How often do you check your blog stats? Once a month I look through and see what’s getting traction and what’s not. Interesting side note, I was castigated on twitter recently for “spamming my followers with old posts” because I re-share evergreen posts using Edgar like a content jukebox. Once a quarter I go back and optimize the highest ranking and highest traffic posts to make them even better. I use the Yoast SEO plugin to maximize the SEO and readability of each post. Over the last 2 years, two posts have completely dominated my stats.

I Have No Idea Why

The traffic for these posts is over 90% Google Search traffic, which is great, but I still find it amazing that a 2+ year old post can garner that much traffic from search. The two posts are:

Require Email: Two ways to require a subscription before a download

Facebook Ads: Daily Budget vs. Lifetime Budget?

I don’t consider these two articles all that noteworthy. I wrote each because I learned something new and wanted to share that new knowledge with anyone who might find it useful as well. That’s generally what I try to do: learn something and then teach it to whatever audience is reading. These two posts happen to be very tactical and helpful to the digital marketer down in the weeds.


After 2016, when I checked all the stats and saw how dominant these posts were, I dove back in and made sure I checked off all the boxes and got all green lights in Yoast SEO. That’s not as easy as it sounds. The ones that usually get me are:

  • Less than 20 words per sentence – sometimes a thought takes more than 20 words to express, but Yoast makes sure you break it down into several sentences so people like me can read and understand it.
  • Easy to read – similar to the 20 word per sentence limit, Yoast uses something called the “Flesch Reading Ease” test to measure (no idea) how easy the content is to read. This one is usually dumb luck, but I find that if I get a green light on short-ish sentences, I’ll pass the Flesch test.
  • Those darn keywords – How do you incorporate SEO keywords into your text? I pick a key word, forget it, write, and then see how it came out. Sometimes it’s very difficult because you don’t want to stuff the keyword in the text just because. Yoast also does a good job of showing you exactly how often you’ve used a keyword.

Successful Optimization

The purpose of going back and optimizing old blog posts (the successful ones) is to get more milk from the cow, so to speak. In 2016, these two posts each got more than double the next highest ranking post. That’s why they were targeted for optimization. In 2017, each of these 2 posts earned more than 3X the next highest ranking (by unique views) post. Since total traffic to only increased about 10%, that means the relative traffic to these two blog posts increased greatly (don’t make me do math).

Now I’m going back to check 3rd – 5th place for 2017 to see if we can have the same results. Do you go back and optimize old posts for SEO?


One thought on “Quarterly Exercise: Optimizing Old Blog Posts for SEO

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