How historical optimisation of old blog posts can boost leads by 240%

Historical optimisation is one of the latest trends in SEO and with two million new blog posts published to the internet every day according to MarketingProfs, there’s good reason to refresh old content in order to gain improved search rankings and more web traffic.

Instead of writing new optimised website content from scratch, historical optimisation is about going back through your archives and identifying opportunities to improve your SEO in old content.

There are many ways in which you can do this, even in website content and blogs that were optimised for maximum lead generation at the time:

  • Your SEO strategy may have changed
  • The search engines’ ranking algorithms will have changed
  • Your old content may be outdated or obsolete
  • You may have new insight and experience to add

The important point is, just because you have always written search optimised blogs, it doesn’t mean those old posts will still generate as much web traffic – and in turn, that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t still boost your lead generation with a little editing.

Old content is the unsung hero of your blog

If you don’t have a strategy to make good use of archive content – which can be anything from the first blog post you ever published, right up to blogs you posted last week or even yesterday – you could be missing out on benefits including increased web traffic, improved search rankings and enhanced lead generation.

Before starting their historical optimisation campaign, HubSpot looked at where leads were being generated on their blog and found their archived posts were the unsung heroes.

Their Attribution Report showed that 8% of lead generation could be associated with their most recently published blog posts (published within the current calendar month) and 24% of page views were of new posts.

Pamela Vaughan, principal marketing manager on HubSpot’s web strategy team, wrote: “So essentially, if the whole blogging team went on vacation for a month, we’d still generate 76% of the traffic and 92% of the leads we would’ve otherwise generated by also publishing new content.”

How to capitalise on historical ‘hero content’

HubSpot realised that two things were happening. First, some old content was getting page views but not converting well, while secondly a small number of old posts dominated their lead generation.

From an archive of around 6,000 blog posts, 46% of lead generation came from the top 30 most viewed articles, while the rest of the archived posts combined accounted for the other 54% of leads – an almost 50/50 split.

Because of this, HubSpot define two different types of historical optimisation:

  • Historical Blog SEO involves maximising the web traffic that arrives on the best converting posts, those 30 ‘hero posts’ from the archive
  • Historical Blog Conversion Optimisation means maximising lead generation from those pages that already receive good traffic but have a low conversion rate

Together, these techniques allow you to tweak existing content on your website, to better reflect the search terms people use to find those pages – essentially optimising not only for the search engines, but also for the natural audience of each page.

How well does historical optimisation work?

According to HubSpot’s results, historical optimisation works extremely well.

Some of their findings include:

  • 106% increase in monthly organic search views of optimised old posts.
  • More than 100% increase in monthly lead generation by optimised old posts.
  • 240% increase in lead generation on certain high-traffic old posts.

The internet is not a static medium – old content can be polished time and time again, and with techniques like historical optimisation, you can maximise your return on investment even for content you may have published many years ago.

How can I incorporate historical optimisation into my content strategy?

Historical optimisation of old content can result in significant returns on your organic performance. So how do you go about incorporating historical optimisation into your content strategy?

Simply get in touch or drop us a line and we will help you go back through your archives to identify opportunities to improve your SEO in old content.

2 thoughts on “How historical optimisation of old blog posts can boost leads by 240%

  1. This is a really useful article. It seems that the value of old content can be easily overlooked. We’re encouraged to come up with new content constantly, but perhaps the ‘back catalogue’ is equally useful. A good way of making your blog look current I guess and it lessens the pressure on coming up with new content all the time. Phew!

    1. Thanks for your feedback Andrew. It’s fair to say that new content remains the gold standard (not least because this then becomes ‘old’ content, given time) but there is definitely a value in revisiting older content to see if it can work harder for you.

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