Most bloggers try to update their blogs daily, as Google and readers both love new content. But often we ignore the opportunity to promote old blog posts, thus effectively stopping traffic on those posts.
One best ways to continue to get traffic on old blog posts is by making them search engine friendly. Unfortunately, this is not something every blogger knows how to do efficiently.
In this post I’ll be sharing a few helpful tips which will enable you to give new life to old posts and drive traffic to those posts.
A word of caution before I introduce these ideas: You need to apply the following concepts only to posts which continue to be relevant over time. We do not want to resurrect old posts containing information that is no longer pertinent to today’s reality. Many posts lose their relevance over time. These are not the posts we’re targeting.
In order to keep the concept of current relevancy in mind, you need to understand the difference between time-sensitive content and evergreen content. Time-sensitive articles come with an expiration date, where as evergreen posts remain relevant over the years.
So – whenever you are selecting which old WordPress posts you need to promote, target those posts which continue to be useful and relevant over time.
Also remember to target search engines with your resurrected blog posts, as organic traffic is best for old blog posts.
Promoting old blog posts for more traffic:
When you become a regular Twitter user, your followers grow in number over time as you continually tweet interesting posts from your blog, and from other blogs as well. However, you have many newer followers who have missed many of your older posts which were written and tweeted out before they started following you. For this reason, it is useful to create a Twitter system within which you tweet your old posts for new readers in addition to your new content.
This is one very effective way to drive traffic to your old posts. I regularly schedule my old posts to be tweeted, especially the posts which have been retweeted hundreds of times, indicating significant reader interest. With time these posts are retweeted even more, thus driving more traffic and more comments. For retweeting your old (but still relevant) posts, you can use a WordPress plugin like Tweet old post.
One of the best ways to drive targeted traffic to your old blog posts is by sharing it with audiences that care about the information you share. This is one strategy that I have been following myself, and it’s working out great for me.
Along with sharing my latest posts on my Facebook page, I share old blog posts, too. My average ratio is 3 old posts to 1 new post every day.
I will say once more, however, that it is very important to ensure that whatever you are sharing on social media sites is a value addition.
You also need to use an optimum posting frequency, so that your fans will not get bored seeing old links repeated again and again.
Internal linking (using anchor text) is one of the best ways to optimize your old posts for search engines. It also helps alert readers to older, but still relevant posts.
The way I make use of this opportunity is to go through my old posts looking for posts containing currently relevant subject matter. Once I locate these posts, I write a follow-up post and link it to the old posts. This way I get a new article idea, and it drives traffic to my old posts.
Make sure you use internal linking in all of your posts so that when the reader goes to your old post, he will be directed to additional old posts from that post as well. This process allows the reader to move from one link to another, to yet another, and so on.
This will also help you to reduce the bounce rate of your blog. You can use a plugin like SEO Smart Link for auto-linking, or you can use a plugin like Insight to interlink from the “edit post” panel in WordPress.
If you are a regular reader of ShoutMeLoud, you know that every Monday we do a roundup of blog posts which helps regular readers to go through any posts they might have missed in the previous week. Much like internal linking, a roundup of posts helps to give more search engine weight to old posts because of the internal linking involved.
You can also play around with roundup posts and come up with occasional posts like 30 Blogging Tips for Bloggers, Roundup of iPhone Applications, 20 Apps for Bloggers, and so on.
Recycling old posts
This tip should be followed with great care. The idea here is to recycle your old killer posts to your homepage by changing the date. This trick is not for everyone. For instance, if your permalinks have dates & times, you should never do it. Moreover, this practice should be implemented only once in a while and not on a regular basis, as it might put your regular readers off.
In blogging, one should always try to make most of every single post they write. Any post which is not receiving traffic in time has become a useless post. Try to come up with timeless (“evergreen”) posts, and make sure your readers can always find their way to these posts.
Feel free to let us know what you do to drive traffic to your old posts.