Home » GUIDE: How to Update Website Content for SEO

GUIDE: How to Update Website Content for SEO

Keyword Research for Small Business

Do you have a ton of content on your website but you’re not sure which pieces are worth updating for SEO? In this article, Marcie Lord explains how to identify the content best for updating, and then how to go about implementing that optimization.

Content is the lifeblood of SEO, but you don’t always need to create new content to drive website traffic and increase search rankings. Updating old website content, particularly posts that contain outdated information but still cover highly relevant topics, can be a great way to repurpose web pages to improve SEO.

I am often asked how to update existing content to optimize it for search. This is a two-step process: first, you must identify what website content to update, and then you must properly optimize the content. In this guide, I show you how to identify what content to update and then how you go about optimizing it for search.

Phase 1. How to Identify Website Content to Optimize

If you have a website with minimal content, the best way to identify what content is best for updating is to look at your web pages and determine which information is invalid because it’s out of date. You don’t want to share incorrect information on your website.

But let’s say you have a website with dozens, even hundreds, of blog posts, articles, and other published pages. This is where you need a process to decide what content should be chosen for optimization.


First what you need is SEO software that provides website rankings information, like SEMrush (this is the software Digital Dynamo uses, but there are other tools out there). In the software, you can track your domain as a project, then go through your organic rankings and see what pages rank for what terms and phrases.

SEO audit checklist

Screenshot of SEMrush organic rankings


Concentrate on non-brand terms that are ranking above position 30. A non-branded term is a keyword that refers to your company’s product or services but does not include your company’s name or anything specific to your brand. 

  • branded keyword example: digital dynamo seo services

  • non-branded keyword example: seo services

Find a term above position 30 that appeals to you. I recommend choosing a term ranking above 30 because it will be easier to improve its ranking on the first search engine results page (SERP), as opposed to a term that ranks for 40, 50, or higher.

SEO audit checklist


There are multiple reasons why ranking well for a certain term may have the most business impact; keep these reasons in mind when deciding what term to optimize your content. Some of these reasons include:

  • The keyword has a significant amount of search volume and could drive a large amount of traffic to your website
  • The keyword has extremely high relevancy to your business
  • The keyword is transactional, meaning anyone who searches it has a high likelihood of converting
  • You know beyond a shadow of a doubt you have the best background and expertise to write about the topic that keyword pertains to, so much so that you’ll easily beat your competitors in rankings when you update your content


Once you decide on your term, look at the page that ranks for that term. Your SEO software will tell which page it is.

SEO audit checklist

Ranking page in SEMrush


Now you need to decide if you’re trying to rank for the keyword nationally or locally. Once you know, use the Google Ads Anonymous Preview tool to see what ranks well in your target region for the keyword you’ve chosen:

SEO audit checklist

Google Ads Anonymous Preview Tool

Look at the pages ranking on the first Search Engines Results Page (SERP). Check to see:

  • Do these pages match what you thought was the term’s intent? For example, if my target term is “Personal Shopper,” I might expect to see a bunch of service providers for personal styling pop up in the SERP when I Google that term. But if I see results about a movie called “Personal Shopper” and none for personal styling services, I will want to choose a different term to optimize for.
  • Do you think you can develop content BETTER than what’s ranking on the first SERP? If so, you’ve found what page you should optimize. You can move on to Step 2. Keep reading to see what it will take to properly update existing web content for SEO.

Phase 2. How to Optimize the Website Content


Start by reviewing the results currently ranking on the first SERP for your new target term. Look for commonalities among the results, like:

  • Are they a certain length?
  • Are there certain features, like graphs or charts?
  • Are they using bulleted or numbered lists?
  • Are they answering certain (or multiple) questions?

Most importantly, try to determine how they are offering value – these pages rank on the first SERP because Google believes they have value.


Once you have determined what those “value” factors are, update your current content by incorporating them – and make your content better. For example, I can see that many of the results ranking on the first SERP for the term “keyword research services” are service providers of keyword research services (perfect intent for my business goals, by the way). Their web pages talk about the process of what happens when you hire them to do keyword research. And some of these results have visuals that attempt to depict something about keyword research. 

To make my content BETTER than my competitors’, I’ll include a process description, a stunning visual that demonstrates what keyword research is or can do, and an FAQ on the page. This is just an example – feel free to do more than the bare minimum to put yourself above the competition. Make the best page that you feel offers value to users. And remember, what offers value is content that answers the questions your prospects need answered – it’s up to you to figure out what that is and provide answers in a way lay people can understand.

Once you have determined what needs to be included in the content, it’s time to create it. Break it down, avoid long paragraphs, leverage bullets and numbered lists – the goal is to make the copy more palatable.

Additionally, make sure you incorporate SEO best practices – use a title tag and the meta tag, an H1 tag for the title, H2 tags for your subheadings, and make sure your target keyword is used in all of these. DO NOT overstuff your keyword into the content. Do not make the copy too promotional. Your goal is to make the copy sound natural and keep to the facts, much like a newspaper article. (Note: you can also apply your opinion to the content if warranted, but don’t editorialize too much). 


After you create the content, update it on your website and add proper schema markup (or update the schema markup if you already had it on the web page). Link to the page from other pages on your site using appropriate anchor text and internal linking strategies.

Lastly, remember to update the publish date on your web page to the current date. If you’re updating the content of a blog post or article, add a note to the top that states what date the page was updated.

SEO audit checklist

Update date on an article

Keep in mind, this guide does not consider that your site may have other SEO issues, like poor URL structure, slow page loading times, or bad directives, that may impact your content’s ability to rank. But provided the rest of your site is abiding by SEO best practices, following the advice in this article will help get your optimized article to the first SERP.

Interested in help with your SEO? Contact Digital Dynamo about our SEO services for SMBs.