If you’re like most people, you might assume that the majority of blog traffic occurs the day your blog is posted. According to a study done by HubSpot, quite the opposite is true. They concluded that 76% of their monthly views came from old blog posts.

If your website has a blog, chances are you’re tracking the results it generates in hopes of obtaining high quality traffic. What if you had a strategy to generate more leads and conversions simply by using content that’s already been created? By using old blog content, you can do just that by way of historical optimization.

What is Historical Optimization?

Historical optimization means updating and optimizing “old” blog content to generate more leads, as opposed to putting out fresh content every time.

These days, we have an overabundant supply of content. According to Paul Hewerdine of B2B marketing agency, Earnest (via Forrester's 2014 report on building the case for content marketing), the problem is that "the supply of content is growing, but demand is static." In other words, the people on the receiving end are only going to consume so much. The supply and demand ratio isn’t balanced.

Historical optimization is ideal because you’ll be delivering more value to the people reading your blogs, you’ll have a competitive advantage due to the lack of knowledge surrounding this strategy and you’ll be putting out more of the content you already have.

Start Optimizing the Past

The goal of historical optimization is to make the blogs you’ve already posted perform better. How you choose to optimize content will be dependent on what your traffic reports say.

1. Go through your website’s analytics data.

Determine which blog posts had high traffic and low conversion rates, and which blog posts had low traffic and higher conversion rates.

2. Optimize content to get more leads from high-traffic but low-converting blog posts.

According to HubSpot’s research, they realized that optimizing the keywords that people were using in search was the best way to do this. When they tested this on a blog post, they increased conversions on that post by 240% and since have doubled the number of monthly leads generated by old posts that they optimized.

Start by identifying the keywords that people have been using to find your high-traffic blog posts.

Take these keywords and incorporate them into the CTA of the post, creating new offers where existing offers were not relevant. By doing a little research, you are essentially finding out why people are reading your blog and what their goals are—then you can give them what they want.

3. Optimize content to get more traffic to high-converting but low-traffic blog posts.

The goal of historical search engine optimization is to update blog content and SEO for freshness and relevancy, and to get your content to show up on the first page of a search engine. HubSpot found that updating older blog posts and republishing them led to an increase in organic search traffic by 50% in a six-month period.

Pick out several blog posts that have “1st-page potential”. These are posts that are outdated and can be improved in some way, and have the potential to rank higher for keywords due to a sufficient search volume. These posts will need updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness, as search engines will reward fresh content. Add SEO terms that are relevant to the blog and then republish the post. By republishing, you are not only showing search engines that your content is new, but you are showing users also. People will be more likely to click on a new blog rather than one from five years ago that has now become irrelevant.

You can take historical search engine optimization even further by promoting your blogs via social media or e-mail.

Historical optimization can be an effective way of tweaking under-performing blog posts to increase leads, conversions and organic search traffic. Keep in mind that this strategy should be used in conjunction with your original blogging strategy. You don’t want to miss out on the potential to capitalize on new topics emerging in your industry, so it’s necessary to find a balance between the old and the new.