Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Jordan Alexo
Did you know only 38% of bloggers update their old posts? That’s a crazy low percentage, and it means a lot of missed opportunities for better SEO.
Just because a blog post is old doesn’t mean it needs to be forgotten! You can still boost its search engine performance and attract new readers by updating it with fresh content.
Besides, one of the factors Google loves is a website that provides regular updates. It tells them that the website has someone behind it who cares about providing quality content to people.
In this guide, you’ll discover the importance of updating old blog posts and which factors to consider when updating them.
And five simple steps to follow to bring your existing content back to life!
- Updating old blog posts is a great way to boost SEO performance and attract new readers.
- Reasons to update content include freshness, improved page SEO, and increased traffic.
- Decide what content should be republished based on relevance, the potential for ranking high in SERP, updates, etc.
- Follow five steps to update WordPress posts, including checking which content needs updating, reviewing content for outdated information & SEO optimization, and improving readability & valuable content, internal links, and search intent.
- Share updates with followers on social media and build external links as needed.
Importance Of Updating Website Content (3 Reasons)
Just because you published content a few months or years ago doesn’t mean it’s dead. In fact, updating old blog posts can be a great way to refresh your website’s content and attract more traffic.
Here are three reasons why updating old content is essential for SEO:
1 – Freshness
Google and other search engines love fresh content. It shows that your website has someone behind it who is actively maintaining and updating it.
Also, this may help your older content rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP). Often older content needs some updates to stay relevant.
Especially in niches related to technology, digital marketing, and artificial intelligence and niches constantly evolving.
2 – Improve Page SEO
A great reason to update existing content is to improve its search engine optimization (SEO). You can add new keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags to optimize the post for better search engine visibility.
This will make it easier for Google to understand what your post is about and rank it higher. You have several powerful tools to help you audit your content, such as Surfer SEO or my new favorite toy – Neuronwriter.
3 – Boost Your Traffic
When you update your old blog posts, it can also boost your website traffic. Because your updated content may rank higher on search engine results pages, it has a better chance of being seen by potential readers.
Which Content Should You Republish?
While updating existing content is important, you shouldn’t just edit everything.
What Shouldn’t You Republish? (NO!)
Before picking your winners, here are often content you shouldn’t waste your time on:
- Content that is no longer relevant to your target audience.
- Posts that have already been updated recently.
- Articles with outdated information that cannot be revised or updated.
- News articles that nobody is interested in anymore, like last year’s election results.
What Should You Republish? (Yes!)
Now, let’s talk about which content you should republish:
- Evergreen content that is still relevant and valuable to your target audience.
- Content that has performed well in the past but may need a few updates to make it even better.
- Posts that have a lot of potential for ranking high in search engine results but need some refreshing.
- Content that has received a lot of engagement and social shares in the past. But it may need some updates to make it more shareable and exciting.
Also, content that didn’t perform well in the past. Perhaps, it didn’t rank well on Google, etc… that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve some love.
You can always update it with new information and improve its SEO to give it another chance to perform better.
How Often To Update Content For SEO?
So, how many times should you update your content? Well, that depends on several factors, such as:
- How relevant is the content to your target audience
- How frequently the topic of that content evolves or change
- How much new and valuable information has been added to the topic
- How much traffic is the post currently generating?
As you can see, it’s a complicated topic with no one-size-fits-all solution. However, updating a pillar post once or twice a year is a good idea.
For product reviews or best product lists, it might be a good idea to check often if there are any updates or changes to the products and update the content accordingly.
Now for all the rest, it’s hard to put the finger on how often you should update them.
What To Do With Old Blog Posts?
One thing you should rarely or ever do is delete old blog posts. Only if, for some reason, you changed your niche or business so drastically that the old posts are no longer relevant.
Here are a few reasons to delete a blog post:
- The product no longer exists
- The information is factually incorrect or misleading
- The post is offensive or inappropriate.
- It’s been plagiarized or contains stolen content.
- The article provides similar information to another post on your blog, and keeping both is unnecessary.
In those cases, you should do a 404 redirect to a similar post or your home page.
Besides, it’s better to keep older posts available and possibly update them instead of deleting them altogether.
5 Steps – How Do You Update Your WordPress Blog Posts?
Now that you know which content to update let’s see how to edit them effectively. I’m going to share my process with WordPress. However, the process should be similar to other blogging platforms.
Step 1 – Check Which Content Needs Updating
You should start by reviewing your blog posts and seeing which ones need updating. Based on the earlier criteria, you can create a list of posts suitable for republishing.
I list all my posts on a spreadsheet and mark them as “to be updated.” Also, sometimes I used Google Analytics to see which posts are still getting traffic but could use some improvement.
Step 2 – Review Your Content
You have several aspects of your content to review when updating it.
1 – Check For Outdated Information
You should read your post and check if any information needs to be updated. If you find outdated information, update it with current and relevant data.
2 – Improve the Post’s SEO
One of the best ways to improve the performance of your post is by optimizing it for search engines.
You have several SEO aspects to consider, such as including relevant keywords in the title, meta description, and throughout the content.
However, you can use a tool like Neuronwriter, which comes with an audit feature that checks your post’s SEO and suggests improvements.
This AI SEO tool suggests keywords you can add, recommends word count, and analyzes your competitors’ content to help you rank higher.
3 – Improve Readability
Fun fact “73% of people skim articles online.” For this reason, you want to make your content easily readable. You can do this by:
- Breaking up large blocks of text into smaller paragraphs
- Improving your subheading structure. Perhaps, some of your subheadings could be more descriptive or clearer. Or you may need to include new ones.
- Use bullet points and numbered lists to highlight key information.
- Make bold or italic text for emphasis.
- Check for any grammar or spelling errors and correct them.
- Make sure your sentences are clear and concise.
- Consider adding images or videos to break up text and make your content more engaging.
All these factors improve the time people spend reading your post and increase their chances of returning for more.
Also, if your post ends with “user journey,” meaning it provides a solution or answers to the reader’s problem.
This increases the value of your content in Google’s eyes and can boost your rankings. You should constantly find ways to improve your content readability.
I like to include the “key takeaways” right at the beginning of the post. It’s a quick summary of the post and what readers can expect to learn.
4 – Add More Valuable Content
You can add extra information to your post to make it more valuable and informative to your readers.
For instance, you have a post about “11 Best AI SEO Tools,” and you can add a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) section where you answer common concerns or queries that readers might have on this topic.
Also, you may increase your listing from eleven to fifteen or twenty by digging deeper and finding more tools to add.
Not only does this give readers more information, but it also signals to Google that your post is more detailed.
In a way, you want a more comprehensive and in-depth post than your competitors.
5 – Improve Internal Links
You can also improve the internal links within your content. As you read your post, look for opportunities to link to other relevant posts or pages on your website.
This helps readers find new content on your website. But it also lets Google and other search engines more easily crawl your site and understand the structure and hierarchy of your content.
6 – Improve Search Intent
Is your post solving the reader’s problem or answering their question? Make sure the content of your post aligns with the search intent.
You should make some changes to your post’s wording, format, or structure to ensure it better aligns with what users are searching for.
An easy way is to Google your post’s main keyword and see the auto-complete suggestions that pop up. Check if your post answers any of those questions or concerns.
If it doesn’t, consider updating your post with information that matches those suggestions.
Step 3 – Republish Your WordPress Post
Once you have all the changes made to your post, it’s time to republish it on your WordPress website.
One plugin that can help with republishing is called “WP Last Modified Info.” Sometimes people ask me how you can show the updated date of your post, and this plugin can automatically display it for you.
This helps your readers and search engines know that your post has been updated and is fresh.
Lastly, you only need to press the “update” button on your WordPress editor to republish the post.
Step 4 – Share Your Republished Post
If you have a following on Instagram, Facebook, or another social media platform, sharing your republished post with them is a great idea.
You can also contact your email subscribers and let them know that you’ve updated an old post with new and valuable information.
Step 5 – Build External Links
Not all blog posts need external links. Sometimes internal links can be enough. However, let’s say you have a transactional post, “10 Best Running Shoes For Men.”
You already did your best to optimize the post for SEO, readability, etc., and it’s still on the second or third page of Google search results.
In this situation, you should build some external links to boost the post.
You have several ways to build external links, including reaching out to other bloggers or websites in your niche and asking for a link, guest posting on other sites with a link back to your post, or creating sharable content that people will naturally want to link to.
So as you can see, republishing an old post can be a great way to boost your SEO traffic. Also, you don’t always have to create new content from scratch to grow your website traffic.
Often many bloggers forget that revisiting and updating old posts with fresh information can be just as effective. Not only it helps readers to find valuable content, but it also shows search engines that your website is active and relevant.
To do this, you should first update the post’s content by adding valuable information, improving internal links, and aligning with search intent. Then use a plugin such as WP Last Modified Info to show that the post has been updated.
You can then share it with your followers on social media or subscribers through email. If the post needs it, you can also build external links to boost search engine rankings.
If you have any questions, leave them below. Jordan Alexo will reply to you shortly. I also suggest reading this post if you want to become a freelance writer.