How to Use Tools to Determine Which Content to Re-Optimize: A Step-by-Step Guide

Why is everybody and their grandparents writing about content material re-optimization?

I can’t communicate for the folks writing limitless streams of blogs on the topic, however in Brafton’s case, it’s been the quickest method for enhancing rankings and driving extra visitors.

As a matter of reality, on this earlier Moz publish, we confirmed that rankings can enhance in a matter of minutes after re-indexing.

But why does it work?

It’s most likely a mix of things (our favourite search engine optimisation copout!), which can embody:

  • Age worth: In a earlier research we noticed a transparent relationship between time listed and key phrase/URL efficiency, absent of hyperlinks:
  • More complete content material: Presumably, when re-optimizing content material you might be including contextual depth to present matters and breadth to associated matters. It’s fairly clear at this level that Google understands when content material has absolutely nailed a subject cluster.
  • It’s a recognized amount: You’re solely going to be re-optimizing content material that has a excessive potential for return. In this weblog publish, I’ll clarify how to establish content material with a excessive potential for return.

How properly does it work?

Brafton’s web site is a little bit of a playground for our advertising staff to strive new methods. And that is smart, as a result of if one thing goes horribly unsuitable, the worst case situation is that I appear to be an fool for losing sources, fairly than shedding a high-paying shopper on an experiment.

You can’t strive untested procedures on sufferers. It’s simply harmful.

So we strive new methods and meticulously observe the outcomes on And by far, re-optimizing content material leads to probably the most speedy positive factors. It’s precisely the place I’d begin with a shopper who was on the lookout for quick outcomes.

Example: Top Company Newsletters

Example: Best Social Media Campaigns

In many circumstances, re-optimizing content material isn’t a “set it and forget it,” by any means. We steadily discover that this recreation is an arms race, and we are going to lose rankings on an optimized article, and wish to re-re-optimize our content material to keep aggressive.

(You can clearly see this taking place within the second instance!)

So how do you select which content material to re-optimize? Let’s dig in.

Step 1: Find your threshold key phrases

If a bit of content material isn’t rating within the prime 5 positions for its goal key phrase, or a high-value variant key phrase, it’s not offering any worth.

We need to see which key phrases are simply exterior a place that might present extra affect if we have been ready to give them a lift. So we would like to discover key phrases that rank worse than place 5. But we additionally need to set a restrict on how poorly they rank.

Meaning, we don’t need to re-optimize for a key phrase that ranks on web page eleven. They want to be inside attain (threshold).

We have discovered our threshold key phrases to exist between positions 6–29.

Note: you are able to do this in any main search engine optimisation software. Simply discover the checklist of all key phrases you rank for, and filter it to embody solely positions 6-29. I’ll soar round just a few instruments to present you what it appears to be like like in every.

You have now filtered the checklist of key phrases you rank for to embody solely threshold key phrases. Good job!

Step 2: Filter for search quantity

There’s no level in re-optimizing a bit of content material for a key phrase with little-to-no search quantity. You will need to take a look at solely key phrases with search volumes that point out a probability of success.

Advice: For me, I set that restrict at 100 searches per thirty days. I select this quantity as a result of I do know, in the very best case situation (rating in place 1), I’ll drive ~31 guests per thirty days through that key phrase, assuming no featured snippet is current. It prices some huge cash to write blogs; I would like to justify that funding.

You’ve now filtered your checklist to embody solely threshold key phrases with enough search quantity to justify re-optimizing.

Step three: Filter for problem

Generally, I would like to optimize the gravy prepare key phrases — these with excessive search quantity and low natural problem scores. I’m on the lookout for the simplest wins out there.

You would not have to do that!

Note: If you need to goal a extremely aggressive key phrase within the earlier checklist, you might give you the option to efficiently achieve this by augmenting your re-optimization plan with some aggressive hyperlink constructing, and/or turning the content material right into a pillar web page.

I don’t need to do that, so I’ll arrange a problem filter to discover simple wins.

But the place do you set the restrict?

This is a bit difficult, as every key phrase problem software is a bit completely different, and outcomes could differ primarily based on a complete host of things associated to your area. But listed below are some fast-and-loose pointers I present to house owners of mid-level domains (DA 30–55).


KW Difficulty







KW Finder


Here’s the way it will look in Moz. Note: Moz has predefined ranges, so we received’t give you the option to hit the precise thresholds outlined, however we will likely be shut sufficient.

Now you might be left with solely threshold key phrases with important search quantity and affordable problem scores.

Step four: Filter for weblog posts (optionally available)

In our expertise, blogs typically enhance sooner than touchdown pages. While this course of could be completed for both kind of content material, I’m going to concentrate on the speedy affect content material and filter for blogs.

If your website follows a URL hierarchy, all of your blogs ought to stay underneath a ‘/blog’ subfolder. This will make it simple for you to filter and section.

Each software will enable you to section key phrase rankings by its corresponding section of the location.

The ensuing checklist will depart you with threshold key phrases with important search quantity and affordable problem scores, from weblog content material solely.

Step 5: Select for relevance

You now have the boldness to know that the remaining key phrases in your checklist all have excessive potential to drive extra visitors with correct re-optimization.

What you don’t know but, is whether or not or not these key phrases are related to your online business. In different phrases, would you like to rank for these key phrases?

Your web site is at all times going to by chance rank for noise, and also you don’t need to make investments time optimizing content material that received’t present any industrial worth. Here’s an instance:

I like to recommend exporting your checklist right into a spreadsheet for simple analysis.

Go by your complete checklist and really feel out what could also be of worth, and what’s a waste of time.

Now that you’ve got a listing of solely related key phrases, you now know the next: Each threshold key phrase has important search quantity, affordable key phrase problem, corresponds to a weblog (optionally available), and is commercially related.

Onto a particularly vital step that most individuals overlook.

Step 6: No cannibals right here

What occurs if you overlook about your finest buddy and provides all of your consideration to a brand new, however possibly not-so-awesome buddy?

You lose your finest buddy.

As SEOs, we are able to overlook that any URL typically ranks for a number of key phrases, and if you happen to don’t consider all of the key phrases a URL ranks for, you might “re-optimize” for a lower-potential key phrase, and lose your rankings for the present excessive worth key phrase you already rank for!

Note: Beware, there are some content material/search engine optimisation instruments on the market that may make suggestions on the items of content material it is best to re-optimize. Take these with a grain of salt! Put within the work and be sure to received’t find yourself worse off than the place you began.

Here’s an instance:

This web page reveals up on our checklist for a chance to enhance the key phrase “internal newsletters”, with a search quantity of 100 and a problem rating of 6.

Great alternative, proper??

Maybe not. Now you want to plug the URL into one in all your instruments and decide whether or not or not you’ll trigger injury by re-optimizing for this key phrase.

Sure sufficient, we rank in place 1 for the key phrase “company newsletter,” which has a search quantity of 501-850 per thirty days. I’m not messing with this web page in any respect.

On the flipside, this checklist beneficial that I re-optimize for “How long should a blog post be.” Plugging the URL into Moz reveals me that that is certainly an ideal key phrase to reoptimize the content material for.

Now you will have a listing of all of the blogs that must be reoptimized, and which key phrases they need to goal.

Step 6: Rewrite and reindex

You stand a greater probability of rating in your goal key phrase if you happen to enhance the depth and breadth of the piece of content material it ranks for. There are many instruments that may make it easier to with this, and a few work higher than others.

We have used MarketMuse at Brafton for years. I’ve additionally had some expertise with Ryte’s content material optimizer software, and Clearscope, which has a really writer-friendly interface.

Substep 1: Update the outdated content material in your CMS with the newly-written content material.

Substep 2: Keep the URL. I can’t stress this sufficient. Do not change the URL, or all of your work will likely be wasted.

Substep three: Update the publish date. This is now new content material, and also you need Google to know that as you might reap among the advantages of QDF.

Substep four: Fetch as Google/request indexing. Jump into Search Console and re-index the web page so that you simply don’t have to await the subsequent pure crawl.

Step 7: Track your outcomes!

Be trustworthy, it feels good to outrank your opponents, doesn’t it?

I normally observe the efficiency of my re-optimizations a pair methods:

  1. Page-level impressions in Search Console. This is the main indicator of search presence.
  2. A key phrase monitoring marketing campaign in a software. Plug within the key phrases you re-optimized for and observe their rating enhancements (hopefully) over time.
  3. Variant key phrases on the URL. There is an efficient probability, by including depth to your content material, that you’ll rank for extra variant key phrases, which is able to drive extra visitors. Plug your URL into your software of selection and observe the variety of rating key phrases.


Re-optimizing content material could be a particularly highly effective software in your repertoire for rising visitors, nevertheless it’s very simple to do unsuitable. The hardest a part of rewriting content material isn’t the precise content material creation, however fairly, the choice course of.

Which key phrases? Which pages?

Using the scientific strategy above offers you confidence that you’re taking each step mandatory to make sure you make the best strikes.

Happy re-optimizing!

About Jeff_Baker —

Jeff is a Director of Digital Marketing Strategy in Brafton’s San Francisco workplace. In his private time, he’s a woodworker and jogger.

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