Do you want to drive more traffic to older blog posts? Here are five simple ways to dust those posts off and put them back to work for you.
Chances are, you're promoting your new blog posts. You share them on your social networks, you alert your email subscribers, you might even call your mom.
You also get a certain amount of traffic while the posts appear on the home page of your blog or in the recent posts list. However, once they fall off the home page and land in the archives, the traffic they generate often drops precipitously.
However, all is not lost.
With a few simple steps you can reinvigorate archived posts, attract new prospects and customers and generate more leads from your blog. Here's how.
Improve your title tags.
Even in the Age of Social Media, search engines still drive a lot of new traffic (read: prospects) to your blog posts. Well, they do if you have optimized your posts for the search engines.
One of the easiest ways to improve the search rankings for your blog posts is to improve the titles of the posts by making sure your keywords appear in the titles.
If you're on WordPress, you can use the popular SEO plugin Yoast to help craft optimized titles, but it's not required. Just work your keywords into the title tag, especially towards the beginning where they can have more impact.
While a keyword-rich title can't carry the weight by itself, it's a good place to start. These titles are also the “big blue links” on Google's home page, so think about what will get your prospects to click on your link rather than the other nine links as you're crafting your title tag.
Replace those tired old images.
Consider replacing your images with new, Pinterest-friendly images. By that I mean taller, graphically-interesting images that are more likely to get pinned and shared on the world's second biggest driver of social traffic: Pinterest.
I like to find a good image and then include an easy-to-read, oversized caption that explains what people will get if they click through to Pinterest. Like the one on this post.
Link to older posts from newer ones.
Linking to relevant, archived posts from new posts can drive traffic to those older posts. In addition, those links will improve the SEO of the original post as well.
For example, if you've got a new post about SEO, link to a supporting post you've already written called Why Doesn't My Website Show Up On Google? (See what I did there?)
Schedule tweets & updates.
Using a tool like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or Buffer, you can schedule tweets (and other updates) to promote archived posts. I'm not a fan of automating tweets or social media updates, but we've seen good response from scheduling.
Pro tip: If you're posting to Facebook, tools like Hootsuite or Buffer can reduce your engagement. Instead, use Facebook's own scheduling tool.
Pro tip 2: If you're using social sharing plugins, (and you should be,) make sure there are no “goose eggs” on the post to which you're trying to drive traffic. In other words, make sure there's a retweet, Facebook share, Google “plus one,” etc., even if you have to click on them yourself.
This is in part to show social proof. When people see that other people have shared your post (even if it was just you!), they are more likely to assume the post is valuable and share it themselves.
When I see a blog post with goose eggs across the top of the sharing buttons I think to myself, “not even the author could recommend this post!”
Deemphasize the date.
The worst thing you can do with evergreen content is put a date on it. You may see it as a way of letting people know when you created the post, but in reality it just looks like a expiration date.
Obviously if you have a news site, or cover other topics that are quickly changing, having a date showing prominently above your post can be helpful to your audience. However, articles on leadership or parenting that don't change very often would be better served to remove the date entirely or to bury it at the end of your post.
Admittedly, this may not directly drive more traffic to your post, but it will encourage people to read and share your content, which will have an indirect effect on your traffic.
Do you have any other tips?
How do you drive traffic to your archived posts? Is there something I've forgotten? Let me know in the comments below!