Blog Title: The Clean Eating Couple
About: Liz, a food photographer is the blogger behind the site TheCleanEatingCouple.com. She creates simple, easy to follow, healthy recipes – most of which are paleo/Whole30. Elizabeth has grown her site from a hobby to a 6 figure business, and in addition to running her blog – she coaches other bloggers to grow their sites into a business!
Notes from Episode #090: Update Old Content for Organic Blog Growth
Fun fact: Liz is a huge fan of John Mayer and has seen him more than 35 times in concert.
Why updating old content is important:
You’re going to save time and ultimately make more money.
You’re saving mental time and energy because you don’t have to start from scratch, buying groceries, testing it, taking original photos, optimizing SEO etc.
Recipes at least a year old and older, can be improved. But the older, the better.
Who should be updating content?
This is applicable to anyone blogging a year or more. But a blogger that’s been around 5 years, you’ll have lots of content to work through.
We should strive to make our blogs be the best resource that they can be for our readers. If half the content on your site hasn’t been looked at in a year, you don’t want to present it to your audience. You want to have your best content out there, your A+ work , for people to see when they click around on your site.
Don’t let excuses stop you from improving your older content.
If you’re concerned about your audience noticing, this is not a valid reason. They’ll appreciate your newer photos, better tips, concise directions!
If you have recipes on your site that no one is looking at, that are not quality, then it’s bogging your site down. Just remove it. You can “no index” them or redirect them to a great recipe if there’s one that is similar and does do well.
Look at Google Analytics to help you look at your top 50 recipes and see where you should begin updating content. If you have a post that does really well in the top half of page 1, be very careful about making changes to it. Google will look at it differently otherwise.
A recipe might be popular on Pinterest but not rank on Google. You can take this list and work on it.
You can take your list off Google Analytics and focus on page 2 content for know which content to update. Your focus can be to get these posts to move up in the search rankings.
Liz uses a spreadsheet with many columns and provides an X next to it when she’s accomplished that step within a recipe.
Air Table or Trello are other tools you might use to track your progress in updating content but Liz recommends a spreadsheet.
Once you export the list start to analyze it by asking yourself these questions:
What can you add to these recipes to improve it?
Is the recipe itself good? Does it need to be remade?
Does it need process shots or new photos overall with better lighting and better equipment?
Can you create new pinnable pins because Pinterest wants fresh content?
Can you shorten your stories and add more helpful cooking information?
Cooking tips, Baking tips, how to freeze/store?
Add links to other relevant recipes on your site and vice versa
Be a resource to your audience!
You can do this all at once with a single recipe or you can do it in stages. Track what you’ve worked on in a spreadsheet. You might not want to make a new pinnable pin to content that needs a whole refresh but you could add some useful tips to a post without completely tackling it.
SEO focus – Do an initial Google search on your recipe (type in for example: Lemon Juice Soup).
Scroll to the bottom of google and see what searches appear that are related to this soup. Then you can see what Google has listed and you can answer questions or add keywords to your recipe based on this relevant content.
Think about adding in helpful tips. There are things that we take for granted as cooks but someone who doesn’t cook wouldn’t know.
- Think about adding substitutions as a tip within a post.
If you have someone in your life that isn’t a cook, you can recruit them to read and cook through some of your recipes. They’ll offer great perspective and offer some great advice on how to better set up your recipes or make it more navigable.Do not think that tomorrow you are going to wake up and complete this task. This is a never ending task and you will need to find how it works for you. This is a living, breathing process. Pick a schedule that works for you. If you post 2x a week, do a new recipe once a week and then gut and improve another of your recipes that’s already on your site.
It can be awesome to work on improving your blog and recipes.
Updates to your posts don’t create immediate results, this is a process and it can be months or more before it pays off.
Where to start? Commit to updating your content for a month. Once you’ve completed your month, think about how it went.
Was it harder than you thought? What worked and what didn’t?
How did you personally feel?
Was it easier than creating 2 new recipes a month?
Did your traffic tank?
Look at this from an experimental eye. Worst case scenario, you can go back to what you were doing before. You can always chalk it up to a loss and move on.
Once your post is updated, treat your post like it’s new content. Post it to social media, pin it all over, share it in an email, put in on stories and submit it to Google search console to request indexing. This nudges Google to check it out.
Advice from Liz: Be consistent and do not give up. There are lots of ups and down in food blogging, but in the grand scheme of things, great things will come when you hang in there.
Helpful references from the episode:
Google Search Console info:
On the left column, click Search Results
Tip: You can hover over total clicks, total impressions, average CTR and average position for an in depth explanation of what they are.
In the grey highlighted bubble, adjust to 12 months
Click Total Clicks, Total Impressions, Average Position so that all are highlighted
Scroll to the bottom and under ‘Rows per page’ adjust to 500.
Export to excel. In the top left (above the word Position) click the arrow. You can export to a CSV or to google sheets.
add filters to the top row.
Sort your filter on Position to show: [Greater Than or Equal to 11, Less Than or Equal to 15]
These are the posts that you’re on the top of page 2 for google. Update them accordingly to get yourself to page one!