“Should I SEO Optimize a Page or Rewrite It?”

Whether you are a well-seasoned pro in SEO, or a newbie just dipping your toes in, it’s likely that your content will need tune-up from time to time. However, as tempting as it can be to just plug in a few keywords and call it good, we know by now that great SEO content goes wayyy beyond the keywords.

So now you’re faced with the decision of whether you are going to A) SEO optimize your existing content or B) rewrite it altogether. Not an easy choice!

While optimizing your existing content may take less time, the question is, which method is most effective for generating targeted traffic to your website?

In this post, I’m breakin’ down how to know when to SEO edit your content vs start from scratch.

How to Know When You Should Rewrite Your SEO Content

When it comes to optimizing your content for SEO, you should be looking at a variety of factors. Time saved through editing vs rewriting should not be the deciding factor. Ultimately, you need to figure out which approach is going to bring you the best results (ie traffic and $$$).

1) You Lowkey Hate the Content Already

This one is obvious, but if you don’t feel good about the content on your site, it’s likely that users won’t either. Your content helps you put your best foot forward, engage your target audience, and generate business through your website. It’s got to be on point.

If you think your content is a bit stale, get a second set of eyes on it, particularly for someone that aligns with your target customer base. If there are only a few tweaks needed, do that – but you may find that in order for the content to be cohesive and really SELL, it warrants a rewrite.

2) It Isn’t Generating Any or “Enough” Traffic

This is likely the reason why you clicked on this post to begin with. You want to get more traffic to your website, it isn’t happening, and you are wondering what to do about it.

If you aren’t getting enough traffic to your website (regardless of the channel), it could be for a variety of reasons, and rewriting one page of content may not be the answer. However, it may be a good start.

Make sure you are following best practice for SEO copywriting, incorporating the appropriate keywords and persuasive copywriting. If after a refresher (and some time has gone by) your content still isn’t generating much traffic, you may want to get a comprehensive SEO audit.

3) The Page is Essential to Your Sales Funnel and Isn’t Converting

If traffic isn’t your problem but you just aren’t getting conversions through your content, then your page is likely due for a rewrite. While slapping a “Call Us” button on the page may help a little, it’s really a band-aid solution. The content, as a whole, should be written for the conversion, which takes proper planning and strategy.

Conversion Rate Optimization may not be your forte, though, and that’s okay. At least at this point, you’ll know to call in the pros to help you out rather than fussing with the content yourself. After all, conversions mean money, and a great CRO expert or SEO copywriter may be well worth the investment.

4) The Bounce Rate is Super High

I’ve been in a few bouncy castles and they are loads of fun, but having a high bounce rate on your landing pages is not.

If you’re finding that a lot of users end up on your page and are leaving your site right away (ie “bouncing off”), this is likely a copywriting issue.

It could mean that the user doesn’t feel like the page suits what they are looking for. It could also mean that they can’t FIND what they are looking for. Both situations are no bueno. You want to keep users engaged on your site until they subscribe, sign up, call, or buy.

Make sure your content is tailored to your unique audience and gets straight to the point. Make sure that the conversion point (ie Call-to-action) is super clear. Make sure it’s easy for users to find more information, request your services, and contact you, even if that means directing them to other pages on your site.

5) It’s Duplicate Content

Big sites fall victim to this a lot. You add and add more pages and before you know it you got a big ol’ mess. What do you do?

My first approach is always to make a list of all of the pages I have on my site and map out which keywords I am targeting for each page.

If there are pages that are way too similar, have identical content, or are targeting the same keyword, I either combine them or nix the one that is underperforming.

Having two or more pages with the same content is a no-no in Google’s eyes. You want your content to be as unique and laser-focused as possible. You also don’t want pages on your site to compete with each other over the same primary keyword. Rewrite ’em.

6) It Just Doesn’t Make Sense

You may think that every page on your site serves a purpose, but I assure you, it’s worth taking a second look.

Not every piece of content is a gem. Here are some questions to make sure your page makes sense for your site:

  • Does it serve a practical, intentional purpose? (Hint: “It’s informative” is rarely a solid answer)
  • Does it fit in with all of the other content on my site?
  • Is it providing value that other pages are not?
  • Does it fit the tone and style of the other content on my site?
  • Is it clear (to the user) what this page is about – or is my own bias getting in the way?

You know where I’m going with this… if you answered “No” to any of these questions, you may want to rewrite this content (or scrap it altogether). Be honest with yourself about whether the content serves a purpose or not – and don’t be afraid to let it go.

7) It’s Outdated Information

This is one of my pet peeves, but I know how it goes. As business owners, we get wrapped up in tons of responsibilities and often let our own sites fall by the wayside. However, having outdated information on your site can be a red flag to potential customers.

If the information just involves a few minor details, that may not require a rewrite. However, if you are praising a service you no longer offer, have an About page that includes an ex-employee, or any other majorly outdated information, you may need to rewrite the whole page. Just deleting big chunks of information can leave awkward gaps, and it’s important that the content is cohesive.

8) It’s Ugly (ie the Design isn’t User or Conversion Friendly)

If a page needs to redesigned, it needs to be rewritten too.

Design and copy work hand-in-hand when it comes to conversion optimization. Plugging content into a design template, or vice versa, is not an effective marriage of the two.

Make sure that the design is optimized for conversions and that the copy suits the style and progression of the page. Rewrite your calls-to-action, headlines, and more so that they flow and guide the user around the page.

9) You’ve Rebranded Your Website

If your business has gone through a rebranding, it’s likely that the tone and style of your writing have changed. You may have come up with a new mission statement, shifted your audience, expanded to new markets, or all of the above. Rebranding goes beyond the colors, logo, and website design.

Now would be a good time to plan out which pages are worth keeping, which should be tossed out, and which should be rewritten. You may even want to draft up a new Content Style Guide to make sure your content aligns with your brand messaging.

10) It’s Irrelevant

If the content isn’t relevant to your site, toss it out. If it’s not relevant to your audience, toss it out. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, toss it out.

That includes all of those “Here’s what we have been up to” business blog posts that no one wants to read. That includes anything that doesn’t serve to help the reader, provide them with more information, or direct them to your services.

If we could end fluff content once and for all, I will be a very happy copywriter.