to analyze the data for your own sites as opposed to following the directions of other experts.

Remember, statistics are all based on averages, mostly across several industries.

Keyword Volume in Google Keyword Planner

First off, we need to make sure we’re using the best keywords for any given article. This includes making sure there is adequate search intent within the content.

According to the top-performing articles in WriterSanctuary, half of the ranking phrases max out at 1,000 and the other half at 100 searches per month. That’s data taken from Search Console for each article.

This tells me that I really should try to aim at keyphrases and terms that have a much higher volume if I want to hit 10,000 visitors per month.

Position of Top Keyphrase

I have quite a few articles that are ranked in the top 10 for their respective primary keyphrases. But, a lot of them have a pretty poor average position overall.

Now, this can be from a number of things. One of which is how Google often ranks an article for phrases that are irrelevant to the post. This affects the position of each article.

The bottom line is that I can’t really worry about something with an average position of 40.4 if Google keeps tossing the article out to random search phrases.

Instead, worry about the top phrases, search intent, and considering adding content to meet the demands of searchers.

Length of the Article

On average, the top articles for WriterSanctuary have 1,903 words. Of course, this is a range between 1,189 or 3,208 words overall.

See what I mean about averages?

One of the articles that holds the number one position in search for its phrase is only 1,593 words long.

Before I decide to add a bunch of words to an article, I need to see how it compares for top posts for its specific keyphrase. The article may be long enough, but perhaps needs a few more internal links or phrases for search intent.

The Process for Updating

OK, it’s time to hammer out the experimental process for updating articles for 2022. Unfortunately, I won’t know if any of these work for another six months.

Still, we gotta keep the content fresh and updated to make Google happy.

This will be a tentative plan that continues until I see data that tells me it’s not working. This is also based on my experiences with clients and how we’ve made massive leaps in terms of traffic when updating articles.

1. Find an Article to Update

First, we’ll need to find an article or two that desperately needs a boost. This could be any article you feel that should be getting far more traffic than it does.

The purpose of this experiment, though, is to find an article with roughly the same search volume as the top-performing article.

In my case, I found one that should be ranked much higher with the same relative volume.

2. Check the Yoast Focus Keyphrase

Next, we want to make sure the focus keyphrase in Yoast SEO is what we’re actually aiming for. In this case, it was slightly off. Luckily, I won’t have to worry about changing the slug or title since both contain what I actually want to use.

However, changing the focus in Yoast will also mean going through the content and making text adjustments to reflect the new parameter.

Usually, this isn’t too bad and probably takes about five to 10 minutes.

3. Check for Relevant Secondary Terms

Normally, I’ll look through relevant terms in Google Keyword Planner and find at least five that fit the article. You don’t want to just slap keyphrases in willy nilly. They need to support the article you’re writing.

In my case, I found several that I must have missed when writing the original article. It happens, especially when you consider trends and how people search from one month to the next.

Usually, I’ll sprinkle these within the article itself when it makes sense, answer a question specific to the secondary term, or otherwise investigate how people are using the term to find information (search intent).

Another method I’ll use is checking Search Console to see how people are coming across my article. If it’s something I can add, I’ll try to flesh out those points within the piece.

4. Average Length of Top Articles

Sometimes, all it takes is fleshing out an article a bit to hit the top search results page. Unfortunately, time is not on my side on this one.

On average, the top articles have approximately 3,088 words, which is considerably higher than the 1,754 I currently have.

Because I don’t have a lot of time to vastly increase this article to at least surpass the average, I’m going to aim to surpass one article on the list that has the lowest number of words.

In this instance, that means only needing a minimum of 500 words.

Now, there are a number of ways I can do this. It all depends on the type of article, really. In this case, it’s a listicle, which means I can add more points to the article to increase the word count while offering more points to the topic.

I can also go through “People also ask” and try to answer questions better than what is already there. Another thing I could do is analyze what sections the competition has added and see if there is anything I can do better.

The point is to flesh out the topic even more to offer valid, actionable, or otherwise relevant information to your readers.

Is the new sentence, paragraph, or section something that will help your reader?

5. Turning Yoast “Green”

And lastly, we’re going to focus on turning as much in Yoast SEO to green as we possibly can. Yoast SEO is my primary driving force behind writing content in WordPress.

In this case, I’ll also have to make a few adjustments to alt tags and term usage.

With the pro version, I could also add prominent “Related” keyphrases in Yoast to ensure I’m ranking well for those as well.

6. Ensure All Information is Current and Valid

Lastly, we want to go over the article one last time to make sure all information is still relevant and current. The last thing you’ll want to do is keep content within the blog post that no longer matters.

For example, if you create a listicle out of project management apps and one of those companies goes out of business, you better remove the app or replacement it with an alternative.

Remember, it’s all about keeping information relevant.

Let it Begin!

There we have. I know, it’s a pretty quick and easy process…well, in some cases. This one may take around 40 minutes or so to beef up. Sometimes, though, it’s worth the traffic boost to just completely rewrite an entire article.

I’ve got the revamp set up in Asana and ready to go. I’ll track it over a six-month period and then update this article to review my results.