10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Underperforming Blogs

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Written by Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.

June 18, 2021

10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Underperforming Blogs

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Are you about to trash your old, non profitable blog posts?

The latest statistics reveal that about 4.4 million new blog posts are published per day across all platforms.

The handle of my favorite mug broke recently. It was a birthday gift that had my face printed on it. Instead of throwing it in the trash, it sits on my work table playing another role entirely – a lovely pen holder. This way, I still get to enjoy my precious mug for a while longer.

What are you doing with your old or underperforming blogs?

Search engine result pages are so full of content that a blog post that ranked high last month may not rank tomorrow.


(Source: Sprout Social)

When last did you create shareable content?

How can you make your once great blogs rank again?

This comprehensive guide has all the necessary content marketing tips you need to get value out of your underperforming blogs

It covers:

  • A brief introduction to underperforming blogs
  • How do you determine which blog posts need updating?
  • 10 Content marketing tips on how to update old blog posts and content-centric websites
  • How long will it take before you see results after updating your underperforming blogs?
  • 3 Mistakes to avoid when updating old content

Alright. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Underperforming Blogs

Underperforming blogs are contents that aren’t performing as well as expected. These blogs might have once attracted lots of organic traffic or never attracted any.

According to Shonavee Simpson-Anderson, SEO strategist at Firewire Digital, “Old content that is underperforming are SEO opportunities in waiting.”

“If you want to get some quick wins under your belt, updating or reviewing old content is the perfect opportunity for this, because it’s much easier and quicker to improve the rankings of pages that are already indexed by search engines, than it is to get new content indexed and ranking.”

How can you differentiate between old and underperforming content?

Old blogs, according to Tom Bangay, director of content at Juro, are “posts you published ages ago, have pretty much forgotten about and aren’t monitoring for traffic; while underperforming posts are those posts you worked hard at and thought you got right, but aren’t attracting traffic.”

How Do You Determine Which Blog Posts Need Updating?

“The easiest way to determine which blog posts need updating”, according to Tim Clarke, director of sales at SEOBlog, “is through their rankings and traffic. Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console in checking for the data.”

“Here is how you check for rankings and traffic using Google Analytics and Google Search Console:

  • “On the Google Analytics account, click Behavior → Site Content → All Pages. You’ll see the top 10 viewed pages for the timeframe you set.”
  • “If you want to check the page visits, click Behavior → Site Content → Landing Pages.”
  • “To check organic traffic, use Google Search Console’s Performance page. Click Performance → Search Results → scroll down to QUERIES table → click PAGES.”

“Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you determine which blog posts are underperforming because of content issues and which you’ll be updating. This strategy will help you save time to rewrite and repeat efforts that took more time and energy.”

10 Content Marketing Tips on How to Update Old Blog Posts and Content-Centric Websites

“Before we go and update posts, we gather as much data as possible. Sometimes you update a post because it is popular but not evergreen, other times it isn’t performing and requires rethinking the strategy around the post,” says Erin Payne, SEO & Content Specialist at Iterate agency.

“If the data shows a blog isn’t seeing click through, the issue may be with the title. This is where A/B tests of varying titles with different keywords or arrangements can help. “

Shane Pollard, CTO of Be Media, adds that “before updating any old content, take a look inside Google Analytics top pages to know how much traffic the pages are getting and what the user experience is for the pages you are looking at updating.”

“Look at these metrics inside Google Analytics:

  • Pageviews
  • Average time on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Exit
  • Page value


(Source: Databox)

“In another tab on the browser, open up Semrush and run your website through the organic research tool. When that loads up, look at the top pages feature to see a list of your top pages.”

“In Semrush, look at these metrics:

  • Traffic
  • Traffic %
  • Keywords”

But how do content marketing experts update old blog posts and resuscitate the underperforming ones?

To resuscitate underperforming posts, Tom of Juro suggests you first “be honest and read it with a fresh pair of eyes. Is the content good? Google’s algorithm is complex but above all, it’s looking for good content that matches the searcher’s intent.”

When you create shareable content and notice it is still good, here are 10 key content writing tips to get it to rank higher:

1. Check for ‘Keyword Cannibalization’

When you discover blogs that are cannibalizing your page or making your content look plagiarised, Tom  further opines that you “incorporate and redirect competing blogs that might be cannibalizing it.”


(Source: UniKLLibrary)

2. Optimize the Page’s Content for a Topic the Page has Started Ranking For

Chintan, a content marketer at elitecontentmarketer.com, believes that “it often happens that an article not written with a keyword in mind initially can rank for some keywords, but its content is not optimized for them. Or even if you wrote with a certain topic in mind, Google doesn’t recognize the page for your chosen keywords.”

“In such cases, find out the keywords it’s actually ranking for through your Search Console reports (or use an SEO tool like Ahrefs for the same). Then update the content trying to satisfy the intent for the new “main keyword” (with the highest search volume) as comprehensively and efficiently as possible.”

“While rewriting, also try to sprinkle as many other related long-tail and related keywords the article is already ranking for because Google already considers the page relevant for these terms. Don’t go overboard and sacrifice readability here for the sake of keywords.”

3. Delete the Old Blog Post and Redirect its URL to a Related Article

Also, Chintan adds that “as old pages might have existing authority through links from external websites, you don’t want to delete the page and lose out on the “link juice” your website gets from it. Consider setting up a 301 redirect to another blog post (or page) related to the subject of the original article.”

“Such redirects will strengthen the new page’s authority. If you don’t have a relevant page to redirect to, then you can also redirect it to your homepage — which is not an ideal user experience but will do the job of retaining link juice.”

“Even if the blog post doesn’t have any incoming links, it would be a good idea to set up a redirect to your homepage for avoiding users bumping into 404 errors accidentally.”

4. Use SERPs

Google SERP, according to Akinduyo Eniola, content marketer and blogger at Guruscoach, “is another source of inspiration. On the SERP, look at Google’s suggestions. Examine the “People also ask” and “Related Searches” sections to identify areas for improvement in your piece.”

“Your competitors can be a source of new ideas as well. Everyone wants to create the best content possible on a given topic, so you can bet your competitors have built on yours to improve theirs. You should also use their piece as inspiration for your next content update.”