Website Income

Pareto Content Upgrade – Increase Traffic With This Content Upgrade Strategy (with Video Tutorial)

I am excited to share a post like this… it has been awhile since I shared a detailed data driven tip on a new strategy that drives IMPRESSIVE results!

The team at ContentRefined has been doing some very impressive work lately performing what we are calling a Pareto^2 Content Upgrade and making the articles pop in terms of rankings and traffic.

This strategy is all about taking what is already working (your 20% of articles driving 80% of your sites traffic) and applying advanced tools/strategy at the right leverage points to make them perform even better!

The Pareto Principle asserts that only a “vital few” produce the majority.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity)[1] states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Here is the procedure ContentRefined uses to further apply this principle with content marketing and shared for you to use on your sites! As always if you want to do it yourself we show you the results and the exact steps… however, if you want to have the team at ContentRefined upgrade some of your most important articles then contact them here.

Book a call with Laura here and receive a free consultation/report to identify which of your pages are the right pages to apply the Pareto Upgrade to!

Results That Can Be Achieved Upgrading Old but Important Content:

Below are some fantastic results from a Content Refined client who ordered some upgrades for a big (about 7000 words) article.  The article was already performing fairly well, but Content Refined’s team was able to bump it up in just a matter of weeks!

NOTE: For these comparison tables, we didn’t need to show all 155 keywords and their data, so we looked at the top 25 keywords with the highest search volumes on August 7th.  By September 4th, there were 20 new ranking keywords that were added into that table (and a total of 205 ranking keywords overall).

(See the actual spreadsheet here.)

AWI upgrade article data sheet 1

AWI upgrade article data sheet 2

The big takeaways from this one month data analysis:

  1. The article went from having 155 keywords ranking in the top 100 search results to 205.
  2. The article went from having 49 keywords ranking in the top 20 search results to 67.
  3. For this comparison table we started with the top 25 keywords by search volume.  After a month, there were an additional 20 keywords added into that table that the article had begun to rank for.  That’s why this first table now shows 45 keywords.

Time for a Check-Up! (and How to Update Your Existing Content)

Now, when was the last time you looked at your existing content to make sure it’s still performing as well as it should be?

Here’s a great strategy for freshening up your content and the impressive results that doing so can achieve.  We’ll be using SEMRush (±$90/month) for this analysis because we’ve been really happy with its effectiveness and clarity of details.  You will need an account with SEMRush to use their service to its full potential.

Laura from Content Refined has made a video tutorial of this whole process.  Check it out here:

  1. Plug in your URL into the search bar, set for “domain overview”.  This page is a good place to start, because it shows your organic and paid traffic, backlinks, top ranking keywords, and top competitors.  The graph that comes up is a good quick-view version of how your site is doing.content refined article writing
  2. Scroll down to the ‘Top Organic Keywords’ section and click on “View Full Report”.  This opens up a new page, showing all of the keywords that your website is ranking for.  You can view these results by the keywords’ position in Google, or by the highest monthly search volume keywords, or by cost per click, etc.  I like to look at the highest position keywords first to get an idea of which content is ranking the best. You can go ahead and export that data if you like so that you have this full overview on hand.content refined article writing
  3. You can also use this tool to check how one piece of content in particular is ranking.  We’ll do this in two ways.

    a) Search by the exact keyword that you want to be ranking for in the search bar.  In this example, it’s “inexpensive marketing ideas”. This will show if you’re ranking for that exact keyword and/or any other keywords that include that exact phrase.content refined article writing
    b) Search by URL to see what keywords are ranking for that page.  To do this, click on ‘advanced filters’ beside the search bar. Where it says ‘keyword’, click to change it to ‘URL’ from the dropdown menu.  Now you’ll see what keywords are ranking for that page.content refined article writing
  4. Export whichever data is the most valuable for your purposes.  In this example, it’s all the keywords for that exact URL. Save that file by date so that you know exactly when it was extracted for your records.
  5. To keep everything organized, I like to upload that data to a Google spreadsheet, and title the tab by the date that the data was extracted.  You can upload any other relevant data for that date as well. For example, if you first uploaded the keyword data ordered by search position in Google, you could upload another version where it’s ordered by keywords with the highest monthly search volume.  Be sure to keep track of the dates that you got the data so that you aren’t confused when you return to this data in a few weeks or months.

content refined article writing data analysis

Now What? (The ‘How to Do It’ Part!)

With this great performance data, you can decide which of your content should be improved, lengthened, and/or refreshed to keep up to date.  You can see which keywords need a bit of a boost, and if there are any content gaps (where you’re not ranking for something that you’d like to be ranking for) that should be filled.

(Again, feel free to book a call with Laura here and receive a free consultation/report to identify which of your pages should be upgraded.)

  1. Once you have a few keywords in mind that you’d like to improve upon, you can rewrite some of your content, or simply add a few more paragraphs to your existing text.
  2. This is where MarketMuse really comes in handy, it is very expensive $1k/month+ but can be very effective!  Once you’ve added content and you’re happy with it, you can plug it into the Content Analyzer or (their new platform features) Content Suite in MarketMuse.  Again, you’ll need an account with them to take full advantage here.
  3. In the Content Suite’s ‘Optimize’, ‘Research’, and ‘Compete’ sections, add your focus topic (main keyword), the title of your article (or webpage), and copy and paste in your content.marketmuse content suite optimize
  4. It usually takes a few moments, but then MarketMuse will show you your results.  These results are based on the top 20 webpages already ranking in Google for that exact focus topic (keyword).  It will create a ‘content score’ based on the depth of information already available on the web for that topic, and show how your content measures up.This picture shows the top ranking webpages for ‘inexpensive marketing ideas’ and their content scores as determined by MarketMuse’s algorithm.marketmuse competition score
  5. Your goal now is to get above the “average content score” and ideally to surpass the “best content score”.  You do this by looking at MarketMuse’s suggested keywords and naturally weaving in some of those words and phrases wherever possible throughout your article.  A word of warning: do not keyword stuff. Keyword stuffing is when you add a bunch of keywords in a row which create a gibberish and nonsensical sentence, in hopes of ranking for those keywords.  Don’t do that. Google’s algorithms are way too smart for that, and it won’t help you. Instead, try to use those keywords as a guideline to show where you need to add in some more content for a higher probability of ranking.content refined marketmuse
  6. Once you’ve got your content all ready here, it’s time to update your content and publish it live onto your website.


Now We Wait

You can check back in as early as a couple of weeks, but I would recommend letting that new content mature online for at least a month or two before going back to check your data again.  You should be seeing a vast improvement in the amount of keywords you’re ranking for, as well as their position in Google results.

This is part of the process that Content Refined uses for their full ‘content upgrade service’.  They’ll ‘upgrade’ your existing content for improved ranking.


Here’s what I would recommend to get started:

1. Check out your current rankings with whatever SERP tracker you use. (Follow Laura’s tutorial for this here:
2. Identify a few articles that need refreshing and make up a lot of your sites current traffic.
3. Update your content and add some new content.  Then run it through MarketMuse to really boost up the competition score.
4. Publish the new version of your article (note: DO NOT change the URL).
5. Wait a month.
6. Check your SERP again for that article.


1. Skip the tough stuff and ask Content Refined to identify and update some of your older articles for you.


Have questions about this?  Post in the comments below, or reach out to Content Refined directly at [email protected] or!

About the Author Jon

I am a 36 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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