Running a blog can be a huge job, especially running a blog correctly. There is so much to take care of and tend to that old posts can be easily forgotten. Your old posts could be just as useful as your new ones in bringing in new visitors, though. So we’re going to take a break from talking about how to write and optimize the perfect post and take a little while to focus on refreshing your content from a while back.
Why Go Back to Refresh Your Content?
It’s easy to focus on writing more and more blog posts, believing that this new information on your site is going to bring home the money. Once you write a post though, there is still room for improvement. This is especially true the older the post is. The older the post is, the more updated SEO standards have gotten and the more likely it is that there is outdated information. There are many benefits to revisiting your old content and checking in on some pages that are still pulling in visitors.
Improving Your Click-Through Rate
First and foremost, Google prefers fresh and updated content. This is because it is the most relevant and most likely provided correct information. A quick search will prove that most Google results are from the past year or two and have information that is correct and up to date.
Fresh New Eyes
It’s easy to overlook mistakes when you’ve read over a post constantly for a week. This leads to mistakes being published and never looked over again. By going back and reviewing your old content, you are able to look at it with fresh new eyes. Corrections can be made to any grammar or spelling mistakes, as well as any awkward sentence structure. You are most likely going to have plenty to fix since you are a more seasoned writer now!
Improving Accuracy and Relevance
Visitors come to a website to learn something and if your information is incorrect or outdated, they will quickly go elsewhere. Revisiting your older content will give you a chance to make sure that your posts remain accurate and relevant.
Other Websites Change, Too
This means that links can be broken or changed. Links that are on your site that don’t lead anywhere can do harm to your rankings. This is such an easy fix if you take to the time to go back and review your older content. All you need to do is delete the link, if no longer relevant, or find a new link. You also get the chance to change your links or link to newer, better content.
Deciding What to Do
Before you jump in and begin changing all of your old posts, it is important to first perform a content audit and find out where you currently are. Two free resources to use here are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These resources can help you determine which pages are doing well, which could use some work, and which are just not performing. By completing a content audit, you will be able to decide which posts to keep, delete, or rework.
If you have articles that are consistently bringing in traffic and ranking well over time, these are going to be the articles that you are keeping. These posts are going their jobs!
If you have articles that aren’t ranking and don’t have any great successes in social shares or backlinks, there is no real reason to keep them active on your site. Make sure that you double-check for backlinks before deleting the article.
Posts or pages that show a decline in traffic, aren’t converting, or have low engagement are going to be the posts that you want to focus on reworking. These posts or pages could be missing just a few key touches that could improve your rankings.
Re-optimizing or Refreshing Your Content
First, when re-optimizing posts, check on your links and clean out broken links and update old ones. Broken links can be replaced or removed, depending on if your article needs additional support from a link. Outdated links can be replaced with links to more recent information. While checking your links make sure that you are linking to at least one outside source and any relevant internal pages.
Check Your Title and URL
Another easy fix for improved SEO is to check your title and URL to make sure that they are relevant to the article itself, attention-grabbing, and to the point. This can be one of the quickest ways to re-optimize an old post without much work involved.
Merge Similar Content
After months or years of regularly creating content, it is likely that you have some posts that are just a little too similar to one another. One way to tackle this problem is to merge content. Choose the posts that you are going to merge together and pull the best information from both of them. This helps you revamp your content and get rid of duplicate posts that aren’t bringing in as much traffic.
Check Work Counts
Work counts may not seem like a big deal but there are two very important numbers involved here. First, all articles should be no less than 500 words. Any posts that are less than this need to be added to in order to reach this minimum number for best results. Second, if you have posts that are 5,000 words or more, you can show Google and other search engines that you are a real authority on a subject.
All posts and pages should have at least one image. Including multiple, relevant pictures, videos, and sounds can help your SEO rankings. Make sure that these additions are relevant and they will help!
Update Your Voice
Our voices change over time and this shows through writing, as well. While going through your old content and update links and media, make sure that your voice is consistent with your new work. Good, consistent content is what will bring readers back for more.