How To Do a Content Refresh for Better SEO (+ Free SEO Refresh Checklist)

Robbie Richards
November 13, 2023

SEO isn’t just about ticking boxes — it’s about evolving with the times. The buzz around Search Generative Experience (SGE) is growing louder each day, and marketing teams are constantly looking for new ways to create compelling content.

The good news is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. Fine-tuning and breathing new life into your existing assets is sometimes all it takes to boost organic traffic and stay relevant regardless of industry changes.

At Virayo, we’ve helped dozens of companies grow online with our proven strategies and tools. Our extensive experience has led to an effective SEO content refresh process that drives results. Here, we’ll explore why content freshness matters and share our proven content refresh process that can help you get better results.


What Is a Content Refresh?

A content refresh refers to updating and improving existing content on your website. This process includes a mix of technical SEO strategies, such as updating the text or images, adding new keywords, optimizing headlines or titles, adding or changing metadata, and ensuring all links work correctly.

The goal of refreshing content is to improve your content quality, make it more relevant to your audience, and increase its visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Content refreshes are crucial to website maintenance, ensuring your site stays up-to-date and appealing to visitors. Maintaining your site’s content improves its performance by keeping it optimized and search-friendly.


How Often Should You Refresh SEO Content?

Reviewing your content regularly is the best way to keep it up-to-date and relevant. Content refreshes should be a part of your content marketing strategy and have a regular place on your editorial calendar.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule on content refreshing frequency since industry, niche, and competitors all play a role. Refreshing your content at least once a year is a good place to start. However, if you have particularly valuable content or generate a lot of organic search traffic, updating old blog posts more frequently will help prevent content decay.

Keeping your content relevant and engaging for your audience also means updating it to reflect changing trends, technologies, and industry developments. As a result, your audience will become more trusting and perceive you as a thought leader.

You’ll also want to conduct a content audit if your business makes significant changes, such as introducing new products or services.


Why Refreshing Content Is Important

Refreshing your content is vital, especially for SaaS companies in quickly changing markets. Updating old content regularly helps you stay on top of your competition and optimize your content for maximum visibility.

Refreshing content also has many other benefits, including:

  • Improved search results: Updating content increases its freshness factor, which can push it upwards in the SERP.
  • Enhanced expertise: Regularly adding insights to your content builds trust with your audience, showing you know your stuff.
  • Personalized messaging: Updating content to cater to different audiences enhances its effectiveness.
  • Enhanced user experience: Users enjoy perusing a website with the latest information, which can lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Increased click-through rates: An updated website is more likely to attract visitors, as it will be seen as more modern and trustworthy
  • Boosted sales: Updating your content can clarify your CTAs and improve landing pages, leading to more customer sign-ups.

For SaaS companies, keeping content fresh and relevant is key to staying connected with customers and ahead of the competition. A SaaS SEO agency can help create an effective SEO strategy for your business.


Choosing the Right Content for a Refresh

Given SEO’s many benefits and constant evolution, one thing is clear: Updating just any old content isn’t enough. It’s essential to strategically choose which pieces of old content to refresh to significantly impact search results.

The first step to a successful content refresh is identifying which blog posts need a makeover. Conduct an audit of your content with the following three-step process:

  1. Identify your oldest pages: List your blog post content with the oldest post first — these are the blog posts you should refresh first. Organizing data by date in Google Analytics can simplify this step.
  1. Collect and analyze data: Review the data for each blog post after identifying old content. Analyzing bounce rates, time on page, and conversion rates for certain posts can help you identify which posts are performing poorly.
  1. Organize and sort: Prioritize posts according to performance, starting with the poorest. Prioritizing this way puts the pages that need the most attention at the top of the list.

Your prioritized list now becomes the action plan for your SEO content refresh.

Following this list helps you focus on the most critical tasks first so you make the greatest impact in the least amount of time. Having a plan to refresh content can also reduce overwhelm and make it easier to track your progress.


The SEO Content Refresh Checklist: 8 Key Areas to Update

When refreshing a blog post, it’s essential to be strategic and thorough. Our SEO Content Refresh Checklist outlines the eight most important areas to update and offers actionable advice.
Download our free tool and follow along as we explore each step.

1. Keywords

Keywords are the backbone of SEO. Your brand’s content creation should always revolve around a topic with a target keyword and incorporate supporting keywords where relevant. Optimizing for those words helps web crawlers identify what your content is about and index it accordingly.

Your primary keyword should appear in the following areas:

  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Header tags
  • Image alt tags
  • Internal links
  • URL slug
  • Body copy

The key to optimizing your body copy is ensuring your keywords flow naturally through the refreshed content. Avoid keyword stuffing or overusing a keyword or phrase on the same page too many times. Your content’s purpose should be to provide original insights and valuable information rather than impress Google.

Action Steps

  • Verify your content’s primary and secondary keyword(s)
  • Ensure the primary keyword appears in all relevant places, like meta descriptions
  • Review content for keyword balance

2. Links

Internal and external links play a crucial role in SEO. Internal links help web crawlers to crawl your site and understand the structure of your content. These links also help your audience find additional content on your site and navigate more efficiently.

External links help build authority and credibility for your website by displaying its relevance and connection to other websites. They can also drive referral traffic to your website, increasing its visibility and popularity.

Rather than using generic terms such as “click here,” use descriptive anchor text to clarify the link’s context. You can boost your SEO efforts by including keyword targets in your anchor text.

Action steps

  • Ensure all links have appropriate anchor text
  • Click the links to verify they work
  • Make sure all links lead to relevant, current content
  • Link to any new relevant content or pages

3. Images

Blog post graphics aren’t just about aesthetics — they enrich the user experience and reinforce your brand’s message. Your website images should be high quality, crisp, clear, and accurate (especially for screenshots and data).

Your brand guidelines should govern all visual content, from the image style and color scheme to the format and illustration type. Whether you use stock photography or branded graphics on your blog posts, be consistent. Consistency is key to brand recognition and trust.

To maximize your impact, tag your images with alt text that describes their contents clearly and accurately. In addition to helping users with visual impairments access and understand them, descriptive alt text also helps search engines crawl and index images more effectively.

Alt text can be up to 125 characters, and embedding a keyword can increase SEO value.

Action steps

  • Check images to ensure they’re up-to-date and accurate (especially screenshots)
  • Update any outdated, low-quality, or inconsistent pictures or graphics
  • Review all images for alt text and add, if necessary

4. Speed

A page’s loading speed plays a vital role in SEO. When ranking websites, Google factors in page speed, favoring fast pages because they improve user experience. Sites that load too slowly risk higher bounce rates as visitors search for faster alternatives.

Several factors can contribute to slow page speeds, such as slow server response times, large image sizes, and overly complicated code. Optimizing these elements can improve your site and page speeds. Additionally, caching and compressing data can also speed up things.

When refreshing content, check for broken or redirected links, large image files, and outdated code. Removing unnecessary elements and optimizing content can reduce page load times. Perform periodic speed tests to identify potential issues and ensure the website performs optimally.

Action steps

  • Check content for large images, broken links or code, and other slow elements
  • Conduct a detailed speed performance test to obtain your speed score
  • Analyze the speed test report and make any improvements

5. Competitors

Maintaining a competitive edge in SEO requires vigilance and a proactive content strategy. Competing websites are simultaneously publishing original content targeting the same keywords as your content ages. As a result, SERPs for those targets are constantly changing. When conducting content refreshes, your place in the competition may look different than you remember.

A crucial part of a content refresh is re-analyzing the top-ranking posts for the same keyword you’re targeting. Pay close attention to some aspects of competitor content, including:

  • Search intent and searcher’s pain points
  • Content depth and word count
  • Structural elements such as headers, subheaders, and bullet points
  • Variety of content types, media, and interactive features

Your content must meet and exceed these benchmarks in quality, user engagement, and SEO optimization. Regular competitive analysis and content maintenance are vital to climb and stay atop the SERP.

Action steps

  • Analyze the top-ranked pages for your target keywords
  • Match your content to the search intent, length, structure, and value of your competitors
  • Add additional research, rich multimedia, or unique content to stand out

6. Relevance and experience

The most recent updates to Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines prioritize experience signals as a ranking factor. After our early experiments, SGE insights indicate authenticity and experience are likely to become even more important in the future.

Content must be relevant, useful, and engaging to rank well in experience signals. When refreshing content, include original insights and relevant real-life examples. Research, case studies, and actionable advice can help demonstrate your brand’s expertise.

Also, ensure your messaging is current and aligns with your brand’s expertise. Your content’s CTA deserves careful attention, too. It should reinforce the value and expertise behind your content, highlighting your latest and most exciting offerings — products, experiences, or services that underscore your brand’s authority.

Action steps

  • Review content to ensure it’s current and relevant
  • Update material to reflect current messaging and offers
  • Add experience signals and original examples where appropriate
  • Add the latest offers or resources to your CTAs

7. URL slug

Your content’s URL slug — the portion of the address after your domain — is a subtle yet powerful SEO tool. Your slug gives both search crawlers and users insight into your page’s content. To improve site navigation and SEO, this URL section should clearly indicate what visitors will find on the page.

Your web pages should have a unique URL slug that follows a consistent format. Slugs should be descriptive, contain relevant keywords, and be as short as possible. Avoid generic or duplicate slugs, which reduce your content’s value and make it difficult for users to find what they need.

Also, avoid using numbers and special characters. Steer clear of temporary markers like dates or numerical lists that can quickly date your content, such as “/17-ways-to-xyz” or “/content-for-2021.”

Replace these with timeless alternatives, such as “/effective-strategies-to-xyz” or “/annual-insights,” to preserve your content’s evergreen value.

Action Steps

  • Review the URL slug for relevance and keywords
  • Replace dates and numbers with evergreen content
  • Check that the slug structure is consistent with the site

8. Publish date

After refreshing content, adjust the publication date. This small but significant detail signals content freshness, which can influence rankings. Fresh content also helps your website’s authority and relevance.

Additionally, updating the publication date can contribute to audience engagement by demonstrating your commitment to accuracy and timeliness. Keeping your content current and valuable can help build trust with your readers.

Action steps

  • Update the publication date
  • Publish your post!


Boost Your Website With Virayo’s SEO Content Refresh Checklist

The Virayo team knows that updating outdated content does more than attract visitors — it improves their experience and builds your site’s reputation.

Our SEO Content Refresh Checklist is straightforward and effective, guiding you through the content refreshing process to help you climb in search rankings. Download it now and see the difference it makes for your organic traffic.

Remember, refreshing content is an ongoing effort. Make these updates part of your regular SaaS SEO processes and your content will climb organic search, earn more traffic, and engage your readers.

Curious about our work or how to adapt this content refresh strategy for your site? Check out our client case studies or set up a free 15-minute conversation.

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Schedule a free 1:1 strategy session with us. We’ll unpack your current demand generation efforts, and discuss practical ways you can scale traffic and conversions in the next 60 days.

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