There are a lot of different avenues you can go with this one, and I’ve tried quite a few different methods. The first is finding related bloggers in your field and reaching out to see if they’ll accept a guest post from you – you’ll have to do a lot of trial and error with this, because you’ll get a lot of rejections, but reaching that new audience can really pay off.
If both page are closely related (lots of topical overlap), I would merge the unique content from the lower ranking article into the top ranking one, then 301 redirect the lower performing article into the top ranking one. This will make the canonical version more relevant, and give it an immediate authority boost. I would also fetch it right away, do some link building, and possibly a little paid promotion to seed some engagement. Update the time stamp.
This means channels, like your social media, should be maximized – used to regularly promote your content, or variations of it rather than a “post once then forget” approach. Here at Ops Calendar, we’ve created features to automate this process, including “smart queues”, where social posts are scheduled out from the time your content publishes and “social loops”, a feature which ensures your posts get cycled on a recurring schedule.
For our client: We only used a smaller quantity of very high-quality link building each month. So, for example we only built 40 of the best links each month to supplement the work we were doing on the content marketing front. We also invested heavily into tracking competitor backlink profiles, using Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer. We worked out how the competitor's acquired specific backlinks, then by using outreach and content creation we obtained these links.