What Are the Ways to Update Old Blog Post and Bring Traffic. The common practice among website owners is that they focus on publishing new content to attract their audience. However, the truth is that you can get more leads by updating old content that is already available on your website.
If you’re posting blogs for an extended period, chances are, you have a backlog of old blog posts that haven’t been updated or used in the last 3-4 years after their first appearance. The best thing about them is that you may have entirely forgotten about those old blog posts, and your target audience is still finding those blogs via Google search or other referral sources.
When new readers visit your website and read an old post that hasn’t been updated, has become stale or the information isn’t relevant anymore, it can increase the bounce rate of your page, adversely affect your rankings on search engines, and eventually harm your content marketing strategy.
In this piece, we’ll discuss why updating old posts is essential and the best way to do it.
Why should you update old blog posts?
The content present on your website tells a lot about your brand. So if you improve and optimize the existing content present on your website, you can offer more valuable information to your users and also increase the discoverability on search engines.
Moreover, you should update your older but high-performing posts that can lengthen the life of your content and eventually boost the traffic to your website. If you have carefully noticed a few of your evergreen blog posts that used to get consistent organic traffic but are now unable to hold a good ranking in a search engine because they are taken over by newer and updated blog posts.
The Google May 2020 Core Update also favors websites that readily update old content.
Finally, updating an old post is easier and quicker than writing a whole new piece from scratch. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be publishing unique and original content, but updating old blog posts will save your time while maintaining a consistent publishing frequency.
How do you decide which blog posts need to be updated?
First, you need to shortlist all the posts that need immediate updating and develop a content strategy for the same. There are different ways to go about it, but you should make sure to develop a content strategy that you will use.
The essential pages that you should update on your website are:
Pages with top-quality backlinks
Locate those posts with strong, top-quality backlinks from other authority websites that have failed to rank well in search results. To update such posts, you would need to include the essential keywords in your blog post to witness an increase in page views.
Pages that bring a lot of traffic
You should update and refresh those pages that have already received the most traffic on your website. It is the simplest way to see an increase in website traffic. To discover the most popular pages of your website, visit Google Analytics. On the left-hand side of the pane, choose Behavior → Site Content, → All Pages. You have the option to select the time duration of 12 months or more to view the list of pages that attract the most views.
Pages that have maximum keyword impressions but possess low rankings
If you target the content rightly, updating old blog posts can provide you with better rankings and steady traffic. And for that to happen, you must know the keywords you want to target.
Visit Google Search Console to find keyword queries with many impressions but low rankings and click-through rates (CTR). Focus on keywords where your website pages are languishing in the 6-20 position. Discover exactly which pages are showing up against those keywords. Those are the pages that need updates.
Pages that have recently suffered a sudden loss in terms of the organic traffic
Analyze the website traffic for your most popular pages for the last 12 months to locate posts that have suffered a sudden loss in organic traffic. Different posts have different reasons for the sudden and sharp drops in traffic.
You can use the dashboard of Google Analytics to find blog posts that are suffering from losing traffic and then check the Search Console to discover if those pages have recently lost rankings against the essential keywords.
Best ways to update and then republish old blog posts
1. Keep the URL as it is
Instead of publishing an old post as a new blog, because search engines can think your post as a duplicate, just modify the original blog and keep the URL exactly the same. It is better to write the updated post in a different document and copy/paste it over the original post to republish it.
2. Focus on new keywords
The post you have already published might be ranking against some keywords that you never expected. You have to discover those keywords and put them strategically inside your content to obtain better keyword rankings. Hence, it would be ideal to choose keywords that have considerably low search volumes because it will be easier to rank.
3. Update the content to achieve accuracy
You should update the content but not for the sake of updating it. Instead, find the blog posts that have turned outdated or possess stale information. At the time of updating posts, evaluate the accuracy of all the content to determine the sections that need to be changed, removed, or added.
A good practice is to check how other websites are handling the blogs of the same topic and how you can better it. You have the option to monitor content by using keywords, topics, and sources through a discovery tool like Content Studio. Using this, you can analyze the best pages that are attracting the most engagement.
You should also ensure that you’ve checked the popular keyword tags and average word count of the blog posts for the chosen keyword or topic in order to update your old blog posts accordingly to garner maximum engagement.
Find the best web pages and analyze them carefully in order to understand why they have become so popular and make changes to your blog posts accordingly.
4. Includes internal links to the newly written content
If you are making an update to an old blog post that was initially published over three years ago, it might only have got internal backlinks inside the content that was actually published way before the post itself. At the time of freshening up your post, you have the option to use this opportunity to include internal links in the recently published content to improve the SEO performance of your website.
5. Look if there are any broken links
At the time of adding new links, you should also inspect to find any broken or incorrect links present in the content. All the links present in your article need to be accurate and should lead the readers to the right place. Broken links not only harm the user experience but also raise a red flag for search engines. You have the option to use a broken link checker like Ahrefs to quickly discover any wrong links on your website.
6. Add new images or videos
Adding new media to an old article is one of the best ways to freshen up your old article. You have the option to add new screenshots or images or videos that talk about your topic or the keyword of the blog.
If you add videos to blog posts, then you can increase the number of time users spend on your website, which will eventually boost the website’s SEO. You could develop a video version of your high-performance posts and upload it on the website to ensure high engagement.
7. In order to bring transparency, add an editor’s note
Whenever you’re updating an existing blog, you should ensure that you have added a small editor’s note at the end for transparency. This will help the old blogs with already comments and views. The reason behind adding an editor’s note is that your readers shouldn’t get confused finding the new information on an old dated post. In the note, you should add the reason for the change and the date.
When you’re updating old posts for SEO, you have to ensure that the post is optimized for the keywords you are planning to target.
Otherwise, you will find it harder to see any visible results.
This is the reason why you should conduct a keyword audit to discover the right keywords that should be present in every post and then design a blog republishing strategy accordingly.