Everything needs an update every now and again, and the blogs that we post on our site are no different. This isn’t only important so that our content remains up to date and fresh, but so our SEO performs as best as it possibly can.
The purpose of updating old content
If your blog has been around for some time, there’s likely to be a lot of posts out there that you haven’t visited in some time. You might be thinking that it’s ok to leave them as is because, after all, no one is going to see them anyway, right? Wrong. One of the biggest benefits of blogging is SEO (search engine optimisation) which can help you gain more traction to your website over time.
At any moment, someone could discover something that you wrote years ago that still ranks well, and if said reader fails to recognise the date of the post, they may believe that what they’re reading is the most up to date information out there. This type of thing is not uncommon. The same thing goes for readers who used to read your blog posts religiously but now no longer do. Reviving some of the high-ranking posts, you published in the past will extend the lifespan of your content and bring even more traffic to the site. These posts are known as evergreen posts and are often overlooked by even the most experienced bloggers.
Which posts should you update?
Not all of your posts are going to become evergreen so you should first establish which ones you’re going to update. If you have analytics software installed you will find it much easier to identify high-performing posts from the past. Check out metrics involving inbound links, traffic, social shares and keywords and question whether certain keywords may give you further opportunities to improve your ranking position.
Another factor to consider is just how relevant the content is. If you believe a post is a little outdated and thus misinforming to the reader, updating it rather than starting from scratch will keep you in favour with Google. We all know its stance on duplicate content…
Once you’ve identified which posts will be revamped, here’s what to consider.
- Use the same post but keep the URL the same
Don’t publish an additional article onto your blog. Instead, modify the original but make sure to keep the URL the same.
- If you change the blog title, keep the keywords
Don’t change the title too drastically from the original. Although the URL is the most important aspect of maintaining link value, you should include the same keywords in the new title, so your SEO won’t take a dip.
- Include an editor’s note
For transparency, add an editor’s note at the bottom of your updated article.
- Make sure the content is accurate
Understandably, something that you published a few years ago may no longer include accurate facts. Delete anything that is no longer relevant and fill in the blanks.
- Optimize the meta description
Meta descriptions don’t affect the ranking of your content, but it’s still important that they remain relevant and are an accurate reflection of what the post entails. See if you can make your meta descriptions a little catchier to attract readers.
- Track the performance of the post
Before you republish your post, take note of its statistics. This way you’ll be able to see if your updated content has performed better and you’ll have a better idea of what to edit if you do the same in the future.