How to Get 260.7% More Organic Traffic In 14 Days (New Strategy + Case Study)

The Content Relaunch

Today I’m going to show you a new strategy that boosted my organic traffic by 260.7%.

(In 14 days)

This strategy also led to a flood of visitors from Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

The best part?

I didn’t need to publish any new content.

And in today’s post I’ll reveal the exact step-by-step process that I used.

The Blog Post That Made Me Say: “I Totally Have to Try This!”

One day I stumbled on a HubSpot blog post called, “The Blogging Tactic No One Is Talking About: Optimizing the Past“.

hubspot blog post

In that post HubSpot revealed that they update and re-publish old blog posts.

I thought to myself: “Hmmm. Interesting.”

Then I learned that this approach led to a 106% increase in HubSpot’s organic traffic.

organic search engine traffic before and after

I (literally) shouted out: “I totally have to try this!”

So I did.

Even I was surprised at what happened next…

Here Are My Results From “The Content Relaunch”

I first executed The Content Relaunch with this post:

backlinko blog post

2 weeks later that page’s organic search engine traffic was up a ridiculous 260.7%.

organic traffic increase in google analytics

I also got a huge spike in traffic from social media and blogs:

traffic spike

Because “The Content Relaunch” got my content in front of lots of people…

…the page accumulated a ton of new backlinks.

number of total backlinks

Needless to say, these fresh backlinks boosted my rankings.

In fact, rankings for my target keyword (“white hat SEO”) jumped from the 7th spot to position #4:

first page google ranking

Now that you’ve seen the results, it’s time for me to walk you through the step-by-step process I used.

The 3-Step Process to Higher Rankings and More Traffic With “The Content Relaunch”

There are 3 steps to The Content Relaunch:

Step #1: Identify under-performing content

Step #2: Improve and update that content

Step #3: Republish your post

Here’s why this strategy is so effective:

First, new readers see your old content.

Chances are, 90%+ of the people that might benefit from your content never see it.

But when you relaunch your content, you create another opportunity for people to benefit from your stuff.

Second, you make your content better.

I’d be willing to bet you have at least a handful of posts on your site that are outdated or mediocre.

The Content Relaunch gives you the opportunity to update and improve that content.

Better content=more traffic.

Third, your content has built-in social proof.

When you relaunch a blog post, you have social proof on Day 1.

For example, my post already had lots of comments and Facebook likes the day I relaunched it:

likes and comments

With that, let’s dive into the step-by-step process…

Step #1: Identify Under-Performing Content On Your Site

Your first step is to find a piece of content to re-publish.

Here’s how:

1. Pages That Rank #7-#15

You probably already know that the top 3 spots in Google get the lion’s share of traffic (source).

organic CTR study

(In fact, the top 5 positions in Google get 67.5% of all clicks)

That’s why you want to push pages that rank #7-#15 into the top 5.

But first, you’ll need to find these pages.

To do that, head over to the Google Search Console and click on “Search Analytics”.

google search analytics

Then, click on “Impressions” and “Position”:

position in google search console

Finally, glance over the results. Keep an eye out for pages that get lots of impressions…but rank between #7-#15.

ranking low on first page

These are pages that could get a significant boost from The Content Relaunch.

2. Pages Where Organic Traffic Dropped Off

If you see a page’s organic traffic sliding…

organic traffic decline

…The Content Relaunch can get it back on track.

3. Content That Under-Performed

We’ve all been there…

You put your heart and soul into a piece of content.

But when you launch it?

Crickets.

Sometimes this is simply a case of bad luck (or timing).

In fact, that’s exactly what happened to me when I first launched this post in 2014:

old blog post

It did OK…but way below my expectations.

And when I used The Content Relaunch on that post two years later, traffic to that page shot through the roof:

post after content relaunch

4. Content That’s Good…But Could Be Better

My white hat SEO case study was OK…

…but there was a LOT of room for improvement.

I’ll have more details on how I improved my post a bit later.

But to give you an idea of why my post was lacking, just take a look at this screenshot from the post:

old twitter

Yup, Twitter hasn’t looked like that in a looooong time.

Step #2: Make Your Content 2x Better (And More Up-To-Date)

Now that you’ve found a piece of content for The Content Relaunch, it’s time to improve that content.

Here’s exactly how I made my content (at least) 2x better:

1. Updated Images and Screenshots

Like I mentioned earlier, my post had some VERY old screenshots:

old google search results

These ancient images made my visitors say to themselves: “How old is this post anyway?”.

Not good.

So I updated the old screenshots with new ones:

new google screenshot

Simple…yet effective.

2. Improved The Post’s Structure

My old post had an unnecessary section at the top called, “Wait…What’s The Skyscraper Technique?”.

old section

This section was unnecessary backstory. So I decided to scrap that section and jump right into the results instead:

new section of a blog post

3. Added a New Case Study

This was a big one.

I realized that my content was solid, but it had one gaping hole:

The case study featured someone that ran an SEO blog.

Which led to comments like this:

misguided comment

I’ve personally seen The Skyscraper Technique work in dozens of different industries.

But I needed to prove it.

So I added a new case study from someone in a boring niche (workplace wellness).

new case study

4. I Addressed Common Reader Questions

Whenever I publish a post about SEO, I inevitably get the “what’s the ROI?” question.

ROI question

And it’s a good question.

So I added a section to my post that outlined Emil’s ROI:

roi section

5. Did More Storytelling

My original post had almost ZERO storytelling.

That’s OK for a list post…

…but NOT for a case study.

After all, the story is the most compelling part of any case study.

So I added a backstory to explain WHY Emil needed to get more traffic.

storytelling in a blog post

OK, this story may not get you to shut off Game of Thrones.

But still: ANY story is better than none at all.

6. Added Bonus Steps

My original post was comprehensive-ish.

And I realized that comprehensive-ish wasn’t comprehensive enough.

That’s why I added a step #0…step zero

…and a smattering of pro tips:

pro tip

That way my post was a one-stop resource for people that wanted to execute a white hat SEO campaign.

Step #3: Time to Relaunch!

Now that my post was 2x better, it was time to share it with the world.

Here’s exactly what I did to get the word out:

1. First, I let bloggers know that I had a new case study coming out.

If you’re reading this you already know that you need to promote the heck out of your content.

And the best way to do that?

Targeted email outreach.

For this post I looked for people interested in The Skyscraper Technique.

How? I Googled “The Skyscraper Technique”.

google search

(Pretty clever, right ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

And when I found someone that wrote about The Skyscraper Technique…

mention in a blog post

…I sent them a friendly email:

outreach email

Because my email was ridiculously targeted, most people were happy to share my post when it came out:

outreach email response

2. Second, I changed the “published” date in WordPress.

This is important.

When you change the post’s “published” date, your post appears at the top of your blog feed.

To change the date, just head over to that post and click the “edit” link under the post’s date:

wordpress published date

Then change the date to today…

changing published date

…and hit “update”.

Like magic, your post will appear at the very top of your blog feed:

top of blog feed

3. Next, I shared the post on Twitter.

Here it is:

tweet

As you can see, nothing fancy.

That said, you may have noticed that I emphasized the new case study.

And I recommend you do the same thing for your Content Relaunch.

In other words:

When you promote your relaunched post, put your content’s new features front and center.

Did you add an infographic? Emphasize that.

Did you write a new section? Emphasize that.

Did you shoot a video tutorial? Emphasize that.

When you emphasize what’s new, you’ll get old AND new readers to check out your post.

4.ย  Finally, I sent the Backlinko community an email.

This is HUGE.

If you want more people to read your content, you need to start building your email list.

(And then let your subscribers know about your new stuff).

Case in point:

My Tweet above got a grand total of 111 clicks:

total tweet clicks

And my newsletter email?

7 THOUSAND.

total clicks email

(To be fair, I have twice as many email subscribers than Twitter followers. But you get the idea).

And when it was all said and done, my page got a 260% lift in organic traffic thanks to The Content Relaunch:

organic traffic increase in google analytics

Not too shabby ๐Ÿ™‚

By now you can probably see why this is quickly becoming one of my favorite search engine optimization techniques.

Now It’s Your Turn…

Now that you’ve seen my results, I’d like to hear from you.

What do you think of The Content Relaunch?

Or maybe you have a question about a step in the process.

Either way, leave a comment quick below.

Iโ€™ll be around today to reply to comments and answer questions.

So if you have a question or thought, leave a comment right now.

412 Comments

    1. Srinvasa, glad to hear that you’ve seen similar results. From people I’ve talked to The Content Relaunch works well 99% of the time (when done right).

  1. Brian, This is so insanely simple! I remember reading that Hubspot post and was interested, but didn’t see the opportunity like you had.

    I noticed you were able to outrank sites like Moz and was dying to read about why you were republishing/updating your older posts.

    One question I have is about the frequency of updates. Recently, I changed the meta info on an old post to increase click-through rate. Immediately after, I was thrown off the grid and sitting on page 5 now for a particular keyword phrase.

    Wondering if this tactic will help.

    Thanks again for sharing. Added to my buffer.

    Cheers,

    Sam

    1. Hey Sam, some of the best things in life (and marketing) are, amirite? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Good question. Hmmm. That may have been due to a few reasons: a) coincidence as Google was super volatile in September, b) the CTR was worse with the new meta data, c) the new meta data didn’t include a keyword or phrase that was helping you rank.

      So yeah, I’d consider revamping the whole post, adding the old meta data back, and giving the post the whole Content Relaunch treatment.

  2. Thanks for the post. For clarity, when you say “repost,” do you mean leaving the URL the same and changing the post date to today’s date? Anything else you do from a technical end?

  3. Hey Brian,

    Your SEO strategies are working. Even though you don’t publish oftenly, what is already published is a gold mine.

    I love the Skyscraper technique the most.

    I have also confirmed that changing the publish date can boost your rankings almost overnight.

    Cheers!

  4. YES. I love this because 99% of blogs on the internet need to be doing THIS instead of publishing yet another top 10 list that gets no attention. Imagine how much better the blogosphere would be if people spent time carefully crafting and improving articles like they were ongoing works of art. Imagine. Question: any rough estimate of how many direct emails you sent?

    1. Well said, Devesh.

      I almost look at content like real estate. Rather than build another house, why not renovate one of the 50 you already own?

      I actually send much fewer outreach emails with The Content Relaunch because the post has so much built-in social proof from the first time around.

  5. Hello Brian,

    This strategy can easily be scaled for clients/niche sites. I’ve been doing this same technique for our link building blog as well and this pumps up the traffic of our latest guide on link building: https://sharprocket.com.ph/link-building-tips/

    I’ll add a few points here.

    You can plug in your competing ranking pages to Ahrefs (make sure you use the exact URL option), then go to Organic Keywords section – there you’ll find tons of organic keywords that can be added to your content. How? Update your existing content with new sections from organic keywords like (e.g. what is _____, ___ tutorial, ____ resources). This will help your content to be more comprehensive and can help acquire new organic keywords for new added sections. Best thing. When searched for those new phrases, the content itself can naturally acquire new natural backlinks/mentions from publishers referencing that content – boosting the overall page authority of that content asset.

    1. Hey Venchito, great insights here.

      SO what you’re saying is that you don’t just update but also add a few long tail keywords as well?

      1. Yes, but make sure to add new sections that aren’t your target keyword. For example, your post is about “link building strategies”, over time that guide ranks #11 to #15 for long tail keywords like “what is link building” – which isn’t your target keyword at the first place but have some good search volumes. That’s a goldmine! You can add a section in your content explaining what link building is all about. Because Google sees your content to be relevant to other long tail keywords, it’d better for your content to be updated that way.

        Another option is what I said, in case your content is not ranking for other long tail keywords aside from your main target phrase, you can plug in your competing ranking pages to Ahrefs and identify long tail keyphrases that they are ranking.

  6. Hi Brian,

    I am Huge FAN of yours. And thanks for sharing this strategy. Honestly speaking I am following this technique from past 2 months and my blog traffic grew from 1000 per day to 25000 per day, this technique is really awesome.

    Thanks
    Cheers!!

  7. Great article Brian ! I was wondering how you could turn your somewhat productive content into something more effective. Turns out this might just be the answer i was looking for.

    1. Thanks Francois. Yup, this would be one of my first steps. The Content Relaunch can really help underperforming content get a second chance.

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