Steps to Make Your Old WordPress Blog Posts an SEO Makeover
Posted by Sandeep Sharma
After Panda and Penguin were rolled out, everyone is talking about how content is the new king of search engine optimization and how vital content marketing is.
One of the most popular content management systems that emerged over the past few years is WordPress and many organizations used this open source blogging platform to regularly give their audience fresh content. WordPress customization quickly became in demand and today, marketers are wondering how they can breathe new life to their previous WordPress blog posts.
Prioritizing Which Blog Posts You’re Going to Update
If you’ve been blogging for quite some time, chances are, you have accumulated multiple posts. Unless you have all the time in the world, updating each and every post is nearly impossible. This is where Google Analytics for WP comes in. By giving you the ability to identify which pages are generating the highest traffic, Google Analytics is definitely one of the best SEO plugins for WordPress.
Renewing Old and Outdated Information
One characteristic of a good blog post is being able to provide readers with current tips and technique to provide solution for a specific problem. But as every internet marketer is aware of, the best practices of today are not necessarily relevant and applicable in the future. For example, a blog post of an SEO company may talk about link building as the most important strategy in online marketing. We all know that’s not exactly true today as successful SEO is a product of many tactics such as social media, PR, content marketing and Google Authorship among others.
If the revisions are small and minor, you can just edit your previous blog posts and re-publish. Just be sure that you put a disclaimer at the beginning of the entry that it was previously posted and that minor tweaks were done given the recent developments.
Repairing Broken Links
One of the major problems of old blog entries is having broken links – whether these links are internal or external. This can be due to different reasons. It can be because the pages your previous entries were linking to have been moved to different locations or they don’t exist anymore. Whatever the reason may be, having broken links on your blog makes you look unprofessional and it ruins your visitors’ user/reading experience.
It comes as no surprise that some of the best SEO plugins for WordPress are meant to detect these broken links. Below are some of the most effective plugins to identify and fix broken links in your old blog entries:
- Xenu’s Link Sleuth – the most widely used broken link checker. Covers different types of links from “regular” links to java applets. The downside is it only works for Windows.
- Screaming Frog – works for both Windows and Mac. Downloadable software and works faster compared to internet-based checkers. The report can be exported to excel for easy and convenient data organization.
- Broken Link Checker – the most popular WP plugin for checking broken links. Not as effective as the previous two, but installing it on your WP blog account becomes handy if you want to do a quick broken link audit for your entries.
When you avail of WordPress customization, make sure that you inform your developer or designer to include these plugins.
Purging Your Old Posts of Spam Comments
Spamming became rampant during the pre-Penguin and pre-Panda era. Check your highest traffic generating posts a couple of years back and you will find remnants of this black hat SEO tactic in the form of spam comments. Unfortunately, there are no WP plugins that you incorporate into your blog to get rid of these spam comments.
If you really want to flush out spam comments from your old blog entries, you need to do it the long way. Using Google Analytics, identify old blog posts that are still getting a significant amount of traffic and start with them. One by one, review the comments and delete all comments that don’t add value to the conversation and those that are just outright spams.
While there are no plugins that can conveniently detect and delete spam comments, some of the best SEO plugins for WordPress are made to block future spamming. Below are some of the anti-comment spamming plugins you can include in your WordPress customization:
- Akismet – this plugin did not exactly get a perfect 10 among critics, but Akismet still remains as one of the most formidable anti-spam tools in the market. It’s pretty solid when it comes to detecting spam plus a few extra features.
- AntiSpam Bee – works similarly as Akismet, but instead of sending comments to Akismet, you send them to community-based Project Honey Pot. You can also take a more proactive stance against spamming by reporting spammers to the community.
- GASP – stands for Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. This plugin protects your blog from automated spam comments generator by incorporating a checkbox demanding the commenter to confirm that he or she is not a spammer. Unlike CAPTCHA, spammers will find it extremely difficult, if not nearly impossible, to elude this spam filter.
Boosting Your Previous Entries’ SEO Value
Using Google Analytics, you can investigate in-depth to determine which keywords are bringing in the most traffic. There might be keywords that are contributing to traffic, but are not really in line with your business or content marketing objectives. From here, you can change your target keywords to create a more strategic and search engine optimized blog entries.
As for the best SEO plugins for WordPress, worth mentioning is the WordPress SEO plugin created by Yoast, With this plugin, you can easily create SEO-friendly meta descriptions, headlines and even help you create a highly effective keyword strategy.
Another great plugin is Scribe SEO. This is a paid plugin and is ideal for SEO rookies. This will help you learn about SEO best practices including coming up with an extensive keyword research, internal crosslinking and content analysis.
WordPress customization is not only about creating your own design and functionalities. It’s also about utilizing the plugins necessary to make your blog SEO friendly. For existing WP content, try out the plugins enumerated above and see for yourself how you can optimize your existing blog content.