6 Ways to Update Your Old Blog Posts to Improve SEO.
If you are a content writer, then you know churning out new blog posts regularly is a lot of work, especially if you want to publish accurate, relevant and SEO-optimised content. From thinking up ideas to carrying out keyword research and then, researching the body of the work before writing, it takes a lot of time and effort.
Now, imagine doing all this work only to leave the articles to rot without going back to them even when they have potential. Think about it, you did put work into them, so you should be profiting from them as much as you can. You shouldn’t let them decay when they can be bringing you traffic and ultimately, more revenue.
But how do you revive an old blog post to make it relevant again? You simple update them and make sure they meet current SEO standards. If you are wondering how to go about that, this article will show the ways to update your old blog posts to improve SEO. And without further ado, let’s get to it.
Effective Ways to Update Your Old Blog Posts to Improve SEO
Identify the Posts with Potential
Reading this, it is possible you are full of enthusiasm and ready to update all your old posts. Now, you could, if you have the time. But like most things, it is better to prioritise the important things. And in this case, prioritise blogs that have the highest potential. Not all your blog posts will produce good results no matter what you do, so it is better to focus on those that are likely to.
The best way to do this is through your analytics. You can use Google Analytics or Google Search Console to determine posts that were doing well previously but gradually fell off the radar as the years went by. Of course, if you have been monitoring your data all the while, you should know the posts that did well. Also, most content writers just know their best articles, which could be for different reasons; they were well-written, many of their readers reference the articles or they are anchor articles; you find that other posts almost always link to them when interlinking posts on your website. You can make a list of all these articles so you know where to start your update from.
Update the Post
Since it is an old post, chances are it needs an upgrade. So many things have probably changed in the world since you wrote it. So, if you want your article to remain relevant, you will need to update it with updated information. Now, of course, not every old post would necessarily need an update. Depending on your niche or the title of the post, things might not have changed much or at all. But if you are in a niche where there are constant updates, like in digital marketing or tech, then you know that an article written last year might no longer be accurate this year.
Besides that, you should also check for typos and poor sentence structure. After all, it is not just enough that you are putting out important information, it is also necessary that the articles are well-written and well-presented. Grammarly can always help you with that. You should also check and improve the readability of the post. Remember that readers these days have a short attention span, so you need to make reading interesting and fun for them. Try to break too long sentences or paragraphs, use a more active voice and break text with visuals.
Improve On-Page SEO
SEO best practices are constantly changing and updating. So, you need to work on the post to make sure it fits current standards. And this might require you to rewrite the whole post or certain sections, add new sections and generally change the structure of the post. One way to do this is to search for the keyword of the post on Google to see the articles that are ranking at the top. Check the first 3 or 4 to see what they did differently from you. For instance, they may have certain subheadings that you might need to add to your post.
In addition, you also need to focus on other aspects of the SEO ranking factors to improve them if they are lacking.
Meta tags are the snippets of information that inform search engine crawlers on what your post is about and they also give searchers on search engines brief information about what they are likely to find when they click your website. The most popular meta tags are the title and the meta description. Improve them to include your keyword if they don’t. And also, make sure they are catchy enough to attract the reader. Note that your meta title and article title do not necessarily have to be the same but they should both carry the keyword.
The content is the body of the post; what the reader will be interacting with when they click your link. So you want to make sure it carries the promised information. If your title is “What are Meta Tags?” then your post should address that or else, it will increase your bounce rate and affect your SEO.
We already discussed updating the content above but in this case, it is also making sure you meet the SEO standards today. For instance, keyword stuffing might have been accepted some 5 years ago but it is no longer acceptable now. You should also update sources; try to use sources that are as recent as possible.
- Change the Format
Change the format of the post to accommodate the current standards. First, try to use subheadings as often as possible and the subheadings could contain the secondary keywords (this would be further explained below). You should also define both the primary and secondary keywords near the top of the heading. And try to rank on the featured snippet section by including bullet points near the top of the heading as well.
Your posts should always include visuals (images, videos or infographics). This is because it is required for SEO but also because of your readers. Visuals will serve as breaks between long text to improve the readability of your posts. But beyond that, your visuals must contain alt text to describe what’s in the image for web crawlers. Your alt text should describe the image and contain your keyword. And it is advisable to rename the file from your local computer before uploading it.
Check all the links for broken or dead links. Replace links leading to outdated sources with new sources. And make sure your post links to another post internally as well.
Find Related Keywords
In case you didn’t know this before, you can rank for more than one keyword and in fact, you should try to rank for more than one keyword. Needless to say, it will improve the performance of your posts. And finding related keywords is so easy. Just search for your primary keyword on Google and scroll down to related searches. You’d find a number of related searches and you can get two or more keywords from there that you can use alongside your primary keyword.
Answer Questions Related to the Topic
In the same vein, you can also look for the People Also Ask Section for ideas for subheadings that you can add to your post. Of course, some of them may work as keywords but some of the questions asked might be worth another section on your post. And it will higher your chances of ranking on search engines.
Change the Year on the Post to the Current Year
This should probably have been under SEO but we thought to explain it separately so we can expand on it. To start with, avoid adding dates to articles as much as you can because they limit the relevance of your article to that year. However, articles with dates are also important because they draw people’s attention; they show that the article is current.
For instance, from a reader’s perspective, “Best Social Media Tools in 2022” sounds more relevant than “Best Social Media Tools” because it is clear that the former is current. So, to use dates, make sure not to add them to the URL because changing the URL is a hassle. You’d have to make sure to redirect it to the new URL if you don’t want it to affect ranking. And to keep it evergreen, you should also be ready to update the article every new year. Change the year in the title to the present year and update any outdated information from the year before.
Worthy of Mention
It is possible that you might be tempted to update your old blog posts all at once to improve SEO. But you should be careful about updating all at once or completely. First of all, if it is not broken, no need to fix it. Some posts are evergreen and if they’re ranking properly, you should leave them as is.
However, if it has outdated information that needs to be updated, you can try updating in batches, especially as it relates to optimising for search engines. Monitor the performance and try again. Also, don’t change the URL as much as it is avoidable. If you must, then make sure you redirect it to the new URL and not leave it broken.
We are sure we’ve been able to show you some tips to easily update your old blog posts to improve SEO. So, if you enjoyed reading this article, let us know in the comment section. You can also share it with someone that might benefit from it.