Updating old blog posts is an effective method to generate additional unique monthly visitors to your site. However, updating any old blog is not necessarily going to give you the uptick in traffic you desire. There is an art to determine what blogs to update and then how to update the actual content.
Below we overview this methodology, giving you the tools you need to revitalize those old blogs and turn them into heavy traffic generators.
Along with these tips, make sure when creating new or updating old content that you are avoiding these 7 deadly SEO sins.
Selecting a Blog to Update
When it comes to SEO strategies, every move you make should be calculated. Likewise, the blogs you choose to spend time and effort updating should give you the most bang for your buck.
There are two general types of blogs that are worth the effort to update.
The Top Performer
You wrote this blog three years ago and it’s still kicking butt. You’re sitting in position #5 spot on SERP rankings and getting 5k unique visitors a month.
The keywords have a very large volume of searches, but you know if you could squeak up to the #3 spot you would double your monthly traffic.
The Prehistoric Post
This blog was written in the early days of your website. You didn’t know much about keyword research and while the general topic is heavily searched, your twist on keywords has made this blog a dud.
Your minuscule following when this post was published kept it hidden. While you think the post works it has never seemed to garner the traffic it deserves. When updating this post, you should imagine that you are creating an entirely new post pursuing slightly different keywords.
For more information on which questions to ask when deciding which top performers to update, check out this article by Inbound Rocket.
How to Update Your Blogs
Once you have determined which blogs are worth the effort to update, you’ll need to determine the best way to edit them.
An increase in organic traffic really boils down to SERP positioning. The higher you rank on a Google search, the more traffic you will receive. It’s that simple. The intent behind the strategies below will be to improve this positioning. t is important that you track your exact keyword ranking with a rank tracking tool like Linkio after enacting changes.
For additional strategies when updating old blogs, check out this article by Search Engine Journal.
The easiest change to make is changing the time stamp. If your post displays a date when it was written, change that to a current, “last updated,” date.
This will let Google know that your post is up to date and may immediately bump your SERP ranking.
Make sure all the links are active. With those active links, make sure the sources you link to are up to date. If you are linking to an old article or study, try to find a more recent source. The goal of updating is to make it relevant to today.
Flesh It Out
You can always add additional content. We chose to update this blog because it ranks for a high search volume keyword. What other questions are people asking about this keyword?
A great way to find expansion topics is to look at Google’s, “People also ask,” section when searching keywords. Google believes these topics to be important, so you should probably cover them.
During this process, you may also want to remove information that is no longer relevant. Have there been updates that make certain aspects of your post no longer important? If so, replace those with expansion topics.
Repurpose the blog for social media
Sometimes content that was stale on your blog is better served by being rewritten for a social media site like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. This post from Wordable has some great ideas on how to repurpose the content for Instagram.
This requires a bit of creativity, because sites like these tend to favor short-form content – quite the opposite of the longer content that tends to do well on blogs. But if you can find a way to make your former blog post short, snappy and visually appealing, give it a try!
Update the Title Tag and Meta Description
Is your title tag and meta description clickable? When people read your title and description they need to be certain your post gives them the correct information.
Read other title tags and meta description on higher-ranking posts. What are they doing better than you? How can you make your title and description more appealing than theirs?
Beware: don’t adjust the keyword aspect of your title tag as this can affect your SERP ranking.
Add additional links to your post, both internal and external.
Have you covered an aspect of this topic in another post? Link to it. Are there other great sources out there that also cover this topic? Link to them.
Have the number of backlinks to your blog decreased over time? Run a new backlink outreach campaign.
Backlinks are a major player in your page authority score. By cultivating new backlinks your SERP will rocket up. It is likely new articles have been written on the topic since you first covered it. Make sure you reach out to those new authors and get backlinks.
As a strategy, you can let new authors know you’re updating your post and would love to trade links. This strategy can be mutually beneficial and help improve both of your SERP!
Updating old posts can greatly improve the amount of traffic your site is generating. It’s important to make calculated moves when choosing which posts to improve as well as what you do to improve them.
There are many strategies that can be deployed to improve old posts. Along with the techniques I have overviewed, check out these 9 ways to increase traffic from old blog post!
Karen Evans is a former college student who, after making real money learning how to build and scale niche blogs, decided to go full time and hasn’t looked back since.
After seeing so many people waste time and money trying to learn how to create websites that make money she decided to create the ever-popular https://startbloggingonline.com/.
So far over 9,500 new blogs have been created using her guide!
When Karen isn’t blogging, she enjoys spending time with her family, which usually involves finding some water to cool off in!