Digital Sales & Marketing
Digital Sales & Marketing
Close

Free digital sales and marketing courses

Immediately start seeing better digital sales and marketing results with dozens (and counting) of free online courses inside IMPACT+.

View all free coursesView all free courses

Digital Sales & Marketing World 2021

The premier, hybrid event for growth-focused business leaders, digital marketers, and sales pros. Virtual passes are free for IMPACT+ Pro members. In-person passes on sale soon.

Learn moreLearn more Watch past events on demandWatch past events on demand

Digital sales and marketing services

Discover the full array of IMPACT services, including inbound marketing training, web design, paid media management, and more.

Learn moreLearn more
They Ask, You Answer
They Ask, You Answer
Close

Free They Ask, You Answer course

Learn the principles of the They Ask, You Answer by taking our most popular course, taught by Marcus Sheridan himself.

Take the course nowTake the course now

Hire a coach

Turn your company into a high-performing digital organization with our flagship coaching program, Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery.

Learn moreLearn more

Case studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

View case studiesView case studies

They Ask, You Answer, the book

“One of the 11 Marketing Books every CMO should read.” — Forbes

Learn moreLearn more Buy the bookBuy the book
Virtual Selling
Virtual Selling
Close

Virtual Selling Mastery

Equip your sales team with proven methods to connect with today’s buyer, shorten the sales cycle, and close more deals, faster.

Learn moreLearn more

Virtual Selling Summit 2021

Your one-day virtual selling crash course! Today, sales reps are struggling to sell remotely. Learn how to close more deals in a virtual world.

Register NowRegister Now
Video
Video
Close

Free video sales and marketing strategy course

Zach Basner teaches you the fundamentals of making video for sales and marketing work inside your organization.

Take the course nowTake the course now

Video Sales and Marketing World 2021

Video Sales & Marketing World 2021 is in the works. In the meantime, enjoy the 2020 event on-demand - free for IMPACT+ Pro Members.

Watch past events on demandWatch past events on demand

The Visual Sale, the book

Learn how to use video to ignite sales, accelerate marketing, and grow your business in a virtual world in this book from Marcus Sheridan and Vidyard’s Tyler Lessard.

Learn moreLearn more Buy the bookBuy the book

Master video inside your organization

Video is a critical component of any high-performing digital sales and marketing program, and is a key part of Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery.

Learn moreLearn more
HubSpot
HubSpot
Close

Free HubSpot sales and marketing courses

Taught by Carina Duffy, IMPACT’s lead HubSpot trainer.

Marketing automation mastery (with HubSpot workflows)Marketing automation mastery (with HubSpot workflows) Inbound lead generation and conversion optimizationInbound lead generation and conversion optimization Getting started with sales technologyGetting started with sales technology

HubSpot Training Day

Following INBOUND 2020, IMPACT and HubSpot co-hosted a full-day of deep dive sessions to help HubSpot users get the most out of the new features fast! On-demand access is free for IMPACT+ Pro Members.

Watch on-demandWatch on-demand

HubSpot training and implementation

Maximize your investment in HubSpot's marketing, sales, or service platforms with guided training and implementation services.

Learn moreLearn more
Web Design
Web Design
Close

Website Optimization Summit

Learn how you may be unwittingly undermining the money-making potential of your website and how to fix it! Watch the opening keynote for free on-demand inside IMPACT+.

Watch on-demandWatch on-demand

Website design and strategy services

Get a beautiful, user-friendly HubSpot or Wordpress website that is easy to update, consistently generates leads and revenue, and grows with you.

Learn moreLearn more

The ultimate content historic optimization checklist for digital marketers

The ultimate content historic optimization checklist for digital marketers Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

April 9th, 2021 min read

Classic. Nostalgic. Timeless. Whatever word you choose to describe them, it’s not uncommon for people to romanticize and think fondly of things from bygone eras. 

Old is gold, as the adage goes, and in my nearly ten years in digital marketing, I can safely say the same reigns true for content. 

While content creation should never stop, it’s common for businesses (IMPACT included) to find that it’s actually content published months or even years prior that delivers the most organic traffic and often even leads and ultimately sales.

Noting this trend, it's only wise that teams invest in historic optimization or as HubSpot defines it simply, “optimizing your ‘old’ blog content so it's fresh, up-to-date, and has the ability to generate even more traffic and conversions than it already does.”  

Why should you historically optimize articles?

First off, if you’re following They Ask, You Answer (which you should), you likely have published a lot of content that is evergreen. 

In other words, many of the articles you have written are timeless topics (such as The Big 5 — cost and pricing, problems, comparisons, best-of lists, reviews) that potential buyers are consistently searching and you want to be there with the answers they’re looking for. 

Rather than being repeatedly publishing the same information in a slightly different shell, historically optimizing existing content will give you one high-quality resource for prospects to discover in search engines and for you to share rather than having them click around to a bunch of different sites and pages.

Older articles also typically perform well (rank higher in search engines and drive traffic) because they are already indexed and have existing authority and backlinks

With so much on a modern digital marketer’s to-do list, historic optimization can be a quick win to boosting or maintaining search rank for popular keywords, driving more traffic, and increasing conversions. So, use the work you’ve already done to your advantage. 

But first, determine what articles you should be historically optimizing

Before you get to work, you need to determine which articles you should be focusing on. While, in a perfect world, all of our content would be constantly current and relevant, that’s not realistic for most businesses, so we have to be strategic.

Identify your blog articles with the highest traffic, rank, and conversion rates and optimize them to see even better results.

In the six years that IMPACT has been historically optimizing articles, this has typically meant pieces falling into three main buckets:

  • High traffic articles (which we want to optimize for conversions) 
  • High conversion articles (we want to drive more traffic to by improving their search rank)
  • High ranking articles (we want to maintain or even boost in search rank)

There are several tools available online to help you find these articles. HubSpot, Google Analytics, and Databox, for instance, can easily show your highest viewed and converting pieces, while BuzzSumo can show those with the most shares.

Note: My IMPACT colleague Justine Timoteo Thomas details how to do this in HubSpot in this article, while I did the same for Databox

Once you have your list of articles to be optimized in hand, what exactly should you update? Follow the checklist below to get your article into ship shape. 

The ultimate content historic optimization checklist for digital marketers

I think it’s important to say what many of you may not want to hear — sometimes you do need to burn an article to the ground and start from scratch.

When IMPACT first started historically optimizing content, we had pieces that ranked #1 for popular keywords, drove tens of thousands of views a month, but were completely inaccurate and horribly written. So, we started with a blank page. 

Those instances are rare now that historic optimization is a staple of our strategy, but if you’re just getting started, be warned, you may come face-to-face with those ugly ghosts of content past.

In the list below, I have assumed that your articles are in fairly decent shape and just need some cleaning up, but even if you are starting fresh, read on. These tips can still improve the quality of a new piece.

1. Refresh the title

Are you optimizing your article for a new keyword? Are you making a listicle longer? Making a process shorter? 

When historically optimizing your article, revisit your title to make sure that it reflects the updates you are making as well as appeals to your audience. This is one of the quickest and most visually effective ways to refresh your article. 

🔎 Related: 7 secrets for writing your best blog headlines ever

2. Optimize your article for a featured snippet

If you’re even remotely familiar with search engine optimization, you know the goal is usually to rank #1 on the SERP for a particular term. However, in recent years, an even more coveted position has emerged referred to as the “featured snippet.” 

🔎 Related: What Are Featured Snippets? (Definition)

A featured snippet or “rank zero” as we commonly call it, is, simply put, “...the short piece of content that Google pulls from web pages and puts into a box above the ranked web pages (but below the ads) in order to help answer the searcher’s query faster and more effectively.”


Example of a featured snippet IMPACT owns for “what is a revenue team?”

Appearing here puts you front-and-center of a search query, best positioning you to earn clicks and, in turn, traffic. 

In fact, according to Search Engine Land, a top-ranking article in Google will on average get a 26% click-through rate, but when a featured snippet is present, that number drops to 19.6% with the featured snippet stealing around 8.6% of user clicks. So, if you can grab this piece of real estate, you should!

While the selection process for appearing in a featured snippet sometimes may seem random, there are ways to increase your odds of appearing here using schema markup and strategic formatting. This article from Ahrefs breaks down some essential tips and tricks.

Example of how IMPACT optimized our article for the featured snippet of “what is a revenue team?”

Bonus tip: As you’re optimizing, look into other types of schema markup and how they can help improve your article and its search rank as well. 

3. Change your featured image

Much like your title, changing your featured image is a quick and easy way to give your article an immediate visual makeover and catch user eyes.

On the subject of user eyes...

4. Make it more visual overall

Imagery, whether it be a photograph, GIF, chart, or graph, can not only help aid your messaging, but increase on-page time as they grab your reader’s attention, and also present more opportunities to get found (i.e. image searches). 

Furthermore, in 2017, OkDork found that the average #1 article has nine images so as you’re updating your article, look for opportunities to add a visual aid. 

Even more specifically...

5. Look for opportunities to add a video

Take a quick glance at any Instagram or Facebook feed and you’ll see just how much the world craves visual content, but this behavior doesn’t stop at social media. 

Buyers crave visual content from business blogs as well, especially video, so seek out these opportunities. Adding video to your articles will not only drive home your messages with a medium audiences demand, but Forrester found 50 times more likely to get organic page ranks in Google than plain text results. 

Here’s an example of how IMPACT added a relevant video to the “What is a revenue team?” article we introduced you to earlier: 

6. Revisit your structure

As you’re giving your content a refresh, also ask yourself how you may be able to improve the structure to make it easier to digest or even skim. Adding headers, bulleted lists, bolding, etc. can really help guide a reader’s eye and make the reading experience more enjoyable.

Furthermore, headers are one of the factors Google looks at when determining featured snippet content, while studies have shown that #1 ranking content has bulleted lists 78% of the time.

7. Revisit statistics

Great content is always supported by data or research, but in fast-changing industries (such as digital marketing), this information can change just as quickly.

When historically optimizing your content, review your statistical support to ensure that it is still accurate. If it’s not, seek out the most up-to-date information. 

On a related note…

8. Make sure your sources and links are still live

A powerful stat is only as good as its source. As you’re updating your content, check your data sources and links to make sure they are still live. If they aren’t, you’ll want to find another trustworthy resource to cite these findings. 

You’ll also want to make sure your links in general are still working. Broken or dead links stop your buyer’s journey with your content in its tracks and can also signal to Google that your content is of lower quality, ultimately hurting your rank. 

9. Add new relevant links

Depending on how old the article you’re updating is, you may have brand-spanking new related articles that you could link to. 

Read with a critical eye and look for opportunities to sprinkle in new links, especially to your internal content. This will not only help give those pages some “link juice,” 

10. Update any examples

If you’ve written an article that involves a lot of examples from outside sources (i.e. our articles on landing page examples), take a look at them to see if they are still relevant. 

Ask yourself: Do these look dated? Are these still an accurate representation of what we want to illustrate? Are any images or examples broken?

If any are broken or no longer current, replace them. If some examples are no longer in use, but still valid, adjust the copy to reflect that.  

11. Revisit your call-to-action

If the call-to-action attached to your article still the best next step for a reader to take? If not, slap a new one on there and make sure to sprinkle links to it higher up in the article as well. 

Traffic is valuable, but traffic that converts is even more so, and making sure that the call-to-action on your content is as relevant as possible, is a quick way to optimize it for conversions.

12. Consider changing the publish date

If you end up making significant changes to your article, consider publishing it as new.

Doing this, once again, piques reader interests as a relevant and timely piece and,  while changing the date alone will not improve your search ranks, when paired with new content, it can help give you a boost. 

13. Add an editor’s note

At IMPACT, we believe all businesses are in the business of trust, and a lot of that comes back to transparency

You never want your audience to think you’re trying to trick or mislead them, even if that is simply thinking a blog article is new, so we always suggest leaving an editor’s note disclosing the fact that changes have been made to this article since it was originally published and perhaps even offering a brief description of what and why.

This note is especially appreciated if others linked to your original article as a resource.

Here is an example of an editor’s note from a recent article IMPACT historically optimized

Everything old is new again 

It may be a bit cliche to say these days, but don’t work harder, work smarter. 

Historic optimization can be one of the easiest ways to get even more traffic, leads, and sales out of your existing content, and if you make a habit out of it, it won’t be much heavy lifting come time for the next update. Use these tips above to get started and breathe new life into your content in 2021. 

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE