If you've been blogging for some time, you may have pages and posts on your WordPress site that ranked well initially but have since slipped down the SERPs or even dropped off completely. As frustrating as this can be, it doesn't have to spell doom for that content. With some strategic analysis and thoughtful updates focused directly on the user, you can revive and optimize these pages to not only regain lost ground but potentially surpass their previous high-water marks.
This is where tapping into the data within Google Search Console can prove invaluable. By comparing metrics over time, you can pinpoint exactly which blog posts have declined in performance so you know where to focus your ranking recovery efforts for maximum impact. Then, armed with actionable intelligence identifying pages in need of attention, you can begin the surgical updates designed to delight visitors and vault back up the rankings.
Why Does Blog Content Lose Rankings Over Time?
Before we dive into utilizing Search Console, it's important to understand why some blog posts lose steam in the SERPs while others continue humming along or even gain momentum. Generally, pages drop in rankings for a combination of the following reasons:
- The content becomes stale and outdated - Newer competitive pages answering the same query or topic pass it by as they better reflect current trends, statistics, etc.
- The quality has been surpassed - Competitors update and improve their on-page content, format, media, calls-to-action, etc.
- The page lacks authority and engagement signals - As other sites build links, social shares etc., your page falls behind.
- It is no longer satisfying user intent or expectations - Other results now do a better job answering the search query.
Essentially, if you want a page to maintain its rankings, it needs to stay fresh and compelling while also accumulating backlinks and referral traffic. Achieve this and you make it very difficult for competition to unseat you. But take your foot off the gas and let a post stagnate without actively marketing it, and you open the door for other pages to knock you down the SERPs.
Leverage Search Console Intelligence
The best way to get ahead of declining metrics and save pages before they disappear from rankings completely is to monitor performance data and metrics. This is where Google Search Console comes in, providing invaluable intelligence to diagnose issues.
Specifically, by comparing Search Console metrics month-over-month or quarter-over-quarter, you can reveal exactly which blog posts have lost ground in rankings. Let’s examine the step-by-step process:
The pages revealed to have lost the most impressions and clicks are essentially your rankings canaries. Their declining visibility signals they’ve likely fallen in position for important queries and are at risk of disappearing entirely without intervention.
Revive and Optimize Underperforming Pages
Armed with actionable data - and knowing precisely which pages to focus on - you can now begin the process of reviving and optimizing your posts to regain lost rankings and clicks. But what exactly should you update and how drastically? Here are some key recommendations:
- Substantively improve the on-page content - Adding a few sentences likely won’t cut it. Think about how you can overhaul each section to better satisfy user intent while keeping information fresh and engaging.
- Enhance page formatting and layout - Break up dense text with subheads, bullets and call out boxes. Insert relevant charts or graphs showcasing updated figures. Think visual storytelling and scanability.
- Expand multimedia - Can you incorporate newer or additional images that better illustrate key points? Embed a YouTube video for added context? Infographics also play well for visual learners.
- Localize content where relevant - If your topic lends itself to local adaptation, consider area-specific statistics, businesses, events etc. This better targets users by location.
- Strengthen calls to action - Buttons and links encouraging natural next actions improve conversions and visitor flow through your site.
- Tighten topic focus around core themes - Resist straying into tangents so tightly concentrated content signals to Google what the page specifically covers.
Essentially, your aim is crafting updates that would truly captivate and delight a visitor while keeping the content laser focused around core search intents. This powers you up the rankings while also boosting pages as link and referral targets.
Wrap New Content in Targeted Outreach
To accelerate your refreshed content’s ascendance within the SERPs, it’s smart to wrap publishing within a coordinated promotion effort.
Here are some key ways to spread the word:
- Link internally where relevant - If you have blog categories or other pages covering related topics, interlink content to transmit authority and relevance signals.
- Pitch guest posting partners - Earn backlinks from trusted sites by securing guest contributor spots allowing you to link back to your revamped post.
- Distribute to social channels - Share your content across social media platforms to drive referral traffic and social signals.
- Send to email subscribers - Alert your email list to new posts so existing site visitors can amplify pages through further on-site actions.
- Run retargeting ads - Remarket to site visitors off-site to pull added traffic to optimized pages.
This amplification effort drives immediate traffic and engagement to your refreshed content while accelerating the accumulation of rankings-boosting links and social activity.
With blog content, if you’re not moving forward, you’re losing ground as fresh competitive pages continually go live. Leverage tools like Google Search Console to monitor changes so you know when and where to invest your time optimizing existing assets.
Don’t write off underperforming pages as a lost cause. With thoughtful and substantive updates laser targeted at delighting visitors and search bots alike, you can often achieve an impressive turnaround.
Revive the spark to keep your content - and your site - forever young in the rankings!