Updating content is a necessary part of a successful blogging strategy, whether it is an individual or a brand blog. First of all, it simply doesn’t make sense to waste something you’ve invested time and money on. Secondly, it is actually extremely efficient to update articles and old content.
According to the recent 2021 study, 71% of bloggers named the content update as part of their strategy. The same study shows that bloggers who do refresh their old posts are 3 times more likely to get results.
So how often should you update your website? How to choose posts for updating? What tactics work best? This guide will cover all of these questions.
Why blog update is a great strategy?
Refreshing and reposting blog content is useful for many reasons, such as:
- Matured articles give value to the audience that comes over the years. If you check your statistics, you’ll probably notice that a great deal of traffic goes to old posts;
- It is incredibly effective in terms of SEO especially if you repurpose the old URL and backlinks;
- You already know how the topic performs because of data gathered over years;
- It is faster and often easier to rewrite a blog post than produce new content than spend time writing a new blog post.
- The post will be of the higher quality, as with historic data it goes more in-depth into the topic;
- It promotes the audience’s loyalty as it shows that you are not only pumping out fresh content to get views but care about the value and reputation.
Also, reposting articles on your website allows the implementation of new SEO practices. They change every day and an article from 2018 is not optimized for search intent anymore. Yet the content is great and it would be such a waste to leave this opportunity hanging.
How to pick posts to rewrite?
How often should I update my blog? – You may be asking. If you are not a beginner writer, usually, 1-2 years is enough for a post to become outdated and gain peak engagement. So, a good rule would be to look at the articles published at least a year ago. But it still performs great, it is better to not touch it.
Do not go crazy with refreshing texts. It is completely fine if blog updates occur less than once a week. The exact percentage and schedule are individual for everyone and depend on how often do bloggers post in general. For example, if you create 4 new pieces of content per month, you can add one update to make 5 releases overall.
So how to update an old blog? To decide which ones are worth working on, follow these steps:
Step 1. Make a list of old posts with titles and URLs.
Step 2. Add performance metrics to them. These can be organic traffic, keyword ranking, conversions, and time on page, bounce rate, or social shares. These metrics will help to decide on how to refresh the blog.
Step 3. Divide the articles according to such parameters as:
- The ones that almost rank high (for example if the rank to the second page of Google searches, you can make it the first one with few optimizations;
- All those that attract lots of traffic but can be surpassed by competitors or risk getting outdated in terms of data/research;
- The ones that created a lot of engagement when first published.
Step 4. After prioritizing the posts that have the most potential, create a schedule for post update rewrites.
Guide on how to rewrite a blog post
Now, let’s get to different tactics and techniques that allow updating content. One can use them separately or all together. It truly depends on the type of content and how it performs.
If you are to sell your articles online, you need to be sure that they are up to date. Overall, there are two ways to approach this task – to refresh with light touches and minor changes or to completely rewrite it. Both of them have their reasons and benefits. The first approach inclines about 15-20% of fresh content and the second one goes up to 70-80%. Of course, time and efforts are not the same as well.
Here is how you can update article for better SEO:
Add FAQ or “often asked” section.
To match search intent better and make a text more rounded, you can add the section with answers to popular inquiries. How can one get those questions? You can simply search the keywords in Google and look at the “People Often Ask” section.
Another idea is to use “Answer the Public” which shows related searches to keywords and phrases.
Link to New Researches
When you rewrite your blog or want to make it more relevant, a great idea is to link to new credible data sources. Studies, surveys, and researches appear every day in every industry. And there is nothing worse than having outdated sources or broken links.
It decreases people’s trust and presents one in a bad light. Take a piece of evergreen content and add links to new data in this field. Write about trends that formed in recent times and how they apply to the topic in general.
The most recent and relevant data also will increase backlinks to your site.
Work on Formatting and Layout
The best practice in SEO change every now and then. Probably the layout you used in 2015 is not performing great today. And it still affects the page’s ranking. So when refreshing content, pay attention to that as well.
- Add new paragraphs or divide big into smaller ones;
- Highlight important terms or definitions;
- Add summary;
- Create an interactive plan for the post;
- Add bullet-in list, etc.
Work on Links
When the piece is ready to be republished and promoted again, make sure you add internal links to it. Also, add links to the updated content to other pieces on your site. Interlinking helps to guide the audience and stay longer on the page. It is a great practice to improve user experience in general. It should be done throughout the text or/and “you may also read” section.
The next step is broken links in the outdated piece. Not only are they annoying for a reader, but they also decrease the Google ranking of the page. Remove all the broken links and consider adding new relevant ones.
Another perfect opportunity is to add visuals, such as pictures, infographics, or videos. Infographics are great for getting backlinks referencing your work. Videos significantly increase on-page time and perform great on Google.
And pictures are a must nowadays. You can also change alt text for all images and provide new product pictures as well.
Small Tips with Outstanding SEO Potential
- Add the year to the article’s headline like [2022 UPDATED];
- Update meta tags, keywords, and headlines in the post;
- Add LTK that are easy to rank for;
- Target new keywords according to search intent;
- Put in some expert quotes with references;
- Add schema markup of the page;
- Rewrite introduction and conclusion;
- Promote refreshed content, upload your articles and keep updated about new articles.
Now you are ready to update your old blog posts
Rewriting old content is an amazing way to increase ROI and user experience. It also helps to keep up with the posting schedule of how often should you blog for business. Overall, it shows outstanding results in terms of SEO and organic traffic. Choose the outdated yet moderately performing pieces and go in with new takes, data, or visuals. You can also opt for outsourcing all the blogging process to someone else, in case you do not have enough time or experience.
After all, quality does more for bloggers than quantity when it comes to content. Believe me!
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